Parks that transcend borders

first_img11 August 2003One of the biggest conservation areas in the world has been signed officially into being, with South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe opening their borders to create a 35 000km² animal kingdom – leading the way in one of the boldest cross-border initiatives currently unfolding in southern Africa: the development of transfrontier parks.The presidents of the three countries signed the historic Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park Treaty in Xai-Xai, Mozambique in December 2002, officially launching the continent’s biggest game park, bringing together some of the best, most established wildlife areas in southern Africa.The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park includes South Africa’s world-famous Kruger National Park, with its extraordinary abundance of wildlife, established infrastructure and tourism base, Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park, renowned for its geological splendour, and the newly developed Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.While the total surface area of the transfrontier park is approximately 35 000km² – about the size of Israel – the park is seen as the first phase in the eventual establishment of a transfrontier conservation area measuring a staggering 100 000 km².Much work remains to be done on the joint park, including the building of infrastructure and the accommodation of more than 20 000 villagers living inside the Mozambican section. The organisers say that villagers who choose not to leave will be protected from wild animals by fences around their villages; under the park’s charter, there will be no forced relocation of people. More Kruger, Moz fences to dropGreat Limpopo Park takes shape Up to 120km of electric fencing separating the Kruger and Limpopo national parks will gradually be removed to allow animals to migrate freely across the borders. South Africa recently launched a three-year operation to release thousands of animals from Kruger to the Mozambican park. The first translocation was conducted in October last year, and 1 130 animals have been translocated to date.Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou park will be linked to the South African side via a corridor, to be built first for people and only later for animals.The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park’s boundaries are in yellow. The brown cross-shaded part of the map represents areas that could eventually be incorporated into the park. (Image: Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park)Within the new park, tourists will be able to drive across international boundaries in the three countries with minimal fuss. In addition to the usual game-viewing opportunities, visitors will have a broad range of new attractions, including bird-rich tropical wetlands, lake cruises, tiger fishing, rugged 4×4 adventure drives, and much more. A mix of cultural experiences will also be offered, with traditional healers explaining their trade, story-telling, foods, dance, music, handicraft and art to explore and enjoy.The individual parks will continue to operate as separate entities, but will be branded as part of the transnational park. A joint management committee comprising three representatives from each country will oversee management of the joint park and rationalise its rules.The new park will boost regional co-operation between the three countries, promote peace and security in the region, and help deal with illegal animal poaching. It will restore the integrity of an ecosystem artificially segmented by colonial boundaries, opening up the natural migratory routes of African elephants, endangered species such as the roan antelope, and other animals.Tourism will also be a big winner. According to Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Mohammed Valli Moosa, the park “will open to the world the biggest ever animal kingdom, increasing foreign investment into the region and creating much-needed jobs for our people, further acting as a symbol of peace and unity for the African people.’President Thabo Mbeki said the park is part of South Africa’s attempt to reverse biodiversity loss by 2010 – a global target adopted at this year’s World Summit on Sustainable Development.‘Peace Parks’The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park is at the forefront of one of the boldest cross-border initiatives currently unfolding in southern Africa – the development of Transfrontier Parks and Transfrontier Conservation Areas.It is hoped that the park will serve as a model for up to 21 others being planned across Africa. “Peace parks” in various stages of development in the southern African region include:The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park links 37 991 km² of Kalahari across the borders of South Africa and Botswana. Officially opened in May 2000.The Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Programme covers over 8 000 km² of the mountains that straddle the northeastern border between Lesotho and South Africa. Expected to be complete within two years.The |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Conservation Park merges Namibia’s |Ai-|Ais Hot Springs Game Park with South Africa’s Richtersveld National Park. The treaty establishing the park was signed in August 2003.Kgalagadi Transfrontier ParkThe Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, officially opened in May 2000, has been de facto in existence since 1948 through a verbal agreement between South Africa and Botswana.The 37 991 km² transfrontier park consisted originally of the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana (proclaimed in 1971) and the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park in South Africa (proclaimed in 1931), and was subsequently extended to incorporate the Mabuasehube Game Reserve.This park, 27% of which is in South Africa and the remainder in Botswana, represents a large ecosystem relatively free of human influence, an increasingly rare phenomenon in Africa.Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development ProgrammeThe Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Programme covers over 8 000 km² of the mountains that straddle the northeastern border between Lesotho and South Africa. These mountains form the highest areas in the sub-region, and support unique montane and sub-alpine ecosystems as well as spectacular scenery.The area consists of a number of proclaimed provincial nature reserves in South Africa and a National Park in Lesotho.South Africa and Lesotho signed a memorandum of understanding in June 2001 initiating the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Project and, for the first time, allowing mutual management of nature conservation areas such as the Sehlaba-Thebe National Park in Lesotho and the uKhahlamba Park in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.In July 2002 an agreement was signed at ministerial level between the two countries, leading to a R62-million grant by the World Bank’s Global Environment Facility.The project seeks to protect the biodiversity of the areas between the two countries through conservation, sustainable resource use and development planning, while boosting ecotourism and helping to alleviate poverty in the border region.The project, the largest of its kind in Lesotho and the first bilateral conservation project between the mountain kingdom and South Africa, will cover just over 5 170 km² in Lesotho and 2 943 km² on the South African side, is expected to be completed in two years. Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Programme |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Conservation ParkThe |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Conservation Park (TFCP) spans about 5 086 km² of some of the most spectacular scenery of the arid and desert environments in southern Africa. It merges Namibia’s |Ai-|Ais Hot Springs Game Park, which incorporates the famous Fish River Canyon, with South Africa’s Richtersveld National Park, which is owned by the Richtersveld communities but contractually managed by South African National Parks.South Africa and Namibia signed a memorandum of understanding in August 2001 paving the way for the establishment of the park, and in August 2003 signed the treaty establishing the park.Besides the Fish River Canyon – often likened to the Grand Canyon in the USA – and the |Ai-|Ais Hot Springs, the Richtersveld is situated in one of the most species-rich arid zones in the world, making the transfrontier park an undisputed biodiversity hotspot.The Richtersveld National Park is also regarded as a role model for a new approach to conservation, which incorporates local people into management. Because of these assets, South African National Parks will soon be applying for the Richtersveld National Park to be recognised as a World Heritage Site.Bisected by the Orange River, which forms the border between the two countries, the transfrontier park offers enormous potential for development as a viable conservation area.In particular, the Namibian section of the peace park could in future be expanded to include the entire Namibian coastline and to link up with the Iona National Park in Angola. An expansion on both sides along the Orange River, to link up with the Orange River Mouth Transfrontier Conservation Area to the west and the Augrabies Falls National Park in the east on the South African side, is also a possibility.Combining all these areas could lead eventually to the creation of the third-largest protected area in the world, spanning over 19 million hectares. |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Conservation Park reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Facebook Bugs Have Been Messing With Your Page Reach

