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Riebeek TODAY - the Valley Newsletter

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Still Pure - Riebeek Kasteel, next to Pick n Pay - 082 407 3858

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This is a GREAT initiative! The ‘Big Cleanup’ this International Coastal Cleanup Day marks one year to World Cleanup Day 2018

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Covering nearly 1,500 kilometres of the South African coastline, with a number of nodal cleanups to be implemented from Melkbosstrand in the west, to Ballito on the east coast of South Africa, the inaugural ‘Big Cleanup’ – a network of participating organisations and volunteer groups – will deliver a wave of change to our shores this International Coastal Cleanup Day (ICC), September 16th, and all members of the public are invited to join in on the action.

The WESSA Tourism Blue Flag project – a three-year coastal tourism and youth development project implemented by WESSA in partnership with the National Department of Tourism – along with the Let’s Do It! Africa waste awareness campaign and other participating partners will run or support a total of 22 registered coastal cleanup events. This collaborative effort will enjoy the official support of Plastics|SA as an implementer and main sponsor of the annual ICC event.

The International Coastal Cleanup initiative has been an unwavering platform to raise awareness on marine pollution, inadequate waste management, the need for recycling and non-littering in South Africa for the past 20 years. This year’s ‘Big Cleanup’ network will enable citizens to actively do something to improve the health of their local marine resources.

Building on this model, the Let’s Do It! civic-led mass movement, currently being introduced to the African continent and neighbouring nations, works to unite the global community and encourages civic society members to stand up against the ever-growing trash problem by cleaning up waste both along the coast and inland. To date, 113 countries and over 16 million people have joined the campaign to clean up illegal waste.

Coinciding with ICC in 2018, an estimated 150 countries and 5% of the global population will participate in the long anticipated World Cleanup Day on 15 September 2018, making it the biggest positive civic action the world has ever seen.

Whilst global preparations are underway for the 2018 cleanup event, the Let’s Do It! campaign works to improve waste management in areas where waste is being lost to the environment, raise awareness about the issue, increase the frequency of citizen cleanups and raise future ‘waste warriors’ such as the youth employed as the Beach Stewards on the WESSA Tourism Blue Flag Programme, as proud coastal conservation ambassadors.

Other network partner organisations include: Two Oceans Aquarium; the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB); Junior Chamber International (JCI) South Africa; Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET); the Sustainable Seas Trust (SST); Boaz Ocean Awareness Yacht; the Coastal Cleanup Convention; Nature’s Valley Trust; and White Shark Ventures.

The network also enjoys the volunteer support of The City of Cape Town; Ray Nkonyeni Municipality; Knysna Municipality; and Overstrand Municipality.

Special environmental calendar days come and go, but the sustainability of the ICC and World Cleanup Day models serve as a strong indicator of what citizens desire – a clean and healthy, waste-free planet.

To learn more about the various coastal cleanup events steered and supported by the WESSA Tourism Blue Flag beach stewards, Let’s Do It! Africa campaign and other participating partners, visit www.wessa.co.za or www.letsdoitworld.org.

For media enquiries, contact Let’s Do It! Africa’s Development and Marketing Coordinator, Louanne Mostert at louanne.mostert@letsdoitworld.org or +27(0)83 874 3067.

Photo: Pupils from five schools participated in the WESSA Blue Flag International Coastal Cleanup event at Muizenberg beach last year.

Louanne Mostert

Marketing & Development – Africa

Tel +27 21 531 7815 | Cell +27 83 874 3067

Skype louanne_mostert | Cape Town, South Africa

www.letsdoitworld.org

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Viva Opera - Mamre

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OLD IS GOLD - Second hand goods market

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100th DARLING WILDFLOWER SHOW

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THE DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN’S RIDE - Louis Gerke riding for a good cause

Our local business guru, Louis Gerke is taking part in this amazing event.
[SUPPORT HIM HERE!]
Check out the webite and donate. All for a really great cause.
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Meet the pooch putting paid to poachers

(Zambia) – Meet Ruger, a three-year-old labrador retriever/German shepherd mix, born on the Blackfeet Reservation in the US state of Montana. His owner shot his littermates, but Ruger escaped. He was taken to a nearby animal shelter where he was found by a dog trainer. Image
Ruger is a bad dog, and that’s why he does his job so well. Just ask Megan Parker, the director of research at Working Dogs for Conservation in Montana. When Parker scours animal shelters for her next dog-in-training, she looks for unadoptable, hard-to-handle dogs.

“Bad dogs have an overwhelming desire to bring you things,” she said. “Dogs love telling you what they know. They have an inability to quit.”

It’s that inability to quit that draws Parker to “bad” dogs such as Ruger. “These dogs have an unrelenting drive,” she said. “For a dog that doesn’t stop, you can train that dog to bring you things.”

