Photo Elicitation

We are constantly surrounded by greenery in our natural environment. Trees are an important source of oxygen but their bark and leaves tell stories to individuals as well as their own stories. Growing up in Johannesburg, known as a concrete jungle, there is a large amount of trees that compliment it. In this blog post I will conduct a photo elicitation, in which I will provide photos in a research interview. These photos will encourage dialogue and evoke information, feelings and memories.

Dean (2015) refers to trees as being symbols, tree narratives will show the meaning and memories that one finds involving trees.

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NARRATIVE OF SERVICE: Providing services to the human residents, i.e.: shade; environmental benefits.

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Every Christmas since I first moved in to my house, I remember running outside to the park outside our house, where our family tree had been planted. I remember getting extremely excited to decorate our family tree with Christmas ornaments, and celebrate another year with my family. This tree was planted by my family along with other families, who lived around the park, who planted trees in the neighbourhood, over 15 years ago. The tree as a service, provided environmental benefits as over 2 households planted trees, which are still rooted in the park.

REBECCA: My friend recalls of her recent trip to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. She remembers how hot the day was and how a large tree, which she does not know the name of, provided shade and coolness to her and her family. Rebecca enjoyed seeking shade and comfort under the leaves of the large tree.

KERRYN: My Mom recalls of a specific tree that she used to play with at her school. It is a large oak tree that had huge branches for her and her friends to sit and play on. My Mom attended a co-ed school and she remembers how the girls and the boys used to mimic the famous Romeo and Juliet balcony scene.

REX: My Grandfather immediately thinks of the tree at the bottom of his garden. He recalls hot summer days on the patio at a Sunday lunch, where we have all be caught by the sun. He speaks with a smile of how we gather the chairs, our plate of food and make our way to the shaded area, where our Sunday lunch commences, this time only a lot cooler.

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NARRATIVE OF POWER: Human control of nature; aesthetic purposes; symbols of race; class and status.

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This is a very memorable photo of trees to me. This is the entrance to my school, which is shaded by the arch of the purple Jacaranda tress. These trees symbolise a form of power as the Jacarandas form an archway, a symbolisation of royalty and importance. The trees are planted in an well known private school, which highlights wealth and class. I remember running through the parking lots and hearing slight popping noises of the fallen jacarandas under my school shoes. Having a fear of bees, as a young school girl I dreaded walking through the parking lot because bees loved the Jacaranda trees. We used to play a game called ‘Milk or Honey’ with the Jacaranda flowers, that we used to push the juice out of the flower and guess if it was milk (white) or honey (transparent). If I walk past a Jacaranda tree, I am still tempted to play ‘Milk or Honey’

REBECCA: Rebecca, a school friend of mine, related well to this photo. She too remembers running through the parking lot with Jacaranda flowers on her shoes. She recalls how the Jacaranda trees framed the road and how these tress were found in wealthy well known areas. These jacarandas used to frame a long way down the roads and the sun used to shine through the gaps.

KERRYN: My mother as a young girl, walked to school with the rest of her siblings. Being a young girl she remembers her interest in looking at the gardens of the houses that she walked past. She remembers walking past the larger, wealthier houses, that had large trees with swings in them. My Mom longed for a tree with a swing in her garden, but my Grandparents never had the space or tree to do so.

REX: My Grandfather, who takes care in his garden, especially the front outside his house, he recalls of the small trees that people used to have outside the entrance of their house. He recalls how the trees were shaped and trimmed into round balls and looked like large green lollipops. He says that these trees were made to stand out and placed for decorative purposes.

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NARRATIVE OF HERITAGE: Prominent community landmarks, trees associated with a historic person, place, event or period.

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I have a huge interest with regards to World War 2 and the history behind the Nazi Holocaust. I was fortunate enough to travel to Berlin where I came across this monument of concrete slabs which was the Holocaust memorial site. A variety of bright green trees make up the boundary to the contrasting grey slabs. The boundary of trees, highlight the history of Berlin with the holocaust as well as they symbolise the growth of a new era where discrimination is not tolerated.

REBECCA: Rebecca remembers of her trip to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardnes where she saw Wood Cyacds. A clump of these were discovered in Durban and transported to different Botanical gardens in South Africa. These cyacds are often rare and there are such things as cyacds thieves that try to steal and sell for money because they are so rare.

KERRYN: My Mom remembers a trip she had to game reserve. she remembers how fortunate she was to see the famous Marula trees, which the fruit is often eaten by Elephants. The Marula tree is symbolic to South African heritage as it embodies the natural landscape of our country and feeds the sweet tooth of the Elephants.