first_imgThe Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Related Posts nick statt Tags:#Facebook#Page Reach center_img Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification In yet another Bad News Friday post, Facebook has informed us that it hasn’t exactly been counting the audience for our posts quite correctly. In fact, the social network has been significantly understating the “reach” of Facebook posts – especially paid posts – for at least the past several months.In a blog post yesterday on Facebook Studio, the social network’s marketing hub, the company admitted that coding errors have been misrepresented the audience reached by Facebook posts since sometime last year (though it hasn’t yet been much more specific than that). Facebook stresses that these bugs have only impacted reporting and not delivery, meaning fans were still receiving the posts, even if Facebook wasn’t counting them properly. The company said the stats should update once Facebook cleans up its code. This admission could be a big deal for Facebook, which has taken some serious heat from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and other big brands for allegedly throttling their access to their Facebook fans. Last November, Cuban complained, both on Twitter and in heated articles on sites like The Huffington Post, that Facebook was restricting brands’ ability to engage their fans in order to juice sales of paid “promoted posts.”Less Bang For The BuckThe bugs Facebook is describing, however, could also conceivably have led brand and business owners like Cuban to believe they were getting less bang for their Facebook marketing buck. In its post yesterday, Facebook claimed that the bugs held down the reported audience for paid newsfeed posts, meaning that such promotional posts actually reached a larger number of users than the social network’s statistics previously suggested.“As soon as we found the bugs our engineering team began work to resolve them as quickly as possible. We’re rolling out fixes beginning this morning and over the weekend,” Facebook’s post states. That’s certainly reassuring for anyone who relies on Facebook for social marketing, but the underreporting to date is still a pretty big deal. It’s an even bigger deal where paid reach is concerned, since that involves placing ads placed in users’ news feeds – ads that then reported back inaccurate numbers. Here’s what will change as a result of the ongoing bug fixes, according to Facebook:Total reach to stay the same or increase for most PagesAn increase in paid reach if you ran News Feed adsAn increase or decrease in organic reach, depending on many factors such as the composition of your fan base, when and how often you post and your spending patternsA change in metrics computed from reach and impressions, such as engagement rate and viralityWe know that accurate data is fundamental to building and improving your Facebook presence. We are taking this very seriously.  We have already put a number of additional quality and verification measures in place to prevent future bugs and resolve them quickly if they ariseWhere It All BeganFacebook says the problems originated during an update to its iOS and Android apps, TechCrunch reported. While trying to speed up mobile performance of its site, Facebook ended up stripping away a little too much of the data reported back to its servers. This resulted in a couple of bugs that failed to count page posts as users upgraded to new versions of the apps, and then a lesser bug that counted the viewing of a desktop news feed ad twice, as both an organic and then a paid impression.It wasn’t until a number of complaints from clients that Facebook decided to perform an internal audit, which uncovered the bugs and forced the company to begin an intense three-week fix. While you can certainly argue that the bugs didn’t cause that much damage – after all, many pages will soon show improved reach as a result of the fixes – the problem certainly does some damage to Facebook’s reputation as a secure and accurate social hub for business. But if you’re a brand manager who’s been feeling a little down in the dumps over your failure to engage readers with paid posts, you can take heart in Facebook’s two-minute video reiterating its solutions. With alarmingly low depth-of-field, a woman with a very calming voice explains everything you need to know about this not-a-real-problem to soothing piano music. Surely your average social media manager shouldn’t require much more than that to fend off frustration. last_img read more

London Olympics: Soniya Chanu not feeling overawed

first_imgDiminutive weightlifter Soniya Chanu on Sunday said she is not going to get intimidated at the Olympics. “I know it is a huge sporting extravaganza and only the best sportspersons are here. The competition is bound to be tough,” admitted Soniya, who will be competing in 48kg category.However, when asked if she would get intimidated by some of the big stars, Soniya shot back, saying: “Why should I get intimidated? I qualified through the Asian Championship held in Korea in April. If I did not get overawed there, where I had to make the cut, why should I be worried here?”God has given me the chance to represent my country. I finished fourth with a career-best [lift] of 175kg in Korea. The field was very strong but I had confidence in myself. I’m a very confident person and will give my best. You must remember that I’m among the 14 lifters from across the world to have qualified for the Games in this weight category, which in itself is a big achievement.”India did not have representation in this discipline at Beijing after the Monika Devi doping fiasco, and the 32-year-old lifter from Manipur is happy that the country is back in action this time and she is hoping for a strong showing.”I have been doing well in the training and almost touching 175kg. I hope I will improve by the time my event is held on July 28,” she said.Soniya’s coach Hansa Sharma expects her ward to give her 100 per cent. “I am not predicting anything but I can say that she will give her best performance. However, if that would be enough for the podium finish I can’t say,” said Hansa.advertisementlast_img read more


first_imgIt was Australia Day in Jersey today with the Australian Masters teams winning all three ‘Rest of the World’ finals that they participated in at the 2004 European Championships. The Australian Women’s Masters won the Womens Open division defeating Colonials 3-2. The match was close and exciting, being won in a tense drop off. The Men’s 35 years division ‘Rest of the World’ Championship final was between the two Australian Senior teams with the Masters team defeating the Veterans 4-0. Please click on the link below for detailed resultsSenior Tour Daily DiaryAll photos attached to articles can be viewed by clicking on the following link Senior Tour Photo Gallery Once in the gallery use the scroll down box to visit to the Senior Tour Gallery. The Mens Open ‘Rest of the World’ Final was won by Australia 6-2. The Australian’s gradually improved throughout the tour, saving their best performance for the final. The Men played as a team, refusing to allow the New Zealand University team into the game at any stage. The Australian representatives have produced the goods at the right time once again, both on and off the field. They have been great ambassadors for Australia by educating and assisting all Touch teams participating in the European Championships. Congratulations to all tour members, you have done Australian Touch proud!last_img read more

