SA declares first offshore protected area

first_img12 April 2013 The Department of Environmental Affairs has declared South Africa’s first offshore marine protected area (MPA), over the Prince Edward Islands, as part of its efforts to protect the country’s offshore and deep ocean areas. “The Prince Edward Islands MPA is a significant contribution to the conservation of global biodiversity,” Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said in a statement on Tuesday. It forms part of the country’s National Protected Areas strategy, which aims to structure how protected areas are declared in order to maximise conservation benefits. The strategy highlighted South Africa’s lack of offshore protected areas and suggested the Prince Edward Islands – almost 2 000 kilometres off the country’s mainland – for protection. “The new MPA is intended to contribute to the protection of unique species, habitats and ecosystem processes,” Molewa said. “It will also provide scientific reference points that can inform the future management of the area and to be able to understand better the impacts of climate change on the whole Southern Ocean.‘Ecologically sustainable marine resources’ “It will also contribute to integrated and ecologically sustainable management of marine resources of the area,” she said. Under the MPA there will be three zones: a 12 nautical mile sanctuary (no take) zone; four restricted zones, where fishing is limited; and a controlled zone to link the four restricted zones. The sanctuary zone was designated to preserve the ecosystem and enable the recovery of islands’ toothfish populations. “ “The MPA will still allow limited utilisation of Patagonian toothfish resources by South African vessels outside the sanctuary area,” the department said. It will be tightly controlled though. “The marine biodiversity of the Prince Edward Islands is of global importance.” Three species of seals, four species of penguin and five of albatross breed on the islands and the MPA will enable their preservation. “Given the scarcity of land masses in the Southern Ocean, sub-Antarctic islands contain vast populations of seals and seabirds, which use these islands to breed and moult,” the department said. “This means that these islands are critical to the conservation of such species as they are forced to aggregate in high densities where they are vulnerable to disturbance and the threat of introduced predators or pathogens.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Living standards improve in South Africa

first_img24 February 2016Living standards in South Africa have shown a remarkable degree of improvement over the past 20 years, according to the South Africa Survey 2016, released by the Institute of Race Relations, a classically liberal think-tank, this month. On all possible measures of access to housing, electricity, clean water, and sanitation services, living conditions for South Africans were much higher than two decades ago, the report showed: The number of households residing in formal dwellings increased from 5.8 million in 1996 to 12.4 million in 2014, or by 114%. Over the same period, the proportion of households living in formal dwellings increased from 64% to 79% while the proportion living in informal dwellings fell from 16% to 13%.The number of households using electricity for lighting increased from 5.2 million in 1996 to 14.1 million in 2014, or by 171%. Over the same period, the proportion of households using electricity for lighting rose from 58% to 91%.The number of households with piped water increased from 7.2 million to 14 million, or by 94%.The number of households with access to flush or chemical lavatories increased from 4.6 million to 9.9 million, or by 118%. “The data shows the relative success of the government’s service delivery efforts,” said IRR analyst Kerwin Lebone. “This is despite continuing backlogs, and the fact that in many cases the quality of services delivered should have been higher. On balance, however, there can be no doubt that living standards are much higher in South Africa today than was the case in 1994,” he said. “Another conclusion is that state-driven delivery efforts have probably gone as far as they can conceivably go and future improvements in living standards will be driven more by labour market access, new business development, increased private investment, and levels of economic growth than by the efforts of state planners.” Source: Institute of Race Relationslast_img read more

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Brand South Africa welcomes the news that the country is no longer in recession and is anticipating a decrease in the fuel price ahead of the December holiday season