REX: My grandfathers recalls of the mango tree that my other grandparents have in their garden in the South Coast of Durban. This mango tree attracts many animals who love the taste of the fresh mangoes. My Grandfather remembers watching how the monkeys used to fight eachother and sit on the balcony and eat the mangoes.

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COUNTER NARRATIVES: The unruly tree

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When thinking of the unruly tree, I immediately think of the numerous times that my Sister and I swam in our pool, covered with purple flowers from the large Bougainvillea. As beautiful as it was, with its bright purple flowers, the tree was a lot of maintenance. The leaves landed in our pool and along our garden and often there were large dustbin bags of flowers, from the weekend clean ups that my sister and I had to do. The tree was huge in height, and its size, was a threat to our house and neighbours as it was soon to fall naturally. As sad as it was that the tree was cut down, the light in the photo above, still shows some of the purple flowers that we find in our garden today.

REBECCA: Rebecca thinks of the vines in garden that run and grow up on the wall.The also grow up on the poles and Rebecca often finds them annoying. Vines are hard to maintain and often result in rats living in them.

KERRYN: My Mom, agrees with this above photo. My Mom loves her garden and often on a Sunday we will find her working in it. The Bougainvillea was extremely hard to manage and maintain. My Mom was constantly frustrated with the fallen leaves that had to be taken out of the pool and swept up from our garden. My Parent’s bedroom is right by the tree and my Mom often found the Bougainvillea’s inside her bedroom through her bedroom door.

REX: My Grandfather humoured me with his memory of an unruly tree. He does not remember what the tree was called but his next door neighbour had a tree that half hung over my grandfathers wall, at the pool area. The tree’s leaves often fell into my Grandfathers pool and this frustrated my Grandfather extremely as he would have to clean up the leaves of a tree that he did not own. Much to his frustration, the neighbours refused to cut or trim their tree. In an act of rebellion, my  grandfather collected the fallen leaves from his pool, placed them in ball in a plastic packet and placed them in the freezer. At night he would remove the frozen leaves and throw them over the wall to the neighbours’s pool, where they would defrost in the pool. My grandfather’s last statement was “They were not my leaves”.

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These narratives show that Dean (2015) was true in her account that through photo elicitation, trees do have narratives. Trees hold memories and stories that are generated through our own personal encounters with them. The photo elicitation shows the connectivity that trees have on humans and the way in which we have encountered with them are memorable.

References:

Dean, J. 2015. The unruly tree: stories from the archives, in Urban forests, trees, and greenspace: a political ecology perspective, edited by: LA Sandberg, A Bardekjian & S Butt. New York: Routledge: 162-175

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The Stewardship of the Natural Environment

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Johannesburg Botanical Gardens

Found in the midst of the city, the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens is situated in Emmarentia, by the Emmarentia Dam. Going back to 1866 the botanical gardens are the youngest gardens in South Africa and the garden is home to a vast variety of fauna and flora. The garden is one of the best spots for weekend picnics, dog walkers, cyclists and joggers.

Recently I went to the gardens to have a picnic with my boyfriend.During our walk through the gardens, we were welcomed with numerous cyclists and dog walkers. The gardens are a popular site for many cyclists, as the gardens have an off trail route. Whilst through our walk we were looking for the right picnic spot and came across one of their seven gardens, the rose garden, which looked like the perfect spot. The rose garden is planted with over 4500 rose bushes.

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The botanical gardens holds a variety of fauna and flora and has seven gardens, each with specific plants, bushes and flowers to examine. The Herb garden contains herbs with medicinal and culinary purposes. The Hedge garden holds 58 species and the Succulent garden contains over 2500 species which can only be viewed by appointment. Already one can see the huge variety that the garden provides.

Visually the landscape is beautiful, decorated by large trees that create arches of shade for walkers. The long terrace of the rose garden, colour the grounds which lie next to the Shakespeare Garden, which consists of the herbs that the playwright referred to in his books. More so, the visual appearance of the gardens is more so seen in the Chapel Garden, a popular spot for photographs of newlyweds. The Arboretum has a variety of exotic and indigenous tress.

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The Johannesburg Botanical gardens is an important spot to have in the community. Many people forget the beauty of enjoying a day outside as they are stuck in a bubble of the commercial world. The gardens are an easy accessible area that is suitable for all ages. The seven other gardens provide a huge amount of different fauna and flora that appeal to educate and interest people.

An even bigger benefit of these gardens is the 7.5 hectare Emmarentia Dam, which is used ideal for water sports and even birdwatchers. The gardens are also used to host musical events that showcase local and even international music sensations.

I really encourage people to make plan a weekend and spend time at the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens, it is such a serene and tranquil place to be in that exposes people to the beauty of nature.