Canada Post says normal delivery times restored for most of the country

first_imgOTTAWA — Three weeks after striking postal workers were forced back to work, Canada Post says it’s caught up on most parcel delivery backlogs that had been created by rotating walkouts.The Crown corporation says its normal holiday delivery service guarantees have been restored across most of the country, except Vancouver.The federal government legislated an end to job action by postal workers on Nov. 27 after Canada Post complained that a backlog of parcels was reaching historic levels ahead of the crucial holiday shopping period.At the time, Canada Post warned the backlog could take until the end of January to clear up.Canada Post said it delivered about four million packages between last Friday and yesterday, and will likely be able to deliver items ordered online in time for Christmas.But it also depends on where the parcels are coming from as Canada Post expects some shipments from outside Canada might only be delivered in early January.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Khalifa Haftar’s forces press offensive on Libyan capital

first_imgTripoli: Forces backing Libya’s unity government battled to push back an offensive by strongman Khalifa Haftar on Sunday as his troops approached the gates of Tripoli after air raids overnight. Haftar’s self-proclaimed Libyan National Army, galvanised by victories in its eastern stronghold and in the country’s desert south, announced an offensive early this month to seize the capital from the UN-recognised administration of Fayez al-Sarraj. But his forces have faced fierce resistance from armed groups backing the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), including powerful factions from the western city of Misrata. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe bloodshed has derailed efforts to bring peace to a country where jihadists and people smugglers have exploited the chaos unleashed by the NATO-backed overthrow of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. At least 227 people have been killed since Haftar’s forces launched their offensive, the World Health Organisation said Sunday, adding that a further 1,128 have been wounded. Clashes intensified on Saturday when forces loyal to the GNA announced a counter-attack. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”We have launched a new phase of attack. Orders were given early this morning to advance and gain ground,” said Mustafa al-Mejii, a spokesman for GNA forces. Sustained rocket and shellfire could be heard in several districts of Tripoli on Saturday, after several days of less intense fighting and stalemate on the ground. Explosions were heard from the city centre overnight, and some witnesses reported air strikes. Pope Francis, delivering his traditional Easter message, called for an end to “conflict and bloodshed” that was killing “defenceless people” in Libya. “I urge the parties involved to choose dialogue over force and to avoid reopening wounds left by a decade of conflicts and political instability,” he said. Tripoli air traffic was suspended overnight to Sunday for “security reasons”, the city’s only operating airport said Sunday. At least two flights were re-routed from Mitiga airport to Misrata, more than 200 kilometres (125 miles) to the east, the airport’s authorities said on their Facebook page. They said flights had resumed early in the morning to Mitiga, east of the capital. The former military airbase was hit by an air strike on April 8, claimed by the LNA, and has since only operated between 5:00 pm and 8:00 am (1500 and 0600 GMT). The GNA counter-attack put pro-government forces back in control of Ain Zara, in the southern suburbs of Tripoli, where an AFP team confirmed pro-GNA forces had advanced, shifting the front line a few kilometres south. GNA spokesman Mejii told AFP on Sunday morning that “after a long day of military success, our forces are consolidating their (new) positions.” Some witnesses spoke of air raids and drones, but Mejii said the blasts were caused by strikes from LNA helicopters aimed at “terrorising civilians”. He said they had not caused any casualties but had taken place away from the front lines, without offering any further details. Military sources say the ageing Soviet and Russian fighter jets used by both sides are not equipped to carry out night time strikes, but Mejii said Haftar’s forces have a helicopter with night vision capabilities. The UN’s Libya envoy warned Thursday of “a widening conflagration” in the North African country. Ghassan Salame told AFP that “international divisions” prior to the assault on Tripoli had emboldened Haftar, who is backed by Russia and seen by his allies Egypt and the United Arab Emirates as a bulwark against Islamists. The White House revealed Friday that US President Donald Trump reached out personally to Haftar, as a push at the United Nations to broker a ceasefire hit trouble. A statement said that Trump “recognised Field Marshal Haftar’s significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s oil resources,” adding that “the two discussed a shared vision for Libya’s transition to a stable, democratic political system.” Observers saw Trump’s words of praise for the strongman as evidence of US support that explains Haftar’s determination to pursue his offensive to seize Tripoli. On Thursday, Russia and the United States opposed a British bid backed by France and Germany at the UN Security Council to demand a ceasefire in Libya. Russia insisted on having no criticism of Haftar in the proposed resolution, while the United States said it wanted more time to consider the situation.last_img read more

