Limpopo Biathlon – Musina Leg 1

On the morning of Saturday 21st September, a good number of adults and youngsters congregated at Messina Primary School, to take part in the first leg of the Limpopo Biathlon/ Tweekamp.

The first part of the event was taken up with track running, on various distances, according the various age and gender groups. Here are a few photos, click on the images to enlarge them;

After the last of the men had done their laps, everyone moved down to the school’s swimming pool. Again, depending on the age groups, the distances varied.

 

Medals and prizes were handed out, to finish off the event.

A larger gallery of photographs can be accessed through this link; http://www.365.acdsee.com/folders_public.php?profileid=1612960&folderid=2152344

There are even a couple of short video clips, for you to enjoy 🙂

 

Congratulations to everyone who participated. It seems likely that a second leg will be held in Musina, later, after other venues have hosted their own biathletes.

Prestigious Award For EWT

Well-known local conservationist, Wendy Collinson Jonker, has sent us this press release.

24 September 2019

The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) is extremely proud to announce that two of its programmes, the Wildlife and Energy and Wildlife and Transport programmes, were recipients last night of the International Conference on Ecology and Transportation (ICOET) International Stewardship Award for their innovative and holistic approach to tackling the impacts of linear infrastructure, such as roads and power lines, on wildlife in Africa.

The International Stewardship Award is presented to agencies or organisations that demonstrate, through the results of their actions, a cooperative effort to maintain or restore ecological function in the midst of transportation above the regulatory requirements.

I’ve just attended a fantastic conference in Sacramento, USA – the International Conference on Ecology and Transportation (ICOET), with two of my EWT colleagues (Lourens Leeuwner and Innocent Buthelezi). There were almost 600 attendees from 19 different countries and we had the opportunity to present on our work that the Wildlife and Energy Programme is undertaking on power lines, as well as our work with the Wildlife and Transport Programme.
It was an incredible honour (and very humbling) to receive the ICOET International Stewardship Award. We would like to thank the ICOET Committee for their recognition of our work and look forward to seeing all our old and new international friends from the linear infrastructure and ecology field soon.

Lourens Leeuwner, EWT Wildlife and Energy Programme Manager, and Wendy Collinson, EWT Wildlife and Transport Programme Manager, won the prestigious award on behalf of the organisation. African economies are currently among the fastest growing in the world, and this is reflected in expansion plans for road, rail and energy transmission lines, with high concentrations of such projects slated to occur in environmentally sensitive areas. The EWT’s Wildlife and Transport and Wildlife and Energy programmes are working to address these environmental challenges, through putting plans in place to implement mitigation methodologies – one of the first African NGOs to do this. The EWT believe in a less siloed approach that combines all forms of transportation and energy, since these necessary modes usually coexist and have multiple negative impacts on biodiversity. “It is an honour to be nominated, it is an outstanding achievement to reach the finals, and an exceptional milestone and celebration of excellence to win one of these awards,” said Wendy Collinson.

The Wildlife and Transport Programme has improved our understanding of the impacts of transportation-linear infrastructure, namely rail and roads, on wildlife over the last nine years in South Africa, establishing partnerships with relevant stakeholders to provide measures to reduce the impacts on wildlife, whilst the Wildlife and Energy Programme has been working in partnership with Eskom for the last 23 years, developing solutions to wildlife and energy infrastructure impacts. This partnership is internationally recognised as a leader in the implementation of innovative solutions to curb the impact of electrical infrastructure on wildlife.

“Our results are not limited to ‘quick-fix temporary solutions’ but demonstrate sustainable products,” elaborated Lourens Leeuwner. “One of the EWT’s mitigation success stories has demonstrated that bird mitigation on electrical infrastructure reduces collision mortality by approximately 90%.”

ICOET is a biennial international event that addresses the broad range of ecological issues related to linear infrastructure systems, namely, roads, rail and power lines. Experts from these fields gather at ICOET to share current research, quality applications, and best practises that can enhance both the project development process and the ecological sustainability of all these modes. The ICOET gala dinner took place in California, USA on Monday, 23 September, and celebrated the most outstanding contributions to ecological stewardship. Fraser Shilling of the Road Ecology Center at UC Davis, and the main organisers of ICOET said, “The EWT unites industry and wildlife impacts in Africa, working towards shared objectives, expanding knowledge, and understanding how to ultimately minimise the threat to wildlife.”

The core supporters of the EWT’s Wildlife and Transport Programme are Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire, De Beers Group of Companies, Ford Wildlife Foundation, N3 Toll Concession, GreenMatter, and TRAC N4; the core project of the EWT’s Wildlife and Energy Programme is the Eskom/EWT Strategic Partnership. Both programmes are dedicated to minimising the negative interactions between wildlife and linear infrastructure.

Fuel Up Again

South African fuel prices are set for a price hike in October after drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil refinery, Abqaiq, in mid-September, according to the Automobile Association (AA).

“The landed price of fuels in South Africa jumped by as much as a rand a litre just three days after the attack, before settling back slightly. This turned a generally stable price picture into a negative one,” said the AA.

The organisation predicts an increase per litre in 95 octane petrol, diesel and illuminating paraffin of 19 cents, 25 cents and 24 cents, respectively. However, 93 octane petrol is likely to see a slight decline of four cents per litre.

The AA believes the consequences of these drone attacks will trickle into the South African markets, and without the rand’s solid performance, an even heftier fuel price is expected.

How Great Is This?

CARE 4 PAWS DAY

 

This was one of the best and most emotional days we have ever had! Today, Laerskool Messina Primary and Bush Babies Pre-School made sure that animals in Messina who don’t always get a square meal, were taken care of!

Click on the images in the galleries to view them full-size.

We are awestruck at the amount of food that was donated and the amount of love, participation and caring which went into this project, from the whole community, teachers, learners, parents, grandparents and guardians. The principal of Messina Primary, Lucinda Vorster, also expressed appreciation for the generosity shown by everyone.

We have no words other than to say, “Thank you so so so much!”

What an amazing day!

Support This Worthwhile Initiative

These are the new TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) donation boxes at both veterinary clinics (Limpopo & Savuti).

Please help, with a donation, there are so many strays in and around Musina.

Many thanks to both Dr. Suzanne Wohlitz & Dr. Heinrich Vollgraaff who are always available to help with sterilization. It costs about R300 per female cat and R200 per male cat.

Donations can also be paid directly to either of the veterinarian’s accounts, with the reference: Musina TNR. Please send proof of payment to ebekker@lantic.net. Also check out the Musina TNR Facebook (click on the link), page and see what has been done for the stray cats in Musina.