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01
DEC
3pm

SA’s Garden Route beaches closed after oil droplets wash up ashore

The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment has dispatched a team to render assistance to the Garden Route areas affected by oil droplets which washed up on beaches in Mossel Bay, George, Knysna and Bitou this week.
The department’s spokesperson, Albi Modise, told Daily Maverick on Thursday that the department had dispatched a team to Mossel Bay.
“It was found that there were oil droplets that washed up in George, Knysna and Bitou beaches, and these are all currently being assessed. A team from the department is assisting with the training of clean-up teams. The source of the pollution is currently being assessed in order to put actions into place,” said Modise.
The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (Sanccob) said tar balls had reportedly washed ashore, affecting a significant stretch of the coastline from Mossel Bay to Wilderness since Monday.
“The source of the oil is unknown. However, officials are investigating where the oil originated from. Whilst there are no reports of oiled wildlife, Sanccob’s response team is on standby and is participating as part of the incident management team in the event of oiled seabirds being impacted,” said Sanccob.
Below are the beaches that are opened, those that are still being worked on and those that have not been worked on.
At this time of year, African penguin fledglings leave their colonies in the Eastern Cape and swim near where the oil droplets washed up, and Sanccob is particularly concerned that these birds could be affected.
“In addition, a high abundance of other seabirds and other marine biodiversity are at risk,” said Sanccob.
The Garden Route District Municipality on Thursday said that more than 100 trained individuals were cleaning up hydrocarbon and low-sulphur fuel oil droplets at more than 20 beaches along the Garden Route.
“Efforts have resulted in several beaches already moving to green status, which includes all the Blue Flag Beaches of Mossel Bay. While assessments found that several others in George, Hessequa, Knysna and Bitou were also affected by the spill, clean-up teams have already responded promptly to remove droplets,” said Gerhard Otto, the manager of disaster management at the Garden Route District Municipality.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
He assured holiday-makers and residents that the region was ready for its upcoming holiday season.
“The multi-agency response team indicated that most beaches will be cleaned by the end of this weekend, dependent on the 3.5m swells expected ...
01
DEC
3pm

Surf City mayor leaps into sea to prove Durban’s beaches are hunky-dory again

Desperate to demonstrate that Durban’s beaches are ‘safe’ for tourists and locals over the Christmas holiday season, eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda donned some snappy swimwear and plunged into the sea at North Beach on Thursday, frolicking in the waves for about 15 minutes.
In pale blue baggies, a branded rash vest, goggles and a neoprene swimming cap, mayor Mxolisi Kaunda smiled broadly, flapped his arms wildly and flashed the thumbs-up for the assembled media cameras.
Dressed more formally before leaping into the surf, he also inspected an eThekwini Metropolitan Police guard of honour, mingled with local “influencers” and beachgoers, and had quite a few shots at goal during an informal beach soccer tournament with the Lamontville Golden Arrows.
“Durban is open for business!” he declared at a media briefing to announce that the majority of the city’s beaches were open once more after almost seven months of being alternatively open or shut due to the deluge of untreated human sewage and industrial effluent that has polluted the ocean in the wake of the devastating April/May floods.
“As the leadership of the City, we want to inform the public that most of our beaches are open and safe for swimming.”
Kaunda said the City had entered a partnership with the non-government watchdog group Adopt-a-River and the independent Talbot laboratory group to test the quality of seawater and to publicly disclose and compare these results against the E. coli (sewage bacteria) readings from the City’s in-house lab tests.
Those first joint test results (collected on November 24 at 10 local beaches) suggest a very close alignment between the Talbot and eThekwini readings, and also appear to demonstrate that water quality at Umhlanga’s Main beach and Bronze beach has improved considerably.
Results from both Umhlanga beaches indicate that E. coli readings are very low (around 10 cfu/100ml according to eThekwini – or somewhere between 10 and 41 cfu, according to Talbot).
These readings are rated “ideal”, according to Talbot – well below the 500 cfu national guideline threshold for acceptable bathing quality.
But the 24 November joint test results for several other central Durban beaches are not quite so rosy.
While the Talbot and eThekwini readings suggest that E. coli levels are within the national guideline levels at Point and uShaka beaches, that’s not the case for North, Battery and Country Club beaches.
Significantly, eThekwini recorded even worse E. coli readings at these three beaches for 24 November compared to Talbot – way above ...
01
DEC
2pm

