Category Archives: Environment and Nature

Manuel appointed chairperson of Global Climate Fund

Minister in The Presidency Trevor Manuel

South Africa’s Minister in The Presidency Trevor Manuel has recently been appointed as joint chairperson of the Green Climate Fund, which happens to be given the job of coming up with a finance system to assist developing countries get accustomed to climate change.

Manuel, who heads the South Africa’s National Planning Commission, is going to chair the Green Climate Fund alongside Mexican Finance Minister Ernesto Cordero Arroyo and Kjetil Lund, state secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Finance.

The Green Fund was created soon after an agreement was signed at the 2010 UN climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico. The master plan was to start up a new institution to be able to set in motion international action when it comes to addressing climate change.

The fund comprises of a 40-member committee and is commissioned to raise and distribute R674-billion (U$100-billion) a year by 2020 in order to safeguard poor countries against the influences of climate change and be of assistance when it comes to low-carbon development.

The committee will get together four times in 2011 to put together a written report on the fund. The report will be presented to around 190 countries due to attend the UN climate change conference in Durban, South Africa, in December this year.

“The high level of interest among governments in adding to the design process can be described as a demonstration of the truly amazing interest among parties within the Green Climate Fund,” said UN’s Framework Convention for Climate Change executive secretary Christiana Figueres. “Parties have put forward skilled and recognized individuals from the areas of finance and climate change.”

The funds is going to be raised by way of public and private sponsorships, and additionally through a system of environmental taxes. The South African government’s proposed carbon levy is an example of an environmental tax.

Penalties for polluters

The South African government is contemplating a tax of R75 ($10.63) per ton of carbon dioxide emitted. In accordance with the government’s suggested “polluter pays principle”, they would like to take advantage of the carbon tax to cut back South Africa’s greenhouse emissions at the same time making certain that polluters are penalised. The country is looking to reduce its carbon emissions by 34% by 2020 and 42% by 2025.

“Carbon emissions have to be priced,” said Manuel. “The indisputable fact that you can pollute the atmosphere and never pay for that pollution has to be one of the most manifest market failures.”


South Africa is to a great extent dependent on coal as well as being the world’s 14th largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Committed to cutting emissions, the country intends to penalise companies which include state power company Eskom, along with other companies in dominant industrial sectors such as metals, mining and petrochemicals that operate with coal, which are classified as the most significant carbon emitters.

A world of experience

Manuel has vast practical experience and knowledge when it comes to dealing with global development. He has served on the UN’s High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Finance in 2010 in addition to being appointed UN special envoy for Development Finance in 2008.

He chaired the 2007 G-20 summit and was previously a member of former UK prime minister Tony Blair’s 2004 to 2005 Commission for Africa.

In 2000 he chaired the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s board of governors, not to mention the bank’s development committee from 2001 to 2005. He was also one of two UN special envoys to the 2002 Monterrey Financing for Development summit.



South Africa greening project surpasses intended target

Government has with success carried out its nationwide greening project and they have during the past three years accomplished and additionally surpassed its million-trees-a year intended target and goals.

The objective was initially intended to be achieved jointly by municipalities, the private sector, non-government organisations along with other civil bodies with the government offering a co-coordinating and leadership function.

In the 2007/8 time period, 1 700 000 trees were planted, during the 2008/9 period, 1 300 000 trees were planted and in the 2009/10 period, 1 277 805 trees ended up being planted.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson unveiled this in a written reply to a question asked by the Congress of the People (Cope) in the National Assembly.

She stated that ever since its creation, the programme had been successful in planting in excess of four million trees, 40 percent of which being fruit trees and this had for the most part been carried out within the poorer areas of the country.

The minister thanked important and vital relationships forged with companies which include Total SA, the SABC, Food and Trees Africa, Lovelife, Proudly South Africa, amongst others.


During the past three years, the programme had established legacy recreational parks namely Batlharos, Sarafina, Phahameng location and Orange Farm in the Gasegonyana, Tlokwe, Mangaung and Johannesburg municipal areas respectively.

“Trees on the whole are crucial for the well-being of, in particular, rural people. Fruit and leaves supply nutrients and are also made use of every single day in households.

“They in addition provide vitamins and quite often proteins which are not always present in other crops. Eating habits within these regions tend to be dominated by cereal crops that happen to be primarily abundant with starch. Consequently fruits are essential to maintain a well-balanced and wholesome eating plan.

