Environment

NGOs Assist Victims of Shack Fires

The City of Cape Town says the 68 people left destitute after their homes were gutted in two separate fires on 28 January 2015 have been assisted by two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and are temporarily staying with friends and family.

NGOs - Historical Disadvantaged Individuals and the Mustadifin Foundation - provided blankets and hot meal to the 50 people who were left homeless after fire destroyed 12 shacks in the Bo-Kaap informal settlement.

Malawi Hardest Hit by Floods

Doctors without Borders (MSF) in Malawi say the south of the country has been hit hardest by the recent floods that displaced hundreds of thousands of people.
 
MSF’s Amaury Gregoire, points out that, “We are very concerned because there are still pockets of people that have no access except by helicopter.”
 
Gregoire states that the relief is being organised around the camps and MSF is going to develop strategies to access the people that are in the communities that are more difficult to access.
 

Call for Progress on Climate Change and Poverty

Nobel laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, says almost one billion more people will face a life of extreme poverty unless world leaders make progress on poverty and climate change at two crucial summits this year.

Tutu is backing ‘action/2015’, a campaign which was launched by 1 000 groups - representing interests ranging from human rights and the environment to development and health - to put pressure on governments ahead of a United Nations summit in September 2014.

Eskom Blamed for Electricity Problems

Earthlife Africa Johannesburg has criticised Eskom for failing to apologise to South Africans for the ongoing electricity problems when it held a press briefing on Thursday, 15 January 2015.

The group’s energy policy officer, Dominique Doyle, points out that, "The closest the public came to an apology is chief executive officer, Tshediso Matona, stating that Eskom is now opting to do the right thing, thereby acknowledging that Eskom has been doing the wrong thing."

Nature Conservationist Ian Player Dies

The Wilderness Foundation has announced that nature conservationist, Ian Player, has died at his home in the Karkloof Valley in KwaZulu-Natal.
 
In a press statement, the organisation declares that: "87-year-old Dr Ian Player, passed away peacefully at midday on 30 November 2014 after a short illness.”
 
Player committed his life to conservation and, in particular, to the preservation of the rhino.
 

Agreement to Limit Carbon Emissions

The United States and China have agreed to limit carbon emissions, but the move might only be enough to save developed countries in the North.

Under an agreement, the United States will reduce its emissions by a quarter by 2025 and China will reach a maximum in its emissions by 2030, cap them, and then decrease them.

At the signing ceremony, President Barack Obama said: “As the world’s largest economies and greatest emitters of greenhouse gases, we have a special responsibility to lead the global effort against climate change.”

Impact of Climate Change Highlighted

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the impacts of climate change will significantly affect food security, water availability, human health and ultimately economic growth in Africa.
 
The report, which is under discussion at the opening of the four day Climate Change Dialogue at Gallagher Estate in Midrand, found that Africa's climate is already changing and the impacts are already being felt.
 

AWF Calls for Lion Hunting Ban

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), calls on the world to totally ban sport hunting of Africa’s lions until the decline in lion populations is reversed.

AWF senior director of conservation science, Philip Muruthi, warns that lions are extinct in North Africa, severely depleted across West and Central Africa, and now losing ground in their strongholds of East and Southern Africa.

R30m Donation for Anti-Poaching Fight

The Peace Parks Foundation says it will invest R30 million in anti-poaching efforts in Mozambique and game parks in Limpopo.

In a press statement, the Foundation declares that the funds would be spent on upgrading field communication technology used by rangers, cross-border radio communication systems, training rangers, improving their working conditions, counter-trafficking programmes, sniffer dogs, and research.

Call for a Realistic Approach to End Hunger

Oxfam says that a more holistic and integrated approach needs to be developed to end the scourge of hunger in South Africa. 

Oxfam Economic Justice Campaign manager, Rashmi Mistry, says that according to the report ‘The Hidden Face of Hunger in South Africa’, low incomes, rising costs, a lack of access to productive resources and climate change are amongst the reasons causing 13 million people to go to bed hungry.

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