Burning uncollected waste the top cause of plastic pollution in SA, says report

Municipalities across the country are failing to collect the trash. As a result, many South Africans are resorting to burning waste and contributing to plastic pollution’s impact on the environment, suggests a new report.
The open burning of waste accounts for 56% of plastic pollution in South Africa — and it’s the result of inadequate waste collection and disposal services in the country, according to new research.
In South Africa, about 37% of households do not receive weekly waste removal services. As a result, 29% or 196 kilotons of household waste is left uncollected and ends up being improperly disposed of through illegal dumping or burning. This is according to the SA Pathways report released by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on Tuesday, 29 November.
When bin day never comes
This is the first report that has quantified the extent of open source burning’s contribution to plastic pollution, explains Prof Suzan Oelofse, CSIR researcher and contributing author on the report.
“The magnitude of open burning is definitely shocking. It was a lot more than what we expected it to be,” says Oelofse. Open burning accounts for the largest proportion of plastic pollution in South Africa, with land pollution accounting for 30% and aquatic pollution contributing the remaining 14%.
Open burning is predominantly practised in areas where there are no municipal waste removal services, says Lyanda Hlatshwayo, a reclaimer and spokesperson for the African Reclaimers Organisation.
“You will even see schools burning waste in these areas because there is no other alternative to remove waste,” says Hlatshwayo.
“You have to put yourself in the shoes of a person who does not have waste collection services,” says Oelofse.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
When waste is piling up and the smell starts to attract flies and rodents, people turn to burning the waste in order to control it, she explains.
“You really can’t blame people for doing this,” says Oelofse.
While burning does reduce the volume of waste, a large portion of that waste is made up of plastics that, when burnt, release CO2 emissions that are contributing to climate change, as well as toxic and even carcinogenic fumes, says Oelofse.
Open burning is also not totally effective at disposing of waste, and only about 20% of burnt waste is actually burnt away.
“That means that even after burning, a large portion of that plastic is going to remain in the environment,” explains Oelofse.
“The environmental and health ...
01
DEC
1pm

White butterflies filling Joburg skies earlier than usual due to climate crisis

Temperatures that used to signal the onset of spring for plants and animals are now occurring earlier in most parts of the world.
Each year around mid-summer, somewhere between December and mid-January, the skies of South Africa’s Gauteng province, including the city of Johannesburg, fill with small white butterflies. Some land in people’s gardens, allowing a closer look at the thin brown markings on their wings. Those markings give the butterflies their name: the brown-veined white butterfly (Belenois aurota).
Their annual migration takes between 80,000 and 155,000 butterflies per hour from South Africa’s Kalahari region to Mozambique, a journey of hundreds of kilometres via Gauteng. They are leaving the arid Kalahari in search of food and moisture.
The butterflies move in a huge group and their migration is relatively quick — it takes a week or so for most of them to move through Gauteng. The resulting clouds of butterflies are a beautiful spectacle, noticed not just by butterfly enthusiasts and scientists, but by residents.
This year, the butterflies have arrived early.
That may seem unimportant. But, to phenologists like myself, it’s evidence of changes in the environment that require close attention. Phenology refers to the timing of annually recurrent biological events: the blossoming of jacaranda trees, for instance, or a mass butterfly migration.
Across the world, phenological events are occurring increasingly earlier as a result of climate change. The temperatures that used to signal the onset of spring for plants and animals are now occurring earlier in most parts of the world. Simultaneously, the timing and amount of precipitation are changing too.
Climate change is intangible to many people. We know it is happening, but our larger surroundings look the same — for now. It’s difficult to feel the 1.1°C post-industrial global temperature increase. But we do notice when the jacarandas flower earlier or butterflies arrive in our gardens earlier. This is important in raising public awareness regarding climate change.
Media records
In an article published earlier this year, my students and I used media reports to quantify how the timing of the annual butterfly migration had changed over nearly 100 years.
The butterfly migration has featured in newspaper reports for many years. More recently, with the advent of social media, these butterflies have also been photographed and posted on Instagram, tweeted, and posted on a range of other social media platforms.
These print and social media records are a gold mine for phenologists. For our research, we recorded the ...
01
DEC
11am