“Fruit trees are actually multi purpose, they help clean the air, eliminate a lot of heat, supply nutrition, and additionally help and support good mental health and well-being.

“For these types of added benefits to take place, fruit trees are required to be selected and planted strategically, carefully guided by means of meticulous planning and management. Simultaneously, the continuing survival of these trees will depend on help and support coming from local government structures, engaged local residents along with the capability to suppress attack by pests and diseases,” the minister explained.

Source: BuaNews,,,,


Antares Field Guide 90-day Field Guide Course

Antares will be running their 1st 90-day course from 6th June onwards. This course offers potential field guides a fantastic opportunity to spend a decent amount of time in the bush environment studying the level 1 curriculum and obtaining valuable practical exposure to a wide variety of game species, including Big 5.

Should anyone wish to enrol please visit the website, and complete the online application form.

There is a special introductory price of R35 000 for this opportunity of a lifetime.

A former student from the previous 6-week programme quoted – “this was probably the best 6 weeks of my life, an experience I will never forget”

View Company Profile and Courses


Yet another South African veterinarian arrested for Rhino Horn Crimes

A distinguished wildlife veterinarian in South Africa has been caught for unlawfully detaching the horns from 15 rhinos. Dr. Andre Charles Uys apparently dehorned the particular rhinos within the Maremani Game Reserve, situated in Limpopo Province.

Dr. Uys was already released on R10,000 (US $1,416) bail at the Musina Magistrate’s Court and is also scheduled to appear for a second time on March 18th.

The doctor is faced with a charge that includes breaking Section 57 (1) of the National Environment Management: Biodiversity Act No 10 of 2004 – An individual is prohibited from carrying out a restricted activity involved with a specimen associated with a listed endangered or protected species without having a permit granted with references to Chapter 7.

The particular public arrest was carried out as a result of the hard work of the National Wildlife Crime Reaction Unit, directed by the Hawks. At the present time, general public information and facts are unavailable with regards to the present whereabouts of the horns in addition to whether or not the horns have been confiscated by respective authorities.

Certainly not the first veterinarian associated with rhino horn criminal activity

This particular occurrence is certainly not the first time a veterinarian appears to have been suspected of rhino horn offences.

Last September, Dr. Karel Toet and Dr. Manie du Plessis associated with the Nylstroom animal clinic were actually detained in connection to a well known rhino horn syndicate, in conjunction with Dawie Groenewald (Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris).

The particular high-profile “Groenewald gang” is scheduled to appear once again in the court in April 2011, in order to deal with charges of assault, fraud, corruption, malicious damage to property, unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition, in addition to contravening the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act.

‘Insiders’ involved with unlawful rhino horn industry

An escalating volume of arrests with regard to rhino horn offences already have implicated “insiders” from within the South African conservation community, looking to take advantage of and cash in on the ignorance as well as misconceptions associated with the benefits of using rhino horn.

Currently there happens to be an in-depth investigation around this distressing subject matter – Are ‘Insiders’ Intentionally Fueling Demand for Illegal Rhino Horn?, which notes that nefarious business alliances, loophole abuse, private stockpile leakage, dehorning scams, and legalized trade speculation are exacerbating South Africa’s rhino crisis.

Already eight rhinos killed worldwide this year

2011 has already been off to a particular discouraging beginning.

When it comes to South Africa, the most up-to-date slaughtering of rhinos took place in KwaZulu-Natal. Previous to that, two rhinos had been murdered in Kruger National Park, a pregnant rhino ended up being slaughtered around the Hoedspruit area, in addition to another in close proximity to Musina. One more was slain in the Eastern Cape, within Kariega Game Reserve in the proximity of Kenton-on-Sea.

Globally, 1 rhino also has been murdered in Nepal in addition to one more in India, bringing the international death toll to eight since the beginning of this year.

During the course of 2010, 333 rhinos ended up being slaughtered in South Africa, just about tripling 2009’s total amount of 122.

Rhinocerous horn purchase prices ‘soar’ immediately after departing from Africa

Despite the fact that rhino poachers are generally believed to get paid approximately R25,000 for each and every kilogram when it comes to Mozambique, and only somewhere around R30,000 per horn in South Africa, the purchase price is without a doubt much more found in rhino horn consumer countries around the world.

Typical rhino horn weights are by and large determined by making use of three kilograms for black rhinos, and five and a half kilograms for white rhinos.

With the help of up-to-date forex rates in addition to average weights of white rhino horn, the more expensive Mozambique value of R25,000 per kilogram could quite possibly signify close to $20,000 US dollars (per horn) for murdering a rhino.