Dismissed BSF jawan’s nomination papers rejected

first_imgVaranasi: Dismissed BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav’s nomination as the Samajwadi Party candidate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency was rejected on Wednesday, poll officials said. Yadav was served notices Tuesday by the Varanasi returning officer over discrepancies in the two sets of nomination papers submitted by him. In the first set of papers on April 24, he had mentioned that he was dismissed from the Border Security Force. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework On April 29 he submitted a second set of papers this time as the Samajwadi Party nominee for the Lok Sabha seat but did not give out this information. He was also required to submit a no-objection certificate from the BSF, giving reasons for his dismissal. Yadav accused the BJP of resorting to “dictatorial steps” to stop him from fighting elections. “My nomination was rejected today even though I had furnished the NOC from BSF that was required by the RO, he claimed. I am a farmer’s son and I was here to raise the voices of farmers and jawans,” he told reporters. His counsel Rajesh Gupta said, “We will approach the Supreme Court”.last_img read more

Municipal Election Results To Be Certified On Tuesday

first_imgThe canvass board will count absentee, questioned and mail-in ballots leading up to October 9. Any ballot sent through the mail that’s postmarked on or before October 2 and received prior the certification of the results will be counted. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The official results from the Regular Municipal Election are expected to be finalized next Tuesday, October 9. Unofficial results from the election can be found on the Kenai Peninsula Borough website.center_img According to the Kenai city clerk the city’s three precincts had 125 absentee ballots left for the borough to count. Soldotna city clerk reported 61 absentee ballots, with one questioned ballot.last_img read more

Walmart eyes tieups with Flipkart Snapdeal others Report

first_imgUS-based multinational retail giant Walmart is reportedly looking to partner with Indian e-commerce majors, including Flipkart, Snapdeal, ShopClues, Grofers and Bigbasket, to tap the vast potential of the online retailing market in India.Amzon, Walmart’s rival in online retailing, is already giving tough competition to Indian players, and has recently emerged as the most-visited e-commerce site in India, surpassing Flipkart and Snapdeal.Walmart is said to be “actively considering” the idea of foraying into online retailing in the country after hesitating for a while.”Several businesses in the e-commerce space have approached us to become our members, and we are processing those requests,” Rajneesh Kumar, vice-president and head, corporate affairs, Walmart India, told Business Standard.So far, no foreign multi-brand retailer has a tie-up with online retailers in India.Walmart’s operations have so far been limited to business-to-business (B2B) segment in India, selling products to businesses, organisations and educational institutes. It had formed a joint venture with Sunil Bharti-led Bharti group in 2007 but decided to go alone in 2013 by discontinuing in the venture.With the foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail being capped at 51%, foreign retailers like Walmart should have a local partner to launch their operations in India.In what could be a major setback for domestic e-commerce firms, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the agency responsible for formulating policy on foreign fund inflows, has told the Delhi High Court the marketplace model followed by online retailers is “not recognised” under the country’s FDI policy.The DIPP’s stand assumes importance in the wake of growing fund-raising activities by India’s biggest online retailers, such as Amazon India, Flipkart and Snapdeal. These firms operate as marketplaces, connecting buyers and sellers, and currently foreign investment is prohibited in such type of businesses.last_img read more

Bharti Airtel Q4 beats estimates as more customers pay for mobile internet

first_imgBharti Airtel Ltd, India’s largest telecoms network operator, reported a better than expected 2.8 percent rise in its fourth-quarter profits on Wednesday, boosted by a 15 percent rise in subscribers in its home market for mobile broadband services to 35.5 million.Consolidated net profit rose to 12.90 billion rupees ($194.23 million) in the quarter ended March 31, from 12.55 billion rupees a year earlier, the company said.Analysts on average had expected a net profit of 12.21 billion rupees, according to a Reuters poll.Bharti Airtel, headed by Indian billionaire Sunil Mittal, said total revenues rose 8.4 percent to 249.6 billion rupees.Separately the company also approved a share buyback of 14.34 billion rupees.India has over 1 billion mobile phone users, making it the second biggest market behind China, and the market for mobile internet services is growing fast as only a third of phone users already have smart phones.Over 100 million smart phones were sold in India last year and that number is expected to grow by over 25 percent this year while network operators are investing heavily in providing 4G broadband.In the last two months alone Bharti has spent about $1.2 billion on buying radio spectrum to expand its 4G service.last_img read more