Why the fossil-fuel industry is a distraction to understanding the failure of COP27

We should not be distracted by holding the fossil-fuel industry accountable for the failures of the COPs. Instead, we must understand the incestuous links between politics and business and why world leaders ignore science and condemn us all to a long suicide.
At the opening of COP27 on 7 November 2022, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres shunned diplomatic speak: “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator,” he warned. Humanity, he said, faced the starkest of choices: “Cooperate or perish”.
After more than two weeks of talking, he gave his verdict on the concluded 27th annual conference of the 196 countries represented: “Our planet is still in the emergency room. We need to drastically reduce emissions now — and this is an issue this COP did not address. The world still needs a giant leap on climate ambition.”
He was hardly alone in this sombre assessment.
Listen, for instance, to the President of COP26, the then member of Boris Johnson’s (very) Conservative cabinet in Britain, Alok Sharma:
“Friends, I said in Glasgow that the pulse of 1.5 degrees was weak. Unfortunately, it remains on life support. And all of us need to look ourselves in the mirror, and consider if we have fully risen to that challenge over the past two weeks.”
All the governments at COP seemingly accept the science of climate change. Let the last words, therefore, be from the frustrated world-renowned climate scientist, Bill McGuire, professor emeritus of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London (UCL):
“The real legacy of Cop27 could well be exposing the climate summit for what it has become, a bloated travelling circus that sets up once a year, and from which little but words ever emerge. . It is becoming increasingly difficult to view these events as anything other than photo opportunities for presidents and prime ministers who turn up simply to make the world think they care.”
No! No! One can hear people saying. COP was a success. Criticisms of it are Eurocentric or a Global North assessment. After all, the dominant theme of the conference was financial help for developing countries, with Africa as the particular focus. And this, they say, was achieved. For Sameh Shoukry, the Egyptian foreign minister and COP27 president, this was an African COP with emphasis on African needs.
“Cop27 has done what no other Cop has achieved,” said a jubilant Mohamed Adow, director of the thinktank Power ...
30
NOV
5pm

COP27 ‘failed to reflect the urgency of the global climate crisis’

COP27 ended on a bittersweet note after the final text of the negotiations took the first step to establishing a loss and damage fund for the first time in 30 years. Daily Maverick and Our Burning Planet journalists discussed the outcomes and experience of COP27 in a webinar.
Ambition and urgency towards the growing effects of the climate crisis were lacking at the global climate talks, the 27th Congress of the Parties (COP27) in Sharm-el-Sheik, Egypt, Daily Maverick journalists that were at the negotiations shared on a webinar.
The webinar, “COP27: Debrief with Daily Maverick”, was hosted by Our Burning Planet senior investigative reporter Kevin Bloom, who was joined by Our Burning Planet journalist Ethan van Diemen and journalist Ufrieda Ho.
“The outcomes of this particular COP in Sharm-el-Sheikh; they jogged on the spot from COP26 in Glasgow last year. They didn’t move the needle forward. And the science is pretty clear about what needs to be done in this decade in order to avert that threshold [1.5°C global average temperature increase]. The ambition wasn’t raised and didn’t reflect the urgency of the situation,” said Van Diemen.
Outcomes that lack urgency
COP27 ended on a bittersweet note after the final text from the negotiations took the first step to establishing a loss and damage fund for the first time in 30 years. This means that countries vulnerable to the climate crisis will receive — once the fund is set up — funding to prepare and compensate for loss and damage; destruction caused by the consequences of the climate crisis that cannot be avoided by mitigation or adaptation.
With the COP being on African soil and the continent being among the most vulnerable to the climate crisis, expectations were high that outcomes would lean towards ambitious action that would shield the continent and other developing countries from the crisis; this was lost upon the COP, with little to no progress on climate financing for those countries.
“It [was] the 27th iteration, people were cynical about what would change but there was a lot of hope because it was supposed to be an ‘African COP’ — it was supposed to be what was dubbed the ‘implementation COP’. And I think coming out of Glasgow [COP26], that loss and damage, they got so close to advancing the financing that this COP was meant to put it on the agenda and get some kind of formalised agreement,” said Ho.
She said that ...
30
NOV
5pm

SA ‘must stop exploring for more offshore oil and gas’, say eco-activists

The Green Connection says South Africa does not need more fossil fuels, so why is the government still looking? Environmental group The Green Connection vows not to be quiet about the risks of offshore oil and gas exploration in South Africa until these are stopped and the country invests in renewable energy.
The Green Connection’s strategic lead, Liziwe McDaid, said the government does not need more fossil fuels, “so why are we still looking?”
McDaid said COP27, the international climate action negotiations, ran from 6-18 November and yet, in that time, fossil fuel companies had released a stream of oil and gas application documents for public comment.
“This is starting to feel like a stuck record. Dear decision-makers, we are in a climate crisis, a massive threat to food security. We must stop exploring for more offshore oil and gas, and rather invest in more renewable energy.”
She said that last week the eco-justice organisation had submitted comments on a draft Basic Assessment Report, which forms part of the environmental impact assessment process for TGS Geophysical Company UK’s application to undertake a 3D seismic survey over multiple petroleum licence blocks off the West Coast.
“Even in the wake of the war in Ukraine, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that 2021 was essentially the cut-off for investment in new fossil
fuel supply in its net zero pathway . no new oil and gas field developments should be approved.
“However, with the ongoing high rate of offshore oil and gas exploration applications in South Africa, it feels like a fossil-fuel free-for-all. These projects, if approved and successful in locating more commercially exploitable oil and gas reserves, will likely overshadow the country’s climate change commitments which are supposed to be geared at rapidly reducing global greenhouse gas emissions,” she said.
McDaid asked how would finding, extracting, and burning more offshore fossil fuels help us honour these commitments.
“And how can we expect South Africa’s largely indigenous coastal communities to willingly risk the precious oceans that they rely on to live and make a living, to look for oil and gas that should not be burnt?”
Threat to the ocean
McDaid said The Green Connection would continue to oppose offshore oil and gas exploration because of its climate impacts and the threat it poses to the ocean and to small-scale fishers who rely on the ocean for their livelihoods.
“The organisation recently launched an international campaign focusing on Total, which is the operator of one ...
30
NOV
4pm

SA to ask for more money at upcoming global biodiversity talks, as at COP27, hints Creecy

Ahead of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) to be held in Montreal next week, Environmental Minister Barabara Creecy emphasised that SA would need resources to implement the targets that parties will negotiate — targets critical to preventing a worsening biological crisis.
Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy, acknowledged that coming back from the United Nations climate change conference in Egypt (COP27), “we were very aware of the tensions between the major powers as a result of the war in Ukraine. And also, I think what we’ve seen is this growing trust deficit between developed and developing countries”.
Creecy was speaking at a national stakeholder engagement on Tuesday, ahead of next week’s international talks on biological diversity, COP15, and said that while this trust deficit won’t necessarily prevent an outcome for negotiations, it does mean that this meeting will be held under tense circumstances.
COP15 is the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, which will be held in Montreal, Canada, from 7 to 19 December 2022.
Not to be confused with COP27, which recently concluded in Egypt, this conference deals with issues surrounding the conservation of marine and land biodiversity, sustainable development and the linkages between climate change impacts and biodiversity protection.
Despite South Africa having a critical role in these talks, being one of the 17 mega-biodiverse countries in the world, Creecy acknowledged that, in SA’s conservation sector, the country is not significantly transformed.
Mass extinction
“We are fully conscious that we are operating under a situation where there is significant biodiversity loss,” said Creecy, “and what we understand is that if we continue in the current way that the world is proceeding, we are going to see the mass extinction of species later in this century.”
The reason this conference is so important is that parties will be looking to adopt the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, which has been delayed and rescheduled as a result of the pandemic.
This framework includes ambitious and critical targets key to preventing a biodiversity crisis often described as the “sixth mass extinction”, such as the 30×30 target — which is the global target that aims to put 30% of the land and 30% of the sea under conservation by 2030.
Creecy said that the South African government supports the ambitious 30×30 target “because we understand that the best available science is telling us that unless we protect 30% of the land, ...
30
NOV
1pm

We must achieve financial scale for South Africa’s just energy transition to succeed

South Africa’s just energy transition requires substantial quantities of new finance, continually and over a long period. It could take up to 30 years to transition the country with estimates on the investment needed ranging from R4-trillion to R8.5-trillion.
Climate is front of mind following the conclusion of the COP27 conference in Sharm el-Sheikh last week. The launch of South Africa’s Just Energy Transition Partnership Investment Plan (JETP-IP) ahead of the summit, which details how South Africa will mobilise $8.5-billion in funding from the International Partners Group (IPG), has created significant hype in the media and has attracted interest from policymakers, regulators, development financiers and social and environmental advocacy groups across the globe.
Moreover, Indonesia has become the second developing economy that has entered a Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), which seeks to mobilise $20-billion in funding for its own energy transition in the next three to five years.
Despite all the excitement about the JETP-IP, there are critical gaps in South Africa’s preparations for its transition to a low-carbon economy that need to be addressed urgently to facilitate the massive amounts of private sector investments that will be required. Forging ahead without recognising and addressing these shortcomings would be like buying trains before laying down the railway tracks.
South Africa’s just energy transition (JET) requires substantial quantities of new finance, continually and over a long period. It could take up to 30 years to transition the country with estimates on the investment needed ranging from R4-trillion to R8.5-trillion. Public sector facilitated financing is currently given most prominence given the unique position South Africa finds itself in following the creation of the JETP at COP26 in Glasgow.
However, it is crucial to establish how private-sector financing can be scaled for the long term, long after the JETP is forgotten.
The African Climate Foundation’s new report, Financing South Africa’s Just Energy Transition, written by researchers Intellidex, considers how to evolve the plumbing of the financial sector to ensure that the scale of financing needed for JET can be delivered. It is the first of three such reports on similar themes.
The existing JETP has the potential to be a point of departure for the private sector, but a lot of hard work is required to achieve scale. There are several blockages in the existing capital market landscape that prevent stakeholders across the financial sector from fully participating in funding the transition in large enough size.
One of the most ...
30
NOV
1pm

Banks work behind the scenes to keep the lights on

While the South African Reserve Bank has flagged rolling blackouts as a huge non-financial risk to the economy, corporate South Africa and the big banks, in particular, are working behind the scenes to ensure business continues uninterrupted.
Based on funding commitments for rounds one to four, Nedbank Corporate Investment Banking is funding about R35-billion into the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPPP) and has helped introduce 3,517MW of new energy into the grid. A Nedbank spokesperson noted that the round five projects had not yet closed and round six had not yet been awarded so only projects from round one to four were currently contributing power into the grid.
Read more in Daily Maverick: “Load shedding is the biggest non-financial risk facing the SA economy – Reserve Bank”
Arvana Singh, head of sustainable finance at Nedbank says there are a number of examples that demonstrate the bank’s ability to unpack impact in the investment space. “Being at the forefront of sustainability and as a leading global sustainable products innovator, we continue to form new partnerships and look for new opportunities to unlock. We recently concluded a $350-million sustainability-linked loan in the international capital markets, which has been well supported by our lender group,” Singh said.
Nedbank has been a forerunner in the space as the first arranger of green renewable energy bonds back in 2019. Green bonds are fixed-income instruments that help companies raise capital for investing in climate and environmentally friendly projects while enabling investors to buy into these instruments. These bonds are typically asset-linked and backed by the issuer’s balance sheet.
The investment proceeds from the first green bond in 2019 were used to deliver financial support to solar and wind renewable energy projects. Singh said that in 2020, Nedbank issued the first green tier to capital and in 2021, it was the first bank on the African continent to issue a green additional tier one instrument.
“Later in 2021, we issued a R1.09-billion green residential development fund, which actually employs blend finance characteristics as well,” she said. Nedbank’s total amount of green bond issuance on the JSE as at the end of December 2021 was R6.8-billion.
Massive uptick
The First Rand TCFD (Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures) report reveals that First National Bank (FNB) financed 40MW of small-scale embedded generation over the past four years. Kyle Durham, head of sustainable finance and ESG solutions at FNB Business says the bank is seeing a ...
29
NOV
6pm

Security guards at Eskom plant arrested for diesel theft

Eskom faced its third arrest of workers this month, following the apprehension of two security guards at an East London power station, who have been charged with the theft of diesel.
Two security guards have been arrested in connection with the theft of diesel worth R145,930.07 from an Eskom plant, the power utility said in a statement on Tuesday.
The guards were employed by a security company contracted by Eskom and had guarded the Port Rex power station in East London. According to Eskom, an internal investigation supported by the Bidvest Protea Coin investigation team and the South African Police Service showed that the guards had granted entry to a vehicle that collected the stolen diesel during a night shift; an act for which the guards were paid.
Eskom said criminal charges had been laid and investigations were ongoing to identify any other suspects.
“It is appalling that the individuals entrusted with . safeguarding our infrastructure resort to such acts. These arrests are another significant step in our fight against crime in Eskom, and we shall continue in our pursuit to ensure that the perpetrators face the full might of the law,” said advocate Karen Pillay, general manager for security at Eskom.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
News of the arrest comes a couple of weeks after Eskom announced that rolling blackouts would continue as a result of the power utility running out of funds to procure diesel to keep its open cycle gas turbines running. The turbines limit the rolling blackouts South Africa faces during plant breakdowns.
By November, Eskom had already spent just more than R12-billion on diesel; an amount that was revised from an initial diesel budget of R6.1-billion, and later increased to R11.1-billion. Eskom’s diesel shortfall as a result of the blown budget will be met by PetroSA.
Read more in Daily Maverick: “Found: Fifty million litres of diesel for fifteen days of relief — but source of funding future supplies remains uncertain”
Earlier this month, an Eskom subcontractor was arrested for allegedly tampering with essential infrastructure at the Camden Power Station in Mpumalanga, News24 reported. According to National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Monica Nyuswa, quoted in TimesLIVE, the tampering cost Eskom more than R1-million. A week later, a truck driver was arrested at the same station for tampering with coal, News24 reported.
Cases of sabotage, coupled with ailing infrastructure and the consequences of years of corruption, have seen South Africans ...
29
NOV
2pm

Political parties agree — captive lion breeding must end

Parliament’s environment committee has accused the departments of environment and agriculture of dragging their feet over the ending of captive lion breeding and canned hunting.
In a special session on captive lion breeding this week, all members of Parliament’s environment committee expressed disappointment at the Department of Environment’s failure to implement its own recommendations to phase out the practice.
Members across all party lines grilled representatives of the department who, they said, came unprepared and whose answers to their questions were unacceptable.
The department’s Flora Mokgohloa said she was unaware that canned hunting was taking place as it was illegal and had no evidence that wild lions were being poached.
“Enough is enough,” said committee member IFP’s Narend Singh, “the department is not taking our or its own High Level Panel recommendations on this and it’s unacceptable.”
Dave Bryant of the DA accused the department of fobbing off the parliamentary committee and Nazier Paulsen of the EFF said that all hunting of lions should be outlawed. Singh demanded a full report on the issue from the department early next year. Committee chair Ntibi Modise agreed and suggested that committee members make unannounced visits to breeding facilities.
The discussion followed a presentation by Tony Gerrans, director of the Humane Society International-Africa, initiated by the Conservation Action Trust. He told the committee there were 336 captive facilities breeding between 10,000 and 12,000 lions in mostly poor conditions. There were only around 3,000 wild lions — a reduction of 43% over a 20-year period.
Read more in Daily Maverick: “End trophy hunting in South Africa, or we won’t visit your country, say tourists”
Warnings
Breeders had received repeated warnings from the NSPCA over breeding conditions, which included inadequate diet, hygiene, shelter, vet treatment, enrichment and slaughter. He said poor conditions increased the risk of zoonic (animal-to-human) diseases and breeding farms provided a cover for the illegal trade of animal parts and the poaching of wild lions.
Captive lions were of no value to conservation, he told parliamentarians, and breeding farms provided few and often dangerous unskilled jobs. The industry was also inflicting reputational damage on the country’s tourist industry.
Following the 1997 Cook Report, documentaries like Blood Lions and Lions, Bones and Bullets, Unfair Game and various scathing books, there was no shortage of bad publicity to deter potential visitors. The breeding industry was also undermining post-Covid economic recovery.
Demands ignored
Direct demands by the environment committee were being blatantly ignored, it appeared. These included a ...

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