Having said that, the moment rhino horn actually leaves Africa, the purchase price soars.

When it comes to Vietnam, rhino horn possibly will without difficulty command USD $40, 000 per kilogram. The purchase price climbs even more significantly within China, to a number exceeding USD $60, 000 per kilogram (D. Anderson, TRAFFIC, pers. comm., 30 December 2010).

On going utilization of unlawful rhino horn in traditional ‘medicines’

At the root of the rhino catastrophe is most likely the persistent utilization of rhino horn in traditional Chinese medicine.

Unlawful rhino horn is actually extremely desired to be used in traditional medicines in China and Vietnam, even though rhino horn has long been thoroughly investigated and possesses absolutely no medicinal qualities.

Studies carried out by the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC discovered that the majority of rhino horns going out of Southern Africa are increasingly being smuggled into China and Vietnam.

Dispersing Chinese footprint in Southern Africa

It has recently been observed the fact that the spreading Chinese presence inside Southern Africa seems to have positioned the actual demand for rhino horn perilously near to the supply, not to mention counter poaching studies already have linked the rise in rhino and elephant murders to a deluge of Chinese weapons in the area.

Abuse of CITES research loopholes

There are certainly additional fears that state-funded rhino horn use recommendations coming from China served as one of numerous reasons relating to the tremendous increase in rhino murders throughout Southern Africa.

Many of these proposals, which experts claim surfaced in 2008 and 2009, strongly encourage the utilization of rhino horn, and firmly advocates that the PRC government is trying to bypass CITES research provisions through process of blurring the lines between research and commercial trade in rhinos.,,,,,,,


SA and Chinese firms put money into eco-friendly electric power

Cape Town-based Mulilo Renewable Energy has partnered with a number of Chinese businesses to take advantage of the increased interest in alternative energy in South Africa by developing generation capacity coming from wind and solar powered energy sources.

Mulilo Renewable Energy (MRE) was formed by a group of globally recognised South African businessmen, and their partners envisage investing approximately R15-billion when it comes to alternative energy projects in the country over the next few years.

Apart from its technological know-how partners, MRE has a direct financing partner, the China-Africa Development Fund, which is able to underwrite virtually any project endorsed by MRE.

Long-term commitment and financial commitment

MRE is working with China’s Long Yuan Corporation in order to develop six wind farm projects that will be in a position to generate an output of 1 500 megawatts. Construction at one such facility, planned for De Aar in the Northern Cape, is scheduled to start in March 2011, with an estimated completion date in June 2012 of the first phase.

Long Yuan’s parent company, the Guodian Corporation, has made a long-term commitment to South Africa, and also plans to build a state-of-the-art wind turbine assembly plant in addition to a blade manufacturing facility in the Western Cape.

Both of these facilities would likely create more than 1 500 “environmentally friendly” jobs, and also would service South Africa’s fledgling wind power industry and as well those of other African economies.

Chinese employees will also to begin with comprise less than 5 % of the overall workforce, and this figure will be reduce as South Africans acquire experience in the development, operation and maintenance of wind farm projects.

The Guodian Corporation (Guodian stands for “state power” in Mandarin) is a major state-owned business enterprise that is focused on electric power generation adn technology. With a capacity of 85 000 MW, it is double the size of South Africa’s Eskom, and also includes nuclear, hydro-electrical and coal-fired power stations.

Testing solar modules

The organization has additionally been constructing a solar energy farm making use of technology and know-how offered by one of China’s top three photovoltaic cell producers, Yingli Solar, from the town of Copperton.

Residents from the small town, some 60km north of Prieska in the Northern Cape, experienced a taste of things to come when solar energy was delivered free to their local community hall and church in May this year.

The location was chosen as a possible area to test the particular solar modules in harsh South African conditions, and the generated electric power is going to benefit the 600 homeowners of the town which experts state survives on a small agricultural industry.

“This small location had been initially constructed as a mining town, but since the operations shut down, it’s been a difficult struggle for the residents,” said MRE director Johnny Cullum during the time. “This starting point, although it will benefit only a small number of people at this time, represents our broad-ranging solar power and wind energy initiative for the whole country.”

The China-Africa Development Fund was set up in June 2007, and now has access to several billion dollars made available from the China Development Bank. This equity investment fund is designed to help Chinese businesses to develop cooperative investment strategies with Africa and to gain entry to the African marketplace.