Republic of South Africa
In celebrations to mark the International Day For Biological Diversity, the Republic of South Africa announced the Ramsar listing of two new Wetlands of International Importance, the sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Islands and the Makuleke Wetlands in the far northeast of the country, part of the Kruger National Park on the border with Zimbabwe and Mozambique. South Africa has now designated a total of 19 Ramsar sites, covering a surface area of 543,978 hectares. More...
The Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI)
The Biodiversity and Wine Initiative is a pioneering partnership between Wines of South Africa (WOSA) and the South African conservation sector. Its goal is to minimize further loss of threatened natural habitat and to contribute to sustainable wine production through the adoption of “biodiversity guidelines.”
On May 22, the International Day for Biological Diversity, Jo Mason from WOSA was available for interview to discuss how South Africa is leading the world in terms of eco-friendly wine production, through an industry’s commitment to preserving biodiversity.
The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) used the International Day for Biological Diversity as a platform to draw attention to the considerable and growing problem of exotic or alien animals in our country. Due to several discoveries of exotic animals in shipments at the airport, NSPCA issued a press release on 22 May to draw attention to this very serious issue in biodiversity conservation. Click here
to see press release.
City of Cape Town
The City of Cape Town and the Provincial Government of the Western Cape jointly celebrated IBD at the Blaauwberg Conservation Area (BCA). The BCA is a nature reserve of which 953ha was, on 22 May 2007, proclaimed a Local and Provincial Nature Reserve by the Minister for Environmental Affairs, Planning and Economic Development, Tasneem Essop. The programme of the day included a guided bus trip through the BCA, and presentations by guest speakers, including Minister Essop and Deputy Mayor Charlotte Williams.
The Indalu Yethu (Our Heritage) campaign, a partnership between the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (WESSA), was officially launched on IBD in Mogale City. The celebrations took place in two stages.
The first was an Imbizo, a forum for enhancing diologue between the government and the people, with the Mogale City community. The key objective of the Imbizo was to allow people from the area to share best practice examples and to exchange views on how the community can maximize returns invested in good environmental practices. An equally important objective was to foster stronger relations between Mogale City, as an example of South Africa’s communities, and the national Parliament. The chair of the Imbizo was Langa Zita, the current chair of the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs. The Imbizo was a success and attracted more than 200 guests, representing local government, neighboring schools, civil society organizations and local businesses.
The second part was the formal "launch" of the campaigne at the Maropeng Centre, which drew more than 150 decision makers from the government and business sectors. Mr. Koketso C. Seerane, the Mayor of Mogale City, welcomed guests. This was followed by a keynote address from Minister of Environmental Affairs & Tourism, Mr. Marthinus van Schalkwyk.