24 June 2004The government has proclaimed four new marine protected areas, bringing roughly 15% of South Africa’s 3 000km coastline under protection, in the process creating a framework for managing the country’s fisheries and consolidating some of the world’s top research, eco-tourism, sport diving and fishing sites.South Africa previously had 19 marine protected areas covering approximately 11% of the coastline, which stretches from the country’s border with Namibia in the west to Mozambique in the east. The Tsitsikamma National Park was the first to be proclaimed, in 1964.Marine protected areas combine conservation with the development of tourism, and in this respect are the marine equivalent of national parks.South Africa’s new marine protected areas are modelled on the success of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park – with strict zoning of both marine and coastal protected areas creating “controlled zones” allowing for limited fishing, “restricted zones” allowing for controlled tourism development while protecting fish populations, as well as “sanctuary zones” in which complete protection is applied.The move brings South Africa considerably closer to meeting the resolution taken at the 2002 World Parks Congress, held in Durban, that the world’s protected coastal areas be extended to at least 20% by 2012.The new protected areas are:The Aliwal Shoal, a sub-tidal reef situated 5km off the Kwazulu-Natal south coast near Umkomaas (more on the Aliwal Shoal MPA).The marine environment adjacent to Pondoland in the Eastern Cape, stretching from Port St Johns to the Mtamvuna River (more on the Pondoland MPA).The Bird Island group in Algoa Bay (more on the Bird Island MPA).Table Mountain National Park (formerly the Cape Peninsula National Park) in the Western Cape, which includes all of the coastal waters from Mouille Point in the west to Muizenberg in the east (more on the Table Mountain National Park MPA).The government is still negotiating for a fifth new marine protected area – a large area of continental shelf off the Namaqualand west coast in the Northern Cape (more on the proposed Namaqualand MPA).South Africa’s coastal and marine resources provide opportunities for a range of economic, social and developmental activities, including fisheries, agriculture, tourism and mineral resource exploitation.“Our oceans and marine resources are global treasures, and we will act, in partnership with our coastal communities, to ensure that they thrive, expand and teem with life”, said Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk.Van Schalkwyk said that public comment had been taken into account in creating the new protected areas, accommodating people’s concerns as far as possible without compromising the conservation objectives of the areas.In the case of the Table Mountain National Park marine protected area, for example, a concession was made for snoek fishermen off Llundudno, while the boundaries of the Cape of Good Hope Sanctuary area were changed to accommodate small-scale rock lobster fishermen “in a way that will still protect rock lobsters and other elements of the ecosystem”.Marine protected areas allow for the conservation of natural environments, while assisting in the management of fisheries by protecting and rebuilding economically important stocks.In addition, many of the protected areas will be used to develop and regulate coastal eco-tourism opportunities, with activities such as sport diving regulated but not prohibited in the new protected areas.This will ensure that vulnerable eco-systems, such as the Aliwal Shoal, are protected for the enjoyment of current and future generations, and that users can expect world-class experiences.Enforcing the new areasOne of the most important aspects of the new marine protected areas, Van Schalkwyk said, would be compliance and enforcement.“Naturally we prefer communities and industries to assist in conservation – in their own long-term interests – but we will also act swiftly against those who do not respect the new restrictions.”As part of this enforcement, the government will, in October, take delivery of the first of four new environmental patrol vessels, purchased at a cost of R500-million.“We will also expand our force of Fishing Control Officers, and we aim to engage another 200 Honorary Officers in the next 12 to 18 months”, Van Schalkwyk said.“Another leg of our enforcement strategy will be to expand the work of our specialised Environmental Courts – with a new court planned for Gauteng in the near future.“In helping us to change attitudes towards the ocean, marine protected areas represent one of our last, best hopes for ensuring the preservation of our marine and coastal riches.”Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected AreaThe Aliwal Shoal, a sub-tidal reef situated 5km off the Kwazulu-Natal south coast near Umkomaas, supports a spectacular coral community, including 15 species of hard corals and four species of soft corals. The diverse fish fauna is a popular attraction for scuba divers, fishermen and spear-fishermen. Many endangered species of endemic reef fish are found on the shoal, as well as ragged-tooth and tiger sharks.The Aliwal Shoal has been the site of great conflict between user groups in the past. Agreements have now been reached with respect to partitioning of use between fishing, scuba and spear-fishing.The protected area will serve many functions, including conservation of the unique reef fauna, control of user-conflict and development of a world-renowned diving site.