first_imgJohannesburg, Thursday 06 December 2018 –  As the country is on a path towards economic revival and seeing investor and business confidence improving significantly. Brand South Africa welcomes the news that the country is no longer in recession and is anticipating a decrease in the fuel price ahead of the December holiday season.Statistics South Africa this week released the third quarter of Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures, which reflected a growth of 2.2%. This means that the country’s second recession has ended. The main driver of positive growth in the third quarter is notably the manufacturing industry. The industry grew by 7,5%2, largely as a result of increased production of basic iron and steel, metal products and machinery; wood and paper; petroleum products; and motor vehicles. This is the largest jump in manufacturing production since the second quarter of 2016.Key facts from the third quarter 2018 GDP release:Expenditure on GDP increased by 2,3% in the third quarter of 2018.Gross fixed capital formation fell by 5,1% in the third quarter, largely as a result of declining investment in construction works, transport equipment, and non-residential buildings.Households spent more on food, beverages and household furnishings in the third quarter, driving up household final consumption expenditure by 1,6%.Unadjusted real GDP (measured by production) was up by 0,8% in the first nine months of 2018, compared with the first nine months of 2017.It is also important to take note of the number of initiatives the government has implemented to boost economic growth and job creation. In the manufacturing sector, government has finalised the Framework for Short-Term Negotiated Pricing Agreements on electricity and will expedite implementation.  While in the construction sector, the economic stimulus package identified infrastructure spending as a critical lever to economic activity.The stimulus package places an emphasizes on the following:Expanding and maintaining infrastructure to create jobs and attract investment.Establishing a South African Infrastructure Fund.Establishing a dedicated Infrastructure Execution Team.Unlocking infrastructure spending in identified 57 priority pilot municipalitiesIn addition, government also acknowledges the structural weaknesses in the economy and has initiated measures to create jobs which will complement the current commitments made in the Medium Term Strategic Framework. These include interventions agreed to at the Job Summit, commitments made during the Investment Summit and the Economic Stimulus and Recovery Plan.A total of 102 Black industrialists’ projects were funded by the Department of Trade and Industry and other government funding agencies with a total investment of R8.3 billion. This has created over 18 000 direct jobs and 18 000 indirect jobs.For a monthly overview of economic indicators and infographics, catch the latest edition of the Stats Biz newsletter here.last_img read more

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How To Walk On Water With Google Maps

first_imgTags:#Google maps#maps#mobile photography#Photo Sharing Services#photography Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement When we moved to the coast seven years ago, I had visions of driving my pickup truck on the beach. One popular place is called the Point – the western tip of Bogue Banks Island in the town of Emerald Isle. Just after I bought my beach driving permit in the fall of 2007, the beach at the Point disappeared – as you can see from this picture. Acres of sand were covered by water.A couple of years later, the sand started coming back. Today there is more than 1,450 feet of sand to the edge of the water. Google Maps, using annual aerial photographs, simply can’t keep up. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Above is a current Google map of two of my hikes. The red line was a hike we took in August of 2012. The blue line was a hike in May of 2013. As you can see, either I know how to walk on water or the map isn’t accurate.Create Your Own MapsCreating a map like this to impress with your friends is actually pretty simple. david sobotta Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces First you need to get access to Google’s My Maps. The next requirement is a smartphone that works with an app that can communicate with Google’s My Maps. (Go to Customize and Share in Google Maps, and scroll down to My Maps for instructions on how to do this.)My Tracks Is A Great ToolGoogle’s My Tracks is one of the main reasons I use an Android smartphone. All you have to do is launch My Tracks when you go on a hike. Stop the track recording when you finish your hike and “Send to Google.” My Tracks will create a new map (It can do some other cool things, too, but that’s a different post). To compare a second hike of the same area, just send both tracks to the same map.You can even use My Tracks to create a map recording a series of hikes – I do this to creat my annual Emerald Isle beach survey. They’re are a great way to show people that you have gone beyond the regular Google maps.Maps, Albums & PhotosThe next step, if you are willing to spend a little more time and enjoy digital photography you can create an album with your photographs mapped into it. Here’s an album I created on a recent hike on the beach.If your camera does GPS, all you have to do is upload the photos into something like Picasa Web Albums. I keep one of my Gmail accounts separate from my Google+ identity just so I can use the neat maps that show up in Picasa Web Albums.If your camera isn’t GPS-enabled, adding GPS data is actually pretty simple:Synchronize the time on your smartphone and the time on your camera.If you are using the My Tracks app, after you have sent your track to Google, do a “Save to External Storage.” Choose “Save as GPX.”After it is saved, select the “Share track file” option and email it to yourself.When I get back from the beach, I import all the photos into my computer and save the ones that I like to an album in Adobe’s Lightroom 4, which just happens to have a mapping module. Next I download the GPX track file that I emailed to myself. I select all the photos in the album, choose the Lightroom 4 command “Load Tracklog” and then “Auto-Tag” the photos. Almost instantly all your photos pick up GPS information. Then I export the photos to a folder, load them into Picasa and send them to the Web and share the album with my amazed friends.While it may sound complicated, it is actually pretty easy. And it creates some wonderful memories of places beyond the reach of most map services. Like many others I depend onGoogle Maps for my travels. I also like to go places where even Google Maps are on unsteady ground. In fact some friends who have seen maps of my hikes have asked how I learned to walk on water.You Don’t Have To Go That FarYou might think you need an exotic destination far into the wilderness to get beyond the capabilities of Google’s very capable maps. That is not always the case. I live six to seven hours south of Washington, DC, along North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks near the town of Emerald Isle.One trick to impressing your friends with a walk on the wild side is to find an area of beach that changes regularly. I learned this pretty much by accident. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …last_img read more

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Public Warned About Misuse of Antibiotics

first_img The Ministry of Health is warning members of the public of the negative impact on health caused by the excessive or misuse of antibiotics. The Ministry of Health is warning members of the public of the negative impact on health caused by the excessive use or misuse of antibiotics.Antibiotic/antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the result of the abuse of antibiotics. AMR occurs when bacteria change and become resistant to the antibiotics used to treat the infections they cause.AMR is caused by a number of factors, including overprescribing of antibiotics, patients not finishing their treatment, overuse of antibiotics in livestock, fish and crops; poor infection control in hospitals, clinics and unclean facilities, lack of hygiene and poor sanitation.As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others. The condition also increases the prevalence of drug-resistant bacteria in humans, animals, plants and the environment.This poses a great threat to public health, as persons of any age are vulnerable to untreatable infections from surgical site infections, minor injuries or even colds, which can cause life-threatening complications from ‘superbugs’ such as tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.In response to this public health threat, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with its partners, has come up with a National Action Plan (NAP) to tackle AMR.Under the NAP, the Ministry of Health will be establishing a surveillance system of antibiotic-resistant infections and strengthening infection prevention and control measures.Additionally, the Ministry, in collaboration with the UWI, will be undertaking a public education campaign on the impact of antibiotic resistance.Members of the public are being encouraged to play their part in slowing antibacterial resistance by only using antibiotics prescribed by a certified health professional. Persons are also advised to always take the full prescription, even if health improves.Persons should never share leftover antibiotics with others, and should prevent infections by regularly washing hands and keeping vaccinations up to date.A major component of the action plan is stricter regulation and promotion of the appropriate use of quality medicines among healthcare professionals.Health workers are also being urged to participate in the initiative by ensuring that hands, instruments and the environment are clean; to only prescribe and dispense antibiotics when they are needed, in accordance with current guidelines; report drug-resistant infections to surveillance teams; and talk to patients about how to take antibiotics correctly.These workers are also charged with educating patients about the dangers of antibiotic resistance and the dangers of misuse. Medical professionals are also urged to talk to patients about methods of preventing infections through vaccination, hand washing, safe sex practices and covering nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.The food production industry is also integral to arresting AMR by promoting and adopting good practices at all steps of production and processing of foods from animal and plant sources.Stakeholders within the agricultural sector can also adopt sustainable systems with improved hygiene and biosecurity, proper handling of livestock, and ensuring that antibiotics given to animals are only used to control or treat infectious diseases.Animals should be vaccinated to reduce the need for antibiotics, and the development of alternatives to the use of antibiotics in plants is also encouraged.Food producers are also encouraged to implement international standards and guidelines for the responsible use of antibiotics. These standards are established by the World Health Organization (WHO), Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).Noting that 20 to 50 per cent of antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Sancia Bennett-Templer, is calling on health workers to dispense these drugs judiciously.“It is a fact that antibiotic resistance is putting the achievements of modern medicine at risk. Organ transplants, chemotherapy and surgeries such as caeserian sections become much more dangerous without effective antibiotics for the prevention and treatment of infections where antibiotic resistance becomes a problem,” she notes.Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Consultant, Dr. Kam Mung, has commended the Government and local health officials for the effort in establishing a multisectoral national action plan to combat this threat.“We at PAHO congratulate Jamaica because of the formation of the anti microbial resistance technical working group,” he says.Noting that almost half a million people have developed multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, Dr. Mung said the action plan will assist in the national effort to stem the devastating health impact associated with the condition.Meanwhile, Medical Microbiologist at the University Hospital of the West Indies, Dr. Alison Nicholson, tells JIS News that the UWI has been conducting research into the condition to better prepare the health sector to manage the effects of AMR.“At the UHWI we monitor the organisms and look for resistance. We monitor our resistance patterns and take it further by doing research. We try to figure out what is the mechanism of this resistance. We look at the organisms and track them, so we know what organism causes which diseases,” Dr. Nicholson explains.The NAP is being executed through a multisectoral technical working group comprised of the Ministries of Health and Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries; the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) and the University of the West Indies (UWI). AMR is caused by a number of factors, including over-prescribing of antibiotics, patients not finishing their treatment, over-use of antibiotics in livestock, fish and crops; poor infection control in hospitals, clinics and unclean facilities, lack of hygiene and poor sanitation. Members of the public are being encouraged to play their part in slowing antibacterial resistance by only using antibiotics prescribed by a certified health professional. Persons are also advised to always take the full prescription, even if health improves. Story Highlightslast_img read more

