Hello EWT supporters
When 2011 dawned and I first heard the reference to the year ahead in fact being "20 HEAVEN", I thought great! What a positive outlook most people seem to have on the year and how uplifting! Indeed, most predictions are that this will be a good year, and certainly better than 2010, for many. The outlook is that the financial climate will stabilise and possibly improve, jobs will be created and local government elections will possibly encourage an improvement, albeit a possible short-lived one, in service delivery and administration.
Mother Nature has a different perspective however. She has clearly decided to reinforce the message that she is mightier than us mortal beings and should be respected, revered and protected. Before the third week of 2011 had even passed, 38 people had died in the Sri Lankan floods that also saw more than a million families displaced, at least 50 wild elephants drowned and the loss of 48 679 cattle, 22 279 goats and 172 884 poultry. In Brazil, torrential rain caused landslides that have so far killed over 600 people and in Australia, the worst floods since 1909 saw the loss of 20 lives with 4 000 people in more than 40 towns being affected by flood waters.
In almost all the corners of the globe, we are being reminded that we are all equal, and equally susceptible to the 'acts of God' as insurers and policy makers call them. Our only resilience is to respect nature, maintain intact habitats, restore degraded ecosystems, utilise natural resources wisely and take heed of the power and force of nature in all its splendor! Just listen to any farmer and he will quickly tell you about managing river banks, mangroves and forests for their ability to protect us from the disasters we repeatedly, and increasingly are witnessing around the globe!
It does, however, seem that in some areas we are on the right track and 2011 also started with some good news in the conservation sector. On the 11th of January a pack of 14 Wild Dogs was released into the Tembe Elephant Reserve, as part of expanding the range of this Endangered species in KwaZulu-Natal. Read more about this exciting event in this newsletter and look for regular updates via our web page. Then, on the 4th of January, the United States Court of Appeals delivered a groundbreaking judgement ordering that Arnold and David Bengis and Jeffrey Noll pay restitution to South Africa following extensive unlawful harvesting of south and west coast Rock Lobster in South African waters. This judgement signals the first time that a court determined that a person can be liable for damages to the overharvesting of fish stocks which sets an important international precedent for overharvesting of natural resources.
We, at the EWT, are excited about the promise that 2011 brings and the opportunity we all have to keep things moving in the right direction. Roll on 20-Heaven!
Second chance for African Wild DogsOn Tuesday 11 January 2011, 14 African Wild Dogs were released into Tembe Elephant Park in KwaZulu-Natal. The release followed extensive community liaison and preparation work over the last year. The introduction of this Wild Dog pack into the park is vital to the survival of South Africa's managed Wild Dog metapopulation. For more information on the release and Wild Dog metapopulation work click here.
The Ludwig's Bustard ProjectThe EWT, through our Eskom/EWT Strategic Partnership is involved in assessing the population impacts of power line collision mortality on the Endangered Ludwig's Bustard with a dedicated project based at the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute at the University of Cape Town. The Project aims to learn more about bustard movements in relation to the power grid to assist in developing effective mitigation. The Project is using satellite tags to gain this information. So far three adult male birds have been tagged and are being monitored. For more information contact Jessica Shaw, at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology.
The EWT a centre for biodiversity data publishingThere is an unprecedented volume of primary biodiversity data being generated around the world and large amounts of data are lost when conservation projects and initiatives that generate these data come to an end. To address this issue, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) has created a distributed 'Data Hosting Infrastructure' across the web that will act as a mechanism for archiving and publishing primary biodiversity data. The EWT has recently become a Biodiversity Data Hosting Infrastructure Centre for GBIF, where we will provide individuals and institutions with a platform to publish their data. To read more about this initiative click here.
The 2010 UN Climate Change ConferenceThe United Nations Climate Change Conference took place in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010. This was the sixteenth Conference of the Parties and the sixth meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The seventeenth Conference of the Parties will be held in Durban, South Africa from the 28th November to 9th December 2011. For more details on the outcomes of the Cancun Conference please click here.
Wildlife smuggler finally brought to justiceThe story of Anson Wong Ken Liang, one of the world's most notorious wildlife traffickers, sheds light on a few key issues facing global wildlife law enforcement. The story profiles the acts leading up to Wong's sentence in November 2010 after being caught illegally smuggling reptiles into Malaysia and details just how complex and obscure the international wildlife trade is. Click here for the full story.
Better forests, better lives2011 is the International Year for Forests. Throughout 2011, the United Nations General Assembly aims to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. For more information click here.
EWT Talk and Dinner : are Dugongs soon to be a myth of the ocean?Join us as Karen Allen introduces you to the magical world of Dugongs and the crucial elements of an Emergency Protection Project to save this species from extinction.
Date: 8 February 2011
Time: 18:30 for 19:00
Price: Members: R50 for talk and R115 for dinner, Non-members: R75 for talk and R115 for dinner
Place: Country Club, Johannesburg. Napier Road, Auckland Park
Contact Nicola Vogel on 011 486 1102 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The EWT Mammal Master's Golf DayThe EWT Mammal Master's Golf Day will be held on 27 May 2011. Please diarise this date and should you be interested in a 4-ball or sponsorship opportunities, please email email@example.com
Hazyview Golf DayOn the 3rd of December 2010, Sabi River Sun Resorts, in Hazyview, Mpumalanga held a Golf Day which raised over R38 000 for the Endangered Wildlife Trust. Due to the success of the event, Sabi River Sun has decided to make this an annual event and the EWT is pleased to be the beneficiary. More on the next event will follow later in the year.
A poem for Mapungubwe
When man first walked upon the earth singing with the children of the sun: Impala, Kudu, Nyala
Time when man first sang the hunting songs
And painted the eland-spirits on his roof
And at night in the dream-time
I dream of Mapungubwe Mountains
Where the jackal-headed man
Sang the secret songs of the Golden Rhino
And always, always my heart sings
Of the aching beauty of this land
And in my deepest soul
Quicken the quiet song
Singing, singing the songs of home
And in the evening I dream of rain
On ngwenye trees
Of walking through herds of painted cattle
Looking to he who owns the stars
To sing the Ikwezi song to the evening sky
Written by Pat Whitfield
Port Alfred, 2008
For the full version of "Heart Song for Africa" click here.
To help SAVE MAPUNGUBWE click here.
EWT team joins the Land Rover Defender TrophyLand Rover has supported the EWT's Carnivore Conservation Programme for over ten years with the use of vehicles for field work. This year they are committed to supporting conservation projects on an even greater level. In a bid to increase awareness of the plight of the African Wild Dog and the vital support given by Land Rover South Africa the EWT will be participating in the Land Rover Defender Trophy in February 2011 as the 'EWT Wild Dog Defenders'. Follow our blog here and show your support for Wild Dog conservation!
MYPLANET Charity ChallengeVote for the Endangered Wildlife Trust in this year's MyVillage MyPlanet Vote 4 Charity Competition. We could win R15 000 for our wildlife! Plus, you can win R5 000 in Woolworths gift cards simply by voting or referring a friend. If you have a MySchool card or linked Woolworths card, cast your vote at www.myschool.co.za/vote4charity between 14 February and 14 April 2011. Dont have a card? Apply for one today and support our organisation. It doesn't cost you a cent. Call 0860 100 445 or visit www.myschool.co.za.
EWT recycling initiativesThe EWT's Conservation Leadership Programme has initiated a recycling project and we urge you to bring us your used batteries, ink cartridges and other e-waste. So far we have collected about 45 kilograms of batteries which will be properly disposed of through a Uniross recycling depot. If you cannot get your e-waste to the EWT (Johannesburg Zoological Gardens, Erlswold Way, Saxonwold) then please use the recycling depot provided at Pick 'n Pay stores and most large shopping malls. For more information please visit our website.
Big thanks to our generous donorsThe EWT extends its sincerest gratitude to the following supporters for their huge generosity towards the end of 2010 and early 2011:
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