Parker, a conservation biologist and trainer of detection dogs, admits that “bad” dogs don’t make great pets. Their personalities, however, are perfect for conservation work.

At first Ruger bit and snapped at people. “He was a scary dog to approach,” said Parker. She had trouble getting him to a veterinarian. He had issues with confined spaces. Still, she wouldn’t relent.

“Early on in his training, Meg [Parker] was under pressure from her colleagues to decide if Ruger would make the cut,” said Pete Coppolillo, executive director at Working Dogs for Conservation (WD4C). “If a dog doesn’t work out, we make sure they have a forever home. We all wondered if Meg should start finding a place for Ruger, who was losing his sight.”

It was Ruger’s drive that convince Parker to keep training him. She eventually paired Ruger with the scouts of “Delta Team”, a Zambian law enforcement unit jointly operated by the South Luangwa Conservation Society and the Zambia Wildlife Authority. The scouts, who had little interaction with dogs, were skeptical.

On his first day, Ruger accompanied them on a job where roadblocks were set up to search cars and trucks which might be carrying illegal goods. “It takes humans an hour or more to search a car,” said Coppolillo, “whereas it takes dogs three to four minutes.”

As the vehicles were passing, Ruger sat and stared at one of the cars. “That’s his alert [a dog training term for signal],” said Coppolillo.

The car contained several pieces of luggage. The scouts searched them and found nothing. Ruger, however, kept on staring at one piece of luggage. Inside was a matchbox wrapped in a plastic bag that contained a primer cap, which ignites gunpowder in illegal muzzle loaders used for poaching.

“At that moment, everyone believed that Ruger knew what he was doing,” Coppolillo said. “They learned to think of Ruger as a colleague.”

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Ruger’s been working since September 2014. “He’s a hero,” Coppolillo said, “who’s responsible for dozens of arrests and has convinced many skeptics of his detection skills.”

WD4C recently held a demonstration at a courthouse, where a number of people believed that Ruger’s skills were akin to witchcraft. A scout hid a piece of ivory and it took Ruger less than three minutes to find it.

The fact that he’s going blind isn’t slowing him down either. “His skills have sharpened,” Coppolillo said. “He’s working with a few younger dogs, who are somewhat goofy and get distracted like most puppies do. Ruger remains focused despite many distractions, such as having wild animals close by. Baboons are the worst. His lack of eyesight [he can see shadows] works in his favor because he almost entirely focuses on his sense of smell.”

“A dog’s sense of smell is far more developed than we humans can even imagine,” said Coppolillo. “Scientists talk about olfactory receptors, and concentrations, and parts per billion, but to put all that in perspective, think about it this way: a dog can detect a teaspoon of sugar dissolved in a million gallons of water – that’s two Olympic swimming pools.”

Ruger’s payment is playing tug-of-war with his favorite chew toy. His handlers don’t reward him with food. He does get days off during the week, which is well deserved since the work is dangerous. “Poachers are well armed and well trained,” Coppolillo said. “African elephants don’t live throughout the continent. Poachers kill elephants where they reside and smuggle them to places where they don’t live to throw law enforcement off their tracks.”

Coppolillo and Parker thought about sourcing other dogs in Africa. “Good dog selection is absolutely essential,” Coppolillo said. “Village dogs simply don’t have the drive to do this kind of work. There are only a handful of suitable and reputable kennels in Africa. Most are focused on selling security and military dogs, so they’re not as well socialized as a conservation dog needs to be. Plus, they generally sell those dogs for much more than what it would cost us to source a dog in the US.”

Meanwhile, Parker continues to scour US shelters for dogs like Ruger. To date, the former “bad” dog has put 150 poachers out of business.

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Bester Family Wines

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Kombucha is back in stock @ Crisp

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Darling ttu 24Hr MTB Enduro: 30 Sep - 1 Oct

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The Continent’s First Private Satellite built by teenage girls

Image The team of girls designed the payloads for the scanning satellite as a part of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) boot camp. The payload will send back detailed thermal imaging information two times a day to assist with disaster prevention and boost food security.

“We can try to determine and predict the problems Africa will be facing in the future,” Brittany Bull, a student at Pelican Park High School in South Africa who worked on the payload, told CNN. “Where our food is growing, where we can plant more trees and vegetation and also how we can monitor remote areas … We have a lot of forest fires and floods but we don’t always get out there in time.”

The project itself comes as a part of South Africa’s Meta Economic Development Organisation (MEDO). MEDO purchased the satellite, and the students were trained in part thanks to satellite engineers from Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

Steak and ribs @ Cafe Felix every FRIDAY

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Crystal & Twine - 022 448 1290

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Oh crumbs!

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Diane - 082 434 9777

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