“Aliwal Shoal has long been in need of protection”, Van Schalkwyk said. “The diving industry in particular will benefit, and KwaZulu-Natal will add another well-managed natural resource to its already impressive list of tourist destinations.”Pondoland Marine Protected AreaThe coastline between Port St Johns and the Mtamvuna River and the adjacent offshore area has a unique mix of tropical and temperate eco-systems. There is a high rate of species turnover within similar habitats, and a high proportion of species are endemic to the region. The area also includes a range of marine and coastal habitats, with two substantial estuaries being fully protected for the first time in South Africa.From a fisheries perspective, many over-exploited linefish species spawn here. The inter-tidal shellfishery also needs to be brought under control, as many areas have been stripped of the larger molluscs. A zoned protected area, in which exploitation is permitted in some areas, will provide the necessary protection while allowing fishing to continue elsewhere.The Pondoland Marine Protected Area will be one of South Africa’s largest, and arguably its most spectacular. Including 90km of coastline and extending approximately 15km out to sea, it covers 1 300 square kilometres.The extremely narrow continental shelf off Pondoland marks the start of the annual sardine run, which National Geographic has rated as the most exciting diving opportunity in the world. The development of tourism in this impoverished region is a priority, and the protected area is the first step in realising the potential of this scenic coastline.Bird Island Marine Protected AreaThe protection of the Bird Island group (Bird, Seal and Stag Islands) in Algoa Bay is the first step in the seaward extension of the Greater Addo Elephant National Park.Bird Island is home to several species of red-data listed seabirds – including the Cape gannett, roseatte tern and African penguin – while the reefs around the islands are important for abalone and linefish.Bird Island has been the target of abalone poachers, and the immediate protection of the islands is regarded as a priority.Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected AreaThe Table Mountain (formerly Cape Peninsula) National Park Marine Protected Area includes all of the coastal waters around the Cape Peninsula, from Mouille Point in the west to Muizenberg in the east. It is situated in the transition zone between two bio-geographic provinces – the cool temperate Namaqua province to the west and the warm temperate south coast province to the east.This is one of the most diverse and productive stretches of coastline in South Africa. The Cape Peninsula is also rich in marine species endemic to southern Africa, some of which are even endemic to this change-over region. It is also the area that has the longest history of commercial fishing in South Africa.“The expansion of Table Mountain National Park to include the sea around the Cape Peninsula is an ambitious development aimed at protecting the rich marine life along these shores, and ensuring the continuation of the important fishing industries and associated lifestyles it in the midst of a dense metropolitan area”, Van Schalkwyk said.The proximity of a large metropolitan area provides great challenges and opportunities for marine conservation. The exploitation of natural resources along the Cape Peninsula coastline is an important source of recreation, employment and food.The shores of the Cape Peninsula are one of the great tourist attractions of Cape Town. To swim among penguins at Boulders Beach is a world-class attraction, while Coral Gardens offers some of the most spectacular temperate-water scuba diving in the world.Unfortunately, the intensity of harvesting on the peninsula has exceeded the capacity of many of the fish species to replace themselves, and many are severely over-exploited. The marine and coastal eco-systems surrounding the Cape Peninsula need to be protected from further degradation, and given the chance to recover, and the exploitation of over-fished species must be reduced.The protected area will be an extension of the Table Mountainn National Park, and will include six areas that are closed to fishing – for the protection of abalone, rock lobster, linefish, penguins and scuba diving sites – whereas the majority of the protected area will still be open to fishing.Proposed Namaqualand Marine Protected AreaThe marine habitats of the west coast of South Africa are poorly represented in protected areas. The existing West Coast National Park protects primarily the Langebaan Lagoon, which is atypical of the west coast.A biologically rich and representative area of the little-known west coast has been selected, giving a proposed protected area extending from the inter-tidal area between the Groen and Spoeg rivers out to sea to include Child’s Bank and the 1000m isobath.If designated, the Namaqualand Marine Protected Area will be South Africa’s largest marine protected area at 9 700 square kilometres.Although most of this area is too deep to dive – and too cold – the habitat supports economically important species such as shallow and deep water hake, kingklip, monkfish, rock lobster and tuna.The proposed area also includes habitat that may be threatened by trawling and mining activities, and would therefore provide valuable reference sites for research.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