Slow Violence

 

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As mentioned in one of my previous blog post’s, the Anthropocene is the epoch that we are currently living in as a result to human influence and impact on the environment. Through this the Anthropocene has been made to reveal many environmental destruction and changes. Robert Nixon, coined the term ‘slow violence’ as violence that occurs over a wide span of time, unexpected and typically not viewed as violence at all. This is the violence that is bought by climate change, deforestation, oil spills and other environmental destruction that occurs gradually and sometimes invisibly. This blog post, in a form of a photo essay, will highlight the ideas of slow violence in the world today and display the need for immediate change.

Oils Spills and their effect on bird life and marine mammals

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If you grew up with holidays at the beach, you will remember early in the morning and late at night, the display of lights that decorated the horizon from the ships travelling on the ocean. Those ships always fascinated me as I always wondered, where they were going and what they were doing. The ships triggered my thinking of how one forgets the destruction made towards the ocean and marine life.This blue eyed sea in the picture above, contrasted with highlights of dark, thick lines is a result of an oil spill in the ocean. An oil spill is a result of a release of liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment by human activity and is a form of pollution (Boesak, 2014). This photo above shows the result of tankers, offshore platforms, drilling wrigs and wells that release the oil into the water which disrupts the bird life and marine mammals in the area. Releasing oil into the ocean is a harmful and dangerous action, as it opposes threat to many living organisms in the ocean.

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Thinking that a ocean can never catch alight, is an understatement as it can. Even though water can put a fire out, an oil spill is a big enough threat and hazard to the ocean as oil is a fire hazard (Boesak, 2014). As seen in the photo oil can catch fire even if it is on water. When the oil catches a light, the fire poses as another threat to the environment as a form of air pollution. The heavy, thick, black smoke acts as a choke hold in the air as the smoke creates respiratory distress, limiting the amount of clean air to breathe for marine birds. A part from the fire being a threat to birds, the smoke pollutes the air acting as another beneficiary to climate change and the destruction of the ozone layer.

Jackass penguin (Spheniscus demersus)

Jackass Penguin Spheniscus demersus Bird covered in oil from oil spill off the coast of South Africa Robben Island, South Africa.

The 4 hilarious penguins of Madagascar, as portrayed in the movie ‘Madagascar’, live a luxurious life in the warmth of Madagascar highlighting little similarity to those in the Icy countries and those on Boulders Beach in Cape Town, South Africa. We tend to forget the impact that the destruction of the environment has on marine mammals, as one is not regularly exposed to the harm that is done by oil spills. The black covered penguin is a symbol of the impact that oil spills have on marine life and the oil acts as a thick coat that hugs around the penguin and is hard to take off. The penguin is not only the other bird life that is affected, as sea gulls and other birds, are restricted when affected by oil. The oil penetrates the feather and fur which reduce their insulating capabilities, which make them vulnerable to temperature change (Boesak, 2014). This can result in marine wildlife migrating to other areas, that are suitable to their desired temperature.

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Difficult as it is to make out what marine animal this is, is the same in the way to help get the oil off it. One can compare this image to getting sticky caramel toffee on you hands and struggling to get it off. The sadness to see the restricted mobility of this sea bird, highlights the impact of the oil spill. Marine mammals are hugely affected by oil spills as the oil contaminates the water. The strong smell of the oil reduces the scent for mammals to find their babies (Boesak, 2014), as they rely on their scent however it is over ruled by the scent of the oil. As a result mothers and the babies are separated and this results in babies on their own, usually starving to death. Oil spills have a domino affect on the environment, causing change in the air and natural order to marine life.

This photo essay focused on the consequences that oil spills have on the environment. Slow Violence is shown in these series of image as the consequences of an oil spill has a domino affect on the area around it by destroying the natural  beauty of the sea, being a fire hazard as well as contaminating the water, killing wildlife and destroying natural order. The results of an oil spill are not immediate, they are a process of gradual destruction to the environment.

Have a look at http://www.spillcontrol.org/ for more information regarding oil spills, and what more you can do to help out.

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Sources:

Boesak, T. 2014. Oil spills in South Africa. [Online]. Available from: http://oceanadventures.co.za/oil-spills-south-africa/. Accessed on 24/04/2016.

Nixon, R. 2011. Slow violence and the environment of the poor. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

 

Companion Species

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Introduction:

Pets tend to be forgotten as animals because of the human animal relationships. The term coined by Donna Harraway of ‘companion species’ highlights the relationship and kinship shared with animals as well as living with animals and inhabiting their space and their stories. This blogpost, in a form of a photo essay, will display the notion of ‘companion species’ and the relationship between humans and their pets. This will show the affect that humans have on animals and vice versa as based on the analyses of their relationship.

 

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