Hello EWT supporters
I often get interesting calls and emails from our members and the public at large, concerned with the declining state of our environment and criminal or unethical acts against our wildlife. With the pleasing news 2 weeks ago of the temporary closure of the Vele Colliery operations near the Mapungubwe National Park, and the ongoing onslaught on southern Africa's rhinos, the call numbers have been higher than usual. One of the more perturbing calls, however, made me think a little longer than the rest. Admittedly, it is human nature to ponder more on the controversial opinions than those that call to voice their support and empathy - and it is vital that I pause here and thank the NUMEROUS people who have voiced their unequivocal support for the work of the EWT lately! This particular caller suggested that he is an environmental enthusiast and is passionate about the cultural heritage of this country. He was very much on "our side" in the fight to save the Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape and its surrounds. But he was of the opinion that the environmental groups of today need to be "pragmatic" about development and because we cannot be seen to be anti-development, we should surely "engage with the developers" to find workable compromises instead of being "anti". This got me thinking. Not because it is a new idea or novel approach. Indeed, the EWT was one of the first environmental NGOs to work with industry in key areas where their impact on the environment is potentially significant. Most of the credible, realistic environment groups today, globally, work with industry and we are not alone in our efforts to engage with key role-players to ensure that the development agenda is supported in such a way that the environment is not compromised, in a utopian pursuit of sustainable development as it was originally intended to be. Working with developers (in any form) has been a wise and effective strategy and has no doubt resulted in significant improvements on development plans (in any form) that would otherwise have had disastrous environmental impacts. However... it has also perhaps pushed the boundaries of tolerance for "development at all costs" too far and I firmly believe that balance will only be achieved if "working with developers" is balanced by developers (again, in any form) also accepting that any kind of development, anywhere, is also not on. Nowhere is "development" limited to a mine, golf estate, housing complex or a shopping mall. Development takes many forms and in ecologically sensitive areas, bulldozers, bricks, roads and railways are not the only options for economic "development". But it takes a brave few to raise the "no-go option", espoused in South African legislation, before these alternative forms of "development" are even considered. But lately, this is changing I am pleased to say. I salute the emerging movement in South Africa that is saying NO to harmful, destructive and unsustainable forms of development in grossly inappropriate areas. This is being supported not only by many NGOs today, but by the thousands of people signing petitions to stop the many forms of inappropriate development that is ravishing our country. Whilst we can, and will continue to "engage" with all forms of development where appropriate, we stand resolutely by the notion that anything does not go anywhere in South Africa anymore. Some areas are more fragile and more important than the race for riches at all costs and as custodians of our country's natural heritage, we are as willing to say NO when it counts, as we are to compromising and saying "maybe, if you do it the right way". In some areas, some forms of development are simply not right and being able to say this out loud may now be more of a "new and emerging concept" than being "pragmatic" is.
Dare to Care: Help put a stop to the brutal poaching of our Rhino'sThe EWT has launched its Rhino Poaching hotline 082 404 2128.
With 153 rhino having been poached between January and the end of July this year, it is time that every South African citizen becomes involved in the fight against the wanton killing of our rhino. Amidst the illegal shooting of rhino by poachers on foot, there are those who also operate from the air with helicopters and dart guns. We believe that there are individuals out there who have valuable information that will greatly assist in these investigations and we urge them to make use of the Rhino Hotline to report this information.
SMS SAVE to 31913 to donate R10. Alternatively visit www.ewt.org.za and follow the Dare to Care link to contribute to Rhino Security.
Confiscated Blue Cranes released back into the wildIn July the two Blue Cranes that were confiscated from illegal trappers back in February were released back into the wild, near Edenville in the northern Free State. Both birds immediately flew off and joined up with the flock of over 100 wild Blue Cranes. Before release, the birds were uniquely marked with colour rings on their legs so that their progress can be monitored over the coming months. Since then they have been seen regularly and are doing well. They have linked up with two adult Blue Cranes and the four of them spend most of their time together, within the bigger flock.
Mining at Mapungubwe stopped for nowOn Thursday 5 August 2010 the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) confirmed that its Environmental Management Inspectorate, or as they are more commonly known "the Green Scorpions", issued a Compliance Notice to CoAL to cease with activities that are in contravention of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA). Read full story...
Niger poachers target rare West African GiraffePoachers in Niger have killed two baby West African Giraffes. Although there are only 200 of these animals left, population numbers are rising due to conservation efforts and this is the first attack on the species in the country for 20 years. Read full story...
EWT Talk and Dinner: Facts about rhino poaching and a deeper look into wildlife crimesSpeaker: Faan Coetzee and Rynette Coetzee
Date: 7 September 2010
Time: 18:30 for 19:00
Venue: Country Club Johannesburg (Auckland Park), 1 Napier Avenue, Auckland Park, Johannesburg
Cost: EWT Members: R50 Talk, R150 Talk and Dinner, Non-members: R55 Talk, R155 Talk and Dinner
Dress: Smart casual
For more information, contact Nicola on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 011 486 1102.
EWT Tea and Talk: The wonders of Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by NatureSpeaker: Tessa Rayner
Date: 16 September 2010
Time: 10:15 am for 10:30 am
Venue: EWT Offices, Johannesburg Zoological Gardens, Erlswold Way, Saxonwold, Johannesburg Cost: EWT members and non members: R20
For more information, contact Nicola on email@example.com or call 011 486 1102.
BIKE4BEASTSJoin us for this exciting, adrenaline-filled cross country MTB Challenge across two provinces on the Ezemvelo Nature Reserve.
When: Sunday 19 September 2010
Where: Ezemvelo Nature Reserve (4km North of Bronkhorstspruit)
Time: Registration from 15:00 Saturday 18, and 6:30 Sunday 19. Race starts at 8:00 am
Format: 25km and 63km MTB Race
Enter online at www.bike4beasts.co.za
For more information contact Tammy on 011 4861102 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eco Note-Books made from recycled newspaper
A set of 12 pencils made from recycled newspaper
2GB memory sticks made from alien invasive plants
Support for our IT 4 Conservation ProgrammeInformation Security Architects (ISA) has supported the EWT since January 2006. Being ideally positioned to partner with companies who are serious about protecting their e-business investment, ISA has taken their responsibilities one step further to incorporate the protection of the environment through their ongoing support of the EWT. Read more...
Recycling initiative boosts the EWTThere are many different ways to support the EWT's cause. Cape-based initiative ProjectPlus, led by Managing Director Paul Christison, generates additional income for us, while at the same time reducing the corporate carbon footprint, by collecting ink cartridges for recycling. Thanks to his ongoing efforts, 200 companies have joined the initiative in the past three months.
If you are interested in signing up, the new national number is 086 11 33 421. Paul can also be contacted at email@example.com.
Paul does personal collections from businesses across the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Sister company, Corporate Collections, covers Polokwane, Witbank, Sasolburg, Pretoria and the greater Johannesburg region along with the northern suburbs, Midrand, East Rand, Roodepoort and Randburg. Read more...
Latest supportersAltron - Barloworld - Distell - Estate Late HR Hitchman - Mike Hainebach - Phyllo De Villiers Trust - ProjectPlus
In-kind supportersAfrica Geographic - Alternative Airport Parking - Ellies Electronics - Federal Air - Freedom Wines - Jacana - Little Luxury Water Coolers - Marlin Lodge - National Boat Show - Painted Dog Wines - Protea Hotels