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first_imgThe magical corncrake has been given a chance at survival in Donegal and other counties after Ireland received €4.3 million from the EU to fund a four-year conservation project for the bird.Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan welcomed the announcement of €4.3 million in EU Life funding, awarded to her Department’s National Parks and Wildlife Service, for a project focused on improving the conservation status of the corncrake in Ireland.Once synonymous with the Irish countryside, the population of the corncrake has declined by 85% since the 1970s, with a 92% decrease in range. This means that the species is now effectively confined to Donegal and parts of Connacht, including offshore islands; supporting the corncrake in these remaining areas is critical to its survival.Announcing the award of funding today Madigan said: “The decline in corncrake numbers is of significant conservation concern in Ireland. Conserving species in their natural habitats requires a strategic approach to succeed.”Madigan said that the funding “will allow my Department, working in concert with stakeholders across government and the communities in question, to put concrete and sustainable measures in place to help secure the future of this species, which has a special place in Irish culture”.The €5.9m budget ‘LIFE Atlantic Crex’ project is due to commence in January 2020 and will run for five years. The project will see conservation work funded in project sites in Counties Donegal, Mayo and Galway. Working in partnership with landowners, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology and Fota Wildlife Park, the project aims to deliver a 20% increase on the 2018 population of the corncrake recorded in Ireland by 2024.“During 2019 we have introduced a number of significant measures to protect and promote Ireland’s biodiversity,” Madigan added.”The corncrake is a species listed for special protection under Annex 1 of the EU Birds Directive.Grant of €4.3M aims to save corncrake and increase numbers was last modified: December 19th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Corncrakedonegalgrantlast_img read more

first_img19 November 2012 Transnet’s unveiling of 50 locally built fuel-transporting tank wagons was a milestone in South Africa’s quest to become an original equipment manufacturing hub on the continent, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said last week. Gigaba was speaking at the unveiling of the tank wagons at Transnet Rail Engineering’s plant in Germiston, east of Johannesburg. The 17-metre long wagons, each capable of carrying approximately 74 000 litres, will be used to transport highly flammable liquids stored under great pressure. The wagons are a product of a partnership between Transnet Pipelines (TPL) and Transnet Rail Engineering (TRE), both divisions of state-owned company Transnet. TRE has invested over R20-million in modern technologies specific to the sophisticated wagons. As the owner of the design of the wagons, TRE had now positioned it as the leader in the manufacturing of the new high-pressure tank wagons in southern Africa, Gigaba said.‘Innovative opportunity for the economy’ “This technological progress presents a massive innovative opportunity for the South African economy,” he said. “It demonstrates that TRE can act as both the original equipment manufacturer and prime contractor for the design and manufacture of complex and safety critical rolling stock. “This is clearly a watershed that all South Africans can be extremely proud of, as we continue to build and demonstrate our capability in our quest to become an important technology and original equipment manufacturing hub in Africa,” he said. The order for the tank wagons was placed in 2011, with the last six wagons handed over in October. TPL decided to initially focus its market demand strategy on the delivery of fuel from its Tarlton terminal near Krugersdorp to Botswana. The wagons will be used to ensure fuel security to the country’s landlocked neighbour Botswana, Transnet said. The service began operating in earnest in October and, depending on the demand from other outlying areas, the service could see an increase in demand for fuel supplies, in which case more wagons will be needed. “The more we complete and showcase projects of this nature, the more we must increase our research and development investment so that we stay ahead of our competitors and further refine our products,” Gigaba said. He said he looked forward to TRE receiving orders for the tanker wagons from customers on the continent and Asia, among others. “It is imperative that we build on this experience. We need to move TRE systematically up the value chain to become prime contractor and manufacturer of locomotives.” Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

first_img1 February 2013 The Biodiversity Management Plan for South Africa’s black rhinoceros aims to ensure the survival and sustainable growth of the country’s rhino population in the face of a changing environment and the ongoing threat posed by poaching. Gazetted last week by Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, the plan envisages the continued existence of the global black rhino population through the continuation of viable populations of the two indigenous black rhino subspecies in natural habitats throughout South Africa. The short-term, 10-year goal is to achieve an average South African meta-population growth rate for the two subspecies of at least 5% per annum, so as to achieve meta-population sizes for the two subspecies of 3 060. The plan states that effective law enforcement, improved relations between neighbouring countries, effective criminal investigations and prosecutions, and the securing and monitoring of rhino horn stockpiles, remain key to minimising losses from poaching. Human resources should also be developed so that there are sufficient skills available to protect and manage black rhinos, while sustainable political and social support for rhino conservation efforts should be encouraged. Strict hunting guidelines are included in the plan to ensure proper control over the removal of animals from breeding populations, and to combat illegal hunting. The plan “will contribute significantly to the management and conservation of black rhino, presently under threat from poachers,” the Department of Environmental Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday. The Conservation Plan for the Black Rhino, which forms the basis of the Biodiversity Management Plan for the black rhino, was jointly developed by South African members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Rhino Management Group. The South African Rhino Management Group, which functions under the auspices of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Rhino Specialist Group, is to manage the implementation of the plan, including the legally required approval of management plans submitted by rhino conservation bodies for adoption by the government. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

first_imgThe opportunities of the digital age could be the engine of growth for South Africa, delegates heard at the Vision 2030 Summit. It needed more investment in skills and infrastructure, but it could use technology to push local innovation.The digital age offers South Africa the opportunity to change the face of our economy. (Image: Strike a pose photography)Sulaiman PhilipInvestment in information and communications technology infrastructure today will bear fruit before the National Development Plan (NDP) ends in 2030. Embracing the opportunities of the digital age could be the engine of growth in South Africa. This was the view of speakers at the Vision 2030 Summit held in Johannesburg between 21 and 22 June.As Limpopo Premier Chupu Mathabatha pointed out in his keynote address, to work towards a possible future we need to be able to visualise it. The NDP is that vision. “The people of South Africa, united in their diversity, have all embraced this future as visualised in the NDP. The challenge for all of us is to put shoulder to the wheel and work in unity towards this shared future.”The South African contextBrand South Africa’s head of research, Dr Petrus de Kock, set the context upon which South Africa needs to build. South Africa, despite its many challenges, remains a magnet for investment. For South Africans, it still offers the best opportunity for personal development. “We talk about vision but to transform our world we need imagination.”The world, De Kock pointed out, was still recovering from the economic meltdown of 2008. In some countries, especially Western economies, that had led to more aggressive inward-looking policies. South Africa had escaped the worst and as future growth would be driven by the Asian/African axis, we could grow if we were ready.“We talk about vision but to transform our world we need imagination,” Dr de Kock speaking at the Vision 2030 Summit. (Image: Strike a Pose Photography)The country and its people remained open and welcoming he said, and pointed to our tolerance as a society. “We exist in a unique context. We are unique in our constitutional acceptance of difference, religious tolerance for example. This is the identity of who we are.”The future can be in ICTPost and Telecommunications Deputy Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams — like the speakers who spoke after her — championed the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. She has been a strong advocate for the benefits that that will accrue to South Africa if we embrace the digital world.“We need to integrate digital goals into our day to day lives. We need to become comfortable with the changes and benefits that will come. Most importantly, we need to be more than just consumers of the internet.”Ndabeni-Abrahams said South Africans needed to embrace the 21st century. The digital age, she said, would allow the country to show off the innovation of which we were capable. The deputy minister acknowledged that South Africa faced infrastructure challenges, but added that innovative solutions would help to make the best use of the infrastructure we had.“We have launched the Internet for All with a pilot project in the OR Tambo municipality. The idea is that no matter where you are, you will have access. We can find solutions that have South African characteristics.”Beyond infrastructure, South Africa’s shortage of skills in digital industries had hamstrung the growth of the sector. In response to this dearth, she pointed to the public-private programme with Google, which had undertaken to train 5 million coders over five years, as the way forward.“We need to work together to breach the skills gap. We need to find these innovative ways forward, solutions that show that not only are we spending, but that we’re gaining on more digitally advanced nations.”InfrastructureOne of the important benefits of the digital age highlighted by the deputy minister would be the lower cost of communication. Working towards lowering costs while still innovating was Siemens’ history in South Africa since it started doing business in the country in 1860.Sabine Dall’Omo, Siemens South Africa chief executive, highlighted the company’s relevance in South Africa. Its operations contributed R6.8-billion to gross domestic product (GDP) and its technology lay at the heart of 31 mega projects. From the first telegraph built, the company had been “driving innovation and now driving digitisation”.A benefit of the digital age often overlooked was the way technology was making it easier and cheaper to transfer technology to developing nations. This benefit had allowed Siemens to use innovations developed in more mature economies to benefit South Africa.It did so in the automotive industry, for example: “One hundred and twenty thousand cars — or 50% — of cars produced in South Africa are built using Siemens technology.”Siemens’ Sabine Dall’omo and Dr Petrus de Kock being interviewed after their presentations. (Image: Strike a Pose Photography)eCommerceTo highlight the importance of the internet to economic growth, the Chinese TELE company Huawei monitored sales on one day — 18 June 2017. The study highlighted the power and opportunity presented by e-commerce.Huawei studied the buying habits of people on T-Mall, the Chinese online shopping service.It found:In a five-minute spell 200 tons of milk powder were bought onlineIn a seven-minute period 200 million nappies were boughtIn a 26-minute spell 10 million lipsticks were boughtThe fastest time between order and delivery was 13 minutes85% of all orders that day were made on a mobile deviceThis, in the words of Leonard Chang, Huawei’s managing director of corporate industry development and marketing, showed the power e-commerce had to create economic miracles. If South Africa was to meet the growth requirements of the NDP it needed to embrace digitisation. “Connectivity is not only a human right but an economic growth right.”Digitisation could be the engine for growth. While South Africa had among the strongest ICT policy frameworks, investment from the government and the public sector had lagged. The company’s research had shown that for every additional dollar (about R12) invested in ICT infrastructure there could be a $5 benefit to GDP growth by 2025.In the recently released Huawei 2017 Global Connectivity Index, it was reported that South Africa led Africa in terms of connectivity but lagged behind the rest of the world. “If we go at the same pace as we do today, we may never catch up with the frontrunners. At the same time, we must realise there is no shortcut in climbing the ladder of digital transformation.”The NDP was a start, but the vision was never enough, Chang warned. The country needed to move faster to close the digital divide. South Africa needed a strong action plan with achievable targets. One area that needed improvement was building ICT talent.Building skillsMymoena Ismail, the CEO of the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (Nemisa), believes South Africa was closing in on the Mobile Moment – when there was at least one mobile smartphone per citizen.She explained that the world was close to a new kind of future. “We are going to see a convergence of a new kind of tech, one that seamlessly merges physical, digital and biological spheres. If we do not take advantage and adapt, we will not benefit.”Her organisation focused on developing e-skill capacity in South Africa by offering training courses across the country. “We are part of the solution to ensure South Africa has the necessary skills to be leaders in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”In his address, Mathabatha said the NDP identified a stronger and better educational system and a more equal society as the keys to unlock economic growth. “The NDP envisions a South Africa where everyone feels free yet bound to others; where everyone embraces their full potential, a country where opportunity is determined not by birth, but by ability, education and hard work.“This is a vision embraced by all South Africans. The challenge, as I have said, is about navigating the routes towards such a future.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

first_imgTo celebrate the U.S. arrival of its newest, largest and most innovative ship, Carnival Cruise Line held an overnight gala event last week in New York featuring a concert for Operation Homefront military families by the Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year and seven-time GRAMMY award-winning country music super star Carrie Underwood.Carrie Underwood performs aboard the new Carnival VistaCredit/Copyright: Andy NewmanThe event also included the ship’s official naming ceremony with Miss USA Deshauna Barber – the first woman serving in the U.S. military to hold the title – presiding over the ceremonies as godmother and releasing the ceremonial bottle of champagne that smashed over the hull of the massive 133,500-ton ship. In addition to the concert, the festivities included overnight accommodations, meals, activities and entertainment for hundreds of military families.The festivities represent the culmination of Honor.Family.Fun., Carnival’s year-long celebration to support Operation Homefront and help the organization fulfill its mission of building strong, stable, and secure military families.“Carnival Cruise Line carries more active and retired military personnel and I couldn’t think of a better way to introduce this spectacular vessel than by honoring and celebrating the sacrifices of our Armed Forces personnel,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “Deshauna is the ideal candidate to serve as Carnival Vista’s godmother, embodying the spirit of commitment and sacrifice of those who protect our freedoms each and every day.”Underwood performed an hour-long set for hundreds of military personnel and their families, many of whom were given the chance of a lifetime to meet the artist during various meet and greet opportunities during stops along her Storyteller Tour, and were invited to attend the festivities aboard Carnival Vista.“It was truly an honor to perform aboard Carnival Vista today and celebrate the incredible sacrifices of the brave men and women of the Armed Forces,” said Underwood. “Throughout my partnership with Carnival Cruise Line we have recognized the efforts of our dedicated military personnel while raising funds for Operation Homefront. It is something I am very proud to be a part of.”The daughter of a retired Army master sergeant who was a member of the Special Forces, Barber joined the Army Reserve as a quartermaster officer in 2011. After earning her bachelors in business management from Virginia State University, Barber went on to complete her masters in computer information systems from the University of Maryland University College. She currently serves as logistics commander for the 988th Quartermaster Detachment Unit in Rockville, Md.“I’m honored to serve as godmother of the brand new Carnival Vista and join a long line of strong, successful women who have fulfilled this time-honored role,” said Barber. “In addition to serving as godmother, today was extra special as I had the opportunity to meet several Operation Homefront families and hear their stories. It is a day I’ll never forget.”“We’re thrilled Carnival Cruise Line has honored those that do so much for the freedoms we enjoy daily – our service members and their families – with a truly memorable day onboard their newest ship,” said Brig. Gen. (ret.) John I. Pray Jr., president and CEO of Operation Homefront. “Like-minded partners, like Carnival and Carrie Underwood, clearly demonstrate, through their actions, their steadfast commitment to our men and women in uniform.”As the line’s newest ship, Carnival Vista introduced a number of groundbreaking innovations including the first brewery on a North American-based cruise ship, the first IMAX Theatre at sea, the most elaborate water park in the fleet highlighted by the 455-foot-long Kaleid-o-slide, a groundbreaking bike-ride-in-the-sky aerial attraction called SkyRide, and the new Family Harbor with specially designed staterooms for families, a family concierge and more.Carnival Vista will operate a pair of 11-day sailings from New York before launching year-round six- and eight-day Caribbean service from Miami beginning Nov. 27.last_img read more