Nudging the way to change

‘Nudging’ the way to change

Having recently read the book ‘Nudge’ by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, I became intrigued by the potential for ‘nudge’ solutions to environmental challenges, some of which are described in the book. Read more

SA's Carbon Tax

SA’s draft carbon tax legislation and carbon offset regulations: How will it work?

Subsequent to the ratification of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, we need to prepare to operate in a carbon constrained economy over the medium to long term. This was emphasised by National Treasury in a press release on the 10th of November 2016. A business as usual scenario is no longer an option. Read more

Management intensive grazing

What meat should I be eating?

Informed consumers globally would doubtlessly have asked themselves this question at some stage. Meat and dairy production invariably top the list of production systems when discussing environmental hotspots of agriculture. When dealing with sustainability and livestock, a discussion of whether we should eat meat or not, and if we do which type, is inescapable. Read more

Analysis of Western Cape dam levels

Western Cape dam levels: 15% by April 2017?

Since the winter of 2014, the Western Cape region has been in the midst of a significant and worsening drought. The winter rains of 2015 and 2016 have done little to offer relief, and as of the beginning of November 2016, the City of Cape Town entered into Level 3 Water Restrictions, and the agricultural operations of the Western Cape continue to face substantial water-related risks. In this piece, I take a look at the historical levels of the major dams in the Western Cape, and what these might mean for the province’s municipal and agricultural water resources in 2017. Read more

IT for Agri

IT for Agri – The top apps around

There are a number of freely available mobile and web-based apps that are particularly useful to those operating in South Africa’s agricultural sector. If you haven’t used one of these apps already, we suggest you take a look! Read more

A quick look at the historic Paris Climate Deal that will enter into force on the 4th of November 2016

The Paris Agreement sends a powerful signal that the world is finally committed to a low-carbon future, and it promises to unleash investment and innovation in clean energy on an unprecedented scale. Read more

Aquaculture environmental impacts

Where – and how – was my fish grown?

Chances are you will need to ask this question more and more. Historically, capture fisheries (fish caught in the wild) have been the most prominent source of traded fish. However, capture fisheries volumes have levelled off in the past decade and aquaculture (the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of plants and animals in all types of water environments) is increasingly looked on to meet the increasing global demand for fish. In fact, aquaculture already produces almost half of all fish for human food – and this share is expected to increase to more than 60% by 2030! Behind this growth, there are some important sustainability issues that need to be considered. Read more

Confronting Climate Change

A Fresh Look for Confronting Climate Change!

The Confronting Climate Change team is very excited to share their updated website and calculator tool with you. Please do visit the new site HERE and start entering your data on the online calculator tool and let us know whether you find it user-friendly. Read more

What are a Business’s Social Dependencies and Impacts?

In my last post, which you can access here, I examined the throughput of energy and materials that is at the heart of every business (the dark blue horizontal arrow) and the flows from, and to, the environment that must be sustained if the business is to achieve the strategic objective of sustaining “economically viable throughput indefinitely”. In this post, I will look at social dependencies and impacts, and how they fit into the Sustainability System Map.  Read more

Odds stacked against SA beekeeping

The odds stacked against SA’s beekeepers

In South Africa, honeybees and their pollination services contribute an estimated R16 billion to the national GDP, of which approximately R10 billion is generated in the Western Cape (Engineering News 2015). With the changing profile of deciduous fruits, increases in vegetable production; and large increases in vegetable seed production and expansion of macadamia nut plantations, the demand for these pollination services is expected to “double over the next five years” (Allsopp[1], pers. comm. 2016).

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