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Ricky Gervais Backs AntiFur Campaign

first_imgAnimal Defenders International (ADI) has released undercover footage of a fox on fur farm recovering after electrocution and trying to escape.A fox on a Polish fur farm is dragged from a barren mesh cage by his tail, hung upside down, the fur farmer smacks the fox in the face with an electric probe, forcing the animal to bite onto it in a desperate attempt to defend himself. He is electrocuted and tossed, with a thud, seemingly lifeless, onto a cart.However, as ADI’s hidden cameras, record more animals being killed, the fox begins to stir amongst the other dead foxes, finally slipping off the cart and making a run for it. The swearing farmer finally recaptures the fox and again hangs the animal upside down by a hind leg. But now the fox knows what will happen and tries to avoid the probe, clamping his mouth shut and twisting, as the fur farmer hits him in the face. The fox eventually bites the probe and dies.The new footage demolishes fur industry claims that killing on fur farms is quick, efficient and humane.The video contains graphic images of animal cruelty and can be viewed here.Electrocution is the fur industry standard for killing foxes, the website of a coalition from the Fur industry of America and Canada, entitled “The Truth About Fur”, boldly claims “100% of the animals are dead within 10 seconds”.Comedian Ricky Gervais: “Fashion is a form of escapism for many but for the animals, imprisoned and denied their most basic needs, death is the only escape. It doesn’t have to be this way – save lives by going fur-free and supporting ADI.”ADI President, Jan Creamer: “These animals live miserable lives in extreme confinement and are killed in front of each other. They know what is going to happen and desperately cling to the cage as they are dragged out. One fox regains consciousness after electrocution. He is grabbed, hung upside down and tries to avoid the electric probe, the farmer hits his face with the probe until he bites and is electrocuted.”Each year 110 million animals are killed on fur farms where the animals’ living conditions alone – small, bare, mesh cages – show no regard for the welfare of the animals. Over 15 million foxes are killed in a year, usually for trinkets, trims and accessories but up to 35 foxes can be used to make a fur coat.Examples of botched killings filmed by ADI on the Polish fur farm include:• After electrocution, a fox regains consciousness amongst dead foxes and makes a run for it. He is recaptured. Then, hanging upside down, he tries to avoid the electric probe, so is poked and hit until he bites it. • In another killing on the farm, a fox is clearly still breathing after electrocution and is hung up and electrocuted again. • A conscious fox was left hanging by a back foot, and struggled for nearly two minutes while the farmer answered his phone. • Foxes were heard screaming or yelping when the electric probe went into their mouths; when the animals did not fully bite down, the farmer had to make additional attempts to kill them.Jan Creamer: “Anyone who buys fur, buys cruelty. There is no escaping the terrible lives and horrific deaths of these animals whose beauty is their ticket to a lifetime of suffering and painful death. Fur is a product of pain and terror.”Actress and long-time ADI supporter Joanna Lumley, said: “Be comfortable in your own skin, and not that of a poor defenceless animal caged and killed to provide it. Say no to fur and yes to helping these fashion victims. Please help ADI stop this brutal trade.”Animal loving actor Brian Blessed, said: “Millions of wild animals live on factory farms, bred for the fashion industry. It’s time to kill the suffering, not the animal. Always choose faux and not real fur and support ADI’ in this campaign.”last_img read more

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Border Patrol agent shot at near San Ysidro Port of Entry

first_img Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Posted: September 9, 2018 SAN YSIDRO (KUSI) — A U.S. Border Patrol agent was shot at Sunday while sitting in his marked patrol car near the San Ysidro Port of Entry, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.It happened shortly after 2:15 a.m. about one-and-a-half-miles west of the border crossing, just north of the U.S.-Mexico border.The agent was not wounded and then drove to a safer location after the shooting, CBP officials said. Several bullet holes were found on the driver’s side of the vehicle.CPB officials then contacted their Mexican counterparts about the attack.Mexican authorities took two people into custody.The FBI also was investigating the shooting. September 9, 2018 KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, Border Patrol agent shot at near San Ysidro Port of Entrylast_img read more

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Two suffer bullet injuries in Panchayat poll violence

first_imgKolkata: A sub-inspector of police in South 24-Parganas and a Trinammool Congress candidate contesting Panchayat elections from Nadia’s Chakda suffered bullet injuries in two separate incidents.The police officer was injured in Usti area of South 24-Parganas when filing of nominations was going on in the area on Monday morning. The incident triggered tension in the area. It occurred when some miscreants were hurling bombs in the area and firing bullets to disrupt the process of nominations. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe victim, SI Rafikujjaman along with some other police officers rushed to the spot to bring the situation under control. It was alleged that miscreants initially pelted stones at the policemen. They later hurled bombs and fired a few rounds to terrorise locals. The victim suffered a bullet injury during the incident. The incident, however, did not have any impact on the nomination process. He was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital where he is undergoing treatment. His condition is stated to be serious. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIn the other incident, a Trinamool Congress candidate from Nadia sustained bullet injuries when some miscreants shot at him. The victim, Ashim Biswas, a Trinamool Congress candidate contesting Panchayat poll from Chakdah was returning home riding his motorcycle from a rally when some unidentified miscreants stopped his way and shot at him from a close quarter. A bullet grazed his body. The miscreants fled the spot after locals came to his rescue. He was taken to a hospital for treatment. His condition is stated to be stable now.last_img read more

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Apex Court appoints 5 judges for Calcutta HC

first_imgNew Delhi/Kolkata: In a major development, the Supreme Court collegium has finalised the names of five judges for the Calcutta High Court. According to Law Ministry officials, the top court collegium has approved the names of five advocates as judges of Calcutta HC, while the decision over the selection of two other judges has been deferred as of now.The SC collegium has approved the names of Biswajit Basu, Amrita Sinha, Sutanu Kumar Patra, Abhijit Gangopadhyay and Jay Sengupta as the judges of HC, while the collegium has disapproved the names of Tirthankar Ghosh and Hiranmay Bhattacharya for their elevation to the post of judge. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIn the matter of appointment of Ghosh, the collegium has stated that it needs further information to assess the suitability. The acting chief justice of Calcutta HC may be requested accordingly, the collegium said in its order.The proposal for the elevation of Hiranmay Bhattacharya has been deferred for now, the order stated.”For the purpose of assessing merit and suitability of the recommendees for elevation to the High Court, we have carefully scrutinised the material placed in the file, which includes the views of the Chief Minister as forwarded by West Bengal Governor, etc,” the SC collegium said in its order.According to a law ministry official, the notification in this regard would come soon. It may be mentioned that out of the total 73 posts of judges, 39 are lying vacant.last_img read more

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