Category Archives: Sustainability

The Pope on Conservation

The most important publication issued since the first report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has gone largely unnoticed in the conservation world.

The Laudato Si is a 200 page position paper issued by the Catholic Church on the impact humans are having on Planet Earth. Published in May 2015 the document is a call-to-action to redress the damage we’ve caused to Mother Nature. 

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Averting the 6th Extinction

Things are aquiver on the Plains of the Karoo. There’s a buzz in the air that belies its bucolic atmosphere.

 In an area where the ancestors are renowned for their willfulness the cause of the hubbub is surprising because it’s all about custodianship and caring.

 What’s happening is this: the farmers of the Camdeboo are collaborating with the Wilderness Foundation and SAN Parks to preserve their land for future generations. Situated in the Karoo, a semi-desert area in South Africa where the consequences of relentless land exploitation are deadly and where fossils from the Permian extinction abound, it’s a match made in heaven. Continue reading Averting the 6th Extinction

It’s All In A Word

An event that represents a milestone in the affairs of men and the planet Earth occurred late last week. It took place in Gaborone, Botswana, under the mantle of the Summit for Sustainability in Africa.

Over the 24th and 25th May, the latter being Africa Day and the conclusion of the UN climate talks in Bonn is no coincidence I feel sure, the summit attracted leaders from across the continent. Presidents Khama, Sirleaf, Pohamba and Ali attended, as did Vice President Bilal. Gabon, Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa sent Ministers as representatives.

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Rhino Remedies

As rhino continue to be slaughtered for their horn the debate on how to prevent this rages on. All kinds of radical solutions are put forward, which makes for healthy debate, but when it clouds the true nature of the problem it can be downright destructive.

Many of these ideas suggest that there is a silver bullet that will stop the carnage. The problem is too vast and wide for such a quick fix.

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Change Our Prospects 17

Flying over northern Botswana at the end of the dry season brings home just how delicate our hold on life is. It has nothing to do with the single-engined Cessna I’m in nor the fact that it is made of very dentable aluminium. It also has nothing to do with the +40C temperatures that force us to eat up extra runway in order to take off. No. This sense of fragility comes from what you see from the air – a god’s view of life on earth.

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Diamonds are a Democracy’s Best Friend

“Bamba!” Sakoi Shengaera greets us in the village of Shaikarawe, 15kms west of the Okavango River in northern Botswana. The village is inhabited by Khwe Bushmen and we’re here to learn about the culture and beliefs of the people who call themselves the Bugakhwe or Bush Khwe.

We find a shady spot.   It’s September – The Month When Messengers Come – so called by the Bugakhwe because when leaving home in the cool mornings on food gathering expeditions one doesn’t anticipate the heat of midday.  Caught unprepared, someone has to be sent to the nearest settlement to ask for water. Continue reading Diamonds are a Democracy’s Best Friend