Job creation tops environmental agenda

first_img6 June 2012 Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa celebrated World Environment Day on Tuesday by announcing plans to create over 60 000 new jobs this year – and 300 000 new jobs by 2020 – with the focus on women, the youth and people with disabilities. “It is a programme that has exceptional returns on investment, and I want to emphasise that these jobs are vital for our long-term economic future,” she added. Working for Wetlands was founded in 2004 and has rehabilitated over 800 wetlands, creating 15 000 jobs for mostly marginalised rural communities. The project focuses on the rehabilitation, protection and sustainable use of South Africa’s 110 000 wetlands. Molewa attended the annual World Environment Day celebrations in Mangaung, Bloemfontein and spoke about the department’s plans to step up environmental protection and preservation efforts. “We as South Africa are part of the global campaign to promote sustainable development and also are proponents of the global drive towards a green economy,” Molewa said. Job creation is an integral part of South Africa’s efforts to join the global drive towards sustainable development. “This year the department, through the entire suite of programmes within our environmental programmes branch, aims to create job opportunities for about 62 860,” she said. “We also aim to ensure that 55% of beneficiaries from our programmes are women, 40% are youth and 2% are people with disabilities.”Environmental protection programmes These targets will be achieved through the department’s programmes and sub- programmes. Working for Water, Working for Wetlands and Working on Fire are the department’s biggest and most successful initiatives so far, but the sub-programmes of the environmental protection and infrastructure programmes were heralded as growing contributors to sustainable development and job protection. These are made up of Working on Waste, Working for the Coast, People and Parks, and Sustainable Land Based Livelihood. “We are a country endowed with a rich and diverse biodiversity that enables thousands of jobs in different sectors,” she said. “Our diverse biodiversity is our competitive edge in growing our economy while at the same time addressing climate change and we are doing that through our environment programmes.” Working for Water is particularly successful: it was established in 1995 and has over the years created 397 146 work opportunities. It aims to combat the impact of alien invasive species on our water security, diversity, use of land, wild fires and erosion. It is through these partnerships and the government’s joining of the Green Economy Accord – dubbed as one of the most comprehensive social pacts on green jobs in the world – that the department plans to create 300 000 new jobs by 2020. Working towards this will provide exciting new opportunities for the country’s youth and Molewa urged all young South Africans to get involved. “Tomorrow belongs to those who prepare themselves today.” SAinfo reporter “Working on Fire also recruits from disadvantaged backgrounds and offers work opportunities to 4 800 fire fighters in 107 bases around South Africa in 2011/12 alone,” Molewa said.Working for the future Working on Waste looks at waste collection, disposal and recycling initiatives. “In this regard we provide support to the municipalities in terms of handling of waste and this includes assistance in the construction of landfill sites and buy-back centres where appropriate.” Working for the Coast programmes deal with cleaning and rehabilitating coastal environmental assets and infrastructure; People and Parks projects support the development of infrastructure in and around protected areas; and Sustainable Land Based Livelihood focuses on projects which encourage restoration, rehabilitation and re-vegetation of degraded areas. The bigger picture enjoyed the same success. According to Molewa, 26 896 jobs were created overall by the environmental protection and infrastructure programmes in 2011/12. It is full steam ahead for the department going forward, and the injection of R800- million over the next two years from the National Treasury’s Green Fund will assist its green economy implementation plan. “We will utilise this funding in a manner that seeks to attract new and additional investment, stimulate job creation and lay the foundations for South Africa’s transition to a low carbon, job-creating and resource-efficient growth path,” she explained. “We are extending partnerships to key international funding institutions such as the World Bank Clean Technology Fund and the newly established Green Climate Fund.” A total of 2 788 jobs were created in the implementation of these sub-projects. “All the employed people have been trained on various skills programmes ranging from bricklaying in the construction sector to waste management in the environmental sector,” she said. “Although we can still do more and we certainly will, we are delighted with this achievement because it debunks the myth that environment management hinders development. When you work for the environment, the environment will work for you.”last_img read more

Ohio trip to Kansas leaves lasting goodwill

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest There were many people who worked together to coordinate the baffling logistics of organizing the incredible good will efforts from Ohio to Ashland, Kansas last month, but probably none more than Rose Hartschuh of Crawford County. Along with her husband, Greg, she tackled the massive task as the main contact for the effort, organizing the incredible donations of money and supplies and coordinating the extensive accommodations in Kansas. She also coordinated efforts with the Kansas Farm Bureau, the Kansas Livestock Association and the generosity of the towns of Minneola and Ashland in Kansas.Here is an update Rose provided after the trip:We are still getting tons of calls from people wanting to donate hay or fencing materials, which is awesome! However, at this point, Greg and I are not organizing any more loads. I have been encouraging people to post to the Facebook page if they have materials to donate or if they are willing to truck. The Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/OhioansHelpingKansas. Hopefully people can start to match themselves up.We are also going to organize and support more groups like we just sent. We just scheduled one for May 19 though May 23. After fuel expenses have been reimbursed, we plan to send checks from the funds raised to young and beginning ranchers that Ashland community leaders identified. Hopefully these funds will help them begin to rebuild their operations. We are also going to make a cash donation to the Kansas Livestock Association. Our group left a donation with the church in Minneola and the volunteer fire department in Ashland as well. We will zero-out the donations we collected by cutting a check to the Ashland Community Foundation after the next group travels.I think the best thing that came out of our trip is the awareness here in Ohio. It is awesome to see so many people lining up their own groups because they were inspired by what we did. I hope people realize that anyone can make a difference. You don’t have to have a convoy of 40-plus vehicles. Anyone can pitch in when there’s a need, whether it’s next door or across the country. How you can help Kansas wildfire victims Collect suppliesThe need for hay will continue for nearly a year. No hay donations will be turned down if the hay is transported to Ashland, Kansas. Feed and milk replacer donations are not as important at this point.Perhaps a bigger need than hay is the need for fencing supplies. Specific materials needed include:• Galvanized barbed wire, 14 gauge or heavier, with two- or four-point barbs• Osage orange or creosote treated wooden posts or steel t-posts, at least six foot in length• Preference is for new fencing materials.All hay and fencing supplies should be delivered to Ashland Feed and Seed: 1975 County Road U Ashland, Kansas 67831 at 620-635-2856You do not need to call ahead with supplies unless you are bringing several truckloads. Ashland Feed and Seed will unload supplies during their business hours. VolunteerRecovery efforts will last for years and costs tens of millions of dollars. Volunteer labor can be used to reduce the financial burden on ranchers. Volunteers will be used to tear out damaged fence and eventually replace it with new fence.Free accommodations are available in Ashland at a church camp. Volunteers will need to provide their own bedding items, towels, and toiletry items. Each volunteer should plan to take a pair of durable gloves and fencing pliers.To volunteer, contact Holly Fast at 620-408-6021. Holly can provide up-to-date information about the projects and accommodations. DonateSeveral organizations have wildfire relief funds set up to help ranchers. Here is a list of some:• Ashland, Kansas Community Foundation: Ashlandcf.com• Kansas Livestock Association: Kla.org• Kansas Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers: kfb.org.For more from the trip, including the amazing list of sponsors, click here.last_img read more

Bastar gets full-time IG

first_imgNagpur Senior IPS officer Vivekananda Sinha was appointed as the Inspector General of Police of the Maoist insurgency-hit Bastar range of Chhattisgarh on Saturday.The post was vacant after former Bastar IG and controversial police officer Shiv Ram Prasad Kalluri was shifted out of the region in February.The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Dantewada range P.Sundar Raj was given an additional charge of Bastar range, however, the killing of 12 CRPF men in the region’s Sukma district last month, fuelled the demand of a full-time IG in the region.An IPS officer of 1996 batch, Mr.Sinha is currently posted as IG Bilaspur range. With his transfer to Bastar, the conflict-hit region will have a new team of IPS officers.Mr. Kalluri’s subordinate officers, including Bastar Superintendent of Police R.N. Dash and Sukma SP Kalyaan Elesela were also removed from Bastar after his transfer.Mr. Sinha already has experience on the Maoist front as he was in-charge of Bastar range for a few months last year, when Mr. Kalluri had proceeded on medical leave.Mr. Sinha’s transfer to Bastar also quelled speculations about Mr. Kalluri’s return to the region.last_img read more

Injury forces Saina out of Indian Open

first_imgAn ankle injury forced Saina Nehwal to pull out of the Indian Open badminton championships, which got underway in Hyderabad on Wednesday. The Indian ace experienced pain in her right ankle after a practice session in the morning and subsequently withdrew.Saina confirmed that she had experienced pain on Wednesday. “Everytime I stretched on my right side, I felt a slight pain. I consulted Kiran Kumar (physiotherapist) and Pullela Gopi Chand sir and they were of the view that I should pull out,” said Saina.Saina added she had experienced similar pain in the third game of the Hong Kong Super Series final on Sunday, where she emerged victorious. ” I had felt the same pain when I was leading 17- 14 against Wang Shixian. But I continued as I was so close to winning,” she said.Speaking to Mail Today, Kiran Kumar said the injury was not serious. “It is not at all a serious injury. But then, seeing the tight schedule that she has ivn the coming year, we thought it was better not to take a chance,” he said.Elaborating on the injury, Kiran said Saina’s subtalar joint was at the root of the problem. ” One needs some massage and rest. I saw her ankle and felt that she needed at least a week’s break. Conversely, had she played, the injury could have been aggravated. It would have also put her out of action for five to six weeks,” Kiran Kumar said.But the bigger issue is with that with five to six weeks being the recovery period for her, the Indian ace is certain to miss the Super Series finals that are slated to be held in Taipei from January 5.advertisementWhen asked whether Saina would be able to play in the Taipei event, Kiran felt her chances were ” not too bright”. For his part, chief coach Gopi Chand said Saina was keen to participate but was prevented from going ahead. ” We did not want to take any risk by playing her here,” he said.Meanwhile, C Punnaiah Choudhary, the tournament secretary, admitted that Saina’s pull out came as a big disappointment.”The organisers and local fans were all hoping to see their star player win.Unfortunately that will not happen now,” he said.He also said that Saina will be fined for pulling out after the tournament had started. ” She will have to cough up the penalty of $ 250 for withdrawing so late,” Choudhary said.last_img read more