23 January 2013 The World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) annual meeting opened in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday evening under the theme “Resilient Dynamism”. Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairperson of the WEF, said in his welcoming address that he was expecting an outcome from this year’s meeting. “Going back being more dynamic, more optimistic, more resilient, having passion and understanding better what’s going on – that’s my wish for you,” he told delegates. The 2013 Davos forum brings together some 2 500 participants from more than 100 countries and 1 400 organisations. Among them, there are more than 1 600 business leaders and more than 45 heads of state or government, including South African President Jacob Zuma. Zuma will use the forum as a platform to call for the world’s top economies and business to invest in South Africa’s and Africa’s infrastructural projects for the long-term economic growth of the continent. According to the Presidency, he will invite international business to invest in government’s multi-billion rand infrastructure programme, which is set to change the country’s social and economic landscape. The African continent is currently a leading investment destination for good returns and sustainable socio-economic growth. “As the leading economy in Africa, South Africa remains the strategic platform to accessing one of the world’s fastest growing regions,” the Presidency said in a statement on Tuesday. “South Africa supports growth in Africa through regional integration and direct investment.” In more than 250 sessions and workshops during the six-day meeting, participants will discuss questions including how the global economy can get back to robust growth, and how business models can adapt to generational and structural changes. Schwab said “resilient dynamism” was the combined attribute that would be needed from leaders in 2013. He said that if external shocks were now the norm in a hyper-connected and interdependent world, then leaders would need to be more resilient; while future growth in the new context of a prolonged global economic malaise required dynamism. “Either attribute, resilience or dynamism, alone is insufficient, as leadership in 2013 will require both,” he said. Source: SANews.gov.za-Xinhua
5 July 2013Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula honoured Springbok star Bryan Habana on Thursday for his feat of becoming the first man to score 50 test tries in the green and gold.Habana reached the milestone two weekends ago when he scored twice against Samoa in the Castle Lager Incoming Series decider at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, which South Africa impressively won 56-23.“Since making his Springbok debut in 2004, Bryan has been an inspiration on and off the field, and it is very well-deserved that his name will forever live in the annals of the game as the first Springbok to reach this special milestone,” South African Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins said at the time.DonationDuring an event held in Johannesburg on Thursday to launch the Nelson Mandela Sports Day, Habana received a special trophy and R50 000 from the Department of Sports and Recreation. He donated the money to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.“I feel privileged to be honoured in this manner by our minister of sport,” the flying winger said.“However, I think it’s only appropriate that I share the accolades with my team- mates, without whom I would not have been able to score any tries. To get one try for the Springboks was amazing. To reach 50 is almost unreal.”‘Madiba did so much for us’Commenting on his donation, he added: “Madiba did so much for our wonderful country, and this donation is just a small gesture to help his legacy live on forever.“We all know how close children have always been to his heart, and I think the building of this new hospital will ensure the world will forever know what Nelson Mandela was all about.”Habana scored on his test debut against England at Twickenham in 2004 and has gone on to become only the sixth player in test history to score 50 Test tries.Top test try scorersJapan’s Daisuke Ohata tops the list with 69 five-pointers in 58 tests. Australia’s David Campese scored 64 tries in 101 tests, Shane Williams scored 60 tries in 91 tests for Wales and the British and Irish Lions, Hirotoki Onozawa of Japan scored 55 tries in 80 tests, and Rory Underwood scored 50 tries in 91 tests for England and the Lions.Habana was named the IRB’s World Player of the Year in 2007 after South Africa lifted the Rugby World Cup, during which he equalled Jomo Lomo’s World Cup finals record of eight tries in the tournament.He is also a three-time South African Rugby Player of the Year, having received the accolade in 2005, 2007 and 2012.
