Environmental

SA Women win Goldman Environmental Prize

Makoma Lekalakala and Liziwe McDaid
Almost a year since winning the nuclear court case – it was announced that the two women who were the driving force behind the victory, were awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in San Francisco, USA. Earthlife Africa's Makoma Lekalakala and Liziwe McDaid from the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) joined the winners from five other continents and were honoured for their efforts to successfully mobilise South Africans against the government’s secret R1-trillion nuclear deal.

DNA 'barcode' identified for plants

A 'barcode' gene that can be used to distinguish between the majority of plant species on Earth has been identified by scientists who publish their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal this month. This gene, which can be used to identify plants using a small sample, could lead to new ways of easily cataloguing different types of plants in species-rich areas like rainforests. It could also lead to accurate methods for identifying plant ingredients in powdered substances, such as in traditional Chinese medicines, and could help to monitor and prevent the...

Detection of Illegal trade in the Cape Parrot and Blue Crane using DNA

Tiawanna Taylor Both the Blue Crane and Cape Parrot suffer from illegal trade in South Africa where chicks, or eggs, are removed from the nests of wild breeding pairs. Both these species are protected by South African legislation and permits are required by anyone wanting to possess, own or trade these birds. In order to obtain a permit, birds should be captive bred. However, illegal traders often operate by fraudulently obtaining permits, by falsely claiming that they have captive bred the chicks themselves. Proving that this is not the case, in order to prosecute offenders, can be difficult...

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