12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Here at ReadWriteWeb, we’ve discussed the use of third party APIs when building an integrated online product, highlighting the disadvantages such a decision could entail. One topic on the flip side of that is the question of whether providing an open public API versus a closed private one is in your product’s best interest. Massively viral services like Twitter have rapidly expanded their capabilities and brand awareness by releasing an open API for third party developers to build on, but for companies in fledgeling industries, like mobile augmented reality, the API decision isn’t as clear. Along with Mobilizy’s Wikitude World Browser, Amsterdam-based company Layar was one of the first mobile AR browsers to market and has since become one of the strongest players in the space. Layar allows users to view geo-tagged points-of-interest (POI) in a 3D “heads-up” display using their mobile phone’s camera. We’ve covered Layar’s evolution since its debut last June and eventual launch on Android devices two months later. Since then Layar has released an iPhone version of their application, but due to random crashes the company has temporarily pulled it from the App Store until they can work out the bugs.Layar has quickly become of the most popular mobile AR browsing applications across the globe thanks to its impressive set of features, but the company’s choice to provide an open API may have been the decision which fueled them to success. Companies that wish to jump on the augmented reality bandwagon have several choices for getting their content on Layar quickly and easily. Layar provides documentation on its website for how to use and interpret their API, but those looking for an easier method of geo-data input can use any of a number of third party tools. Thanks in no small part to tools like buildAR, Muzar and Winvolve, Layar’s database of geo-data has rapidly expanded to include over 300 content layers including anything from restaurants to Twitter results, to even the locations of nearby heart defibrillators. On the opposite end the spectrum, the accrossair browser, a similar mobile AR browser available on the iPhone, has decided to keep its API private and helps with the input of geo-data themselves for companies that wish to participate on their platform. Instead of allowing anyone to upload location data onto their platform, acrossair has reached out to corporations like McDonalds and FedEx to provide them with their own POIs in their browser. The one disadvantage this places on their product is a significantly lower number of POI sets that a user can access. With just over a dozen different options, acrossair has a fraction of the curated POI sets that Layar does. Founder Chetan Damani says that while their closed API certainly limits the amount of data on their browser, it enhances the overall stability of the browser – a factor which may play heavily for the company as they expand beyond the iPhone to Android and Symbian devices.“We are keeping [the API] closed right now because we will be in a period of evolution and multiple iteration,” Damani told ReadWriteWeb. “We want to move to Android, and we want to make sure that the APIs are the right APIs and that they won’t limit our development. We only get one opportunity to get this right.”Damani and acrossair are playing it safe until they are able to expand their presence to more platforms before opening their API – a step Damani says they do plan on taking. When acrossair moves their browser to Android, Symbian and possibly even Windows Mobile devices, having a closed API will make the transition much smoother. Opening the API after they set up shop on each mobile OS will be a lot easier without loads of independently developed geo-data on their system.So is it better to limit one’s API early on for the sake of stability while simultaneously hampering the possible reach of one’s product? The acrossair browser seems to be taking that chance, while Layar, on the other hand, is welcoming third party developers with open arms. However, acrossair has one thing going for them that Layar currently doesn’t – a working iPhone application. How much of a role Layar’s open API played in the demise of their iPhone application is unknown, but all that could be moot when Layar relaunches on the iPhone “by the end of February”. However, if augmented reality is the supposed “future of web browsing” as some believe it to be, having closed browsing platforms is not a viable long-term solution. 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App chris cameron Related Posts 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Tags:#Augmented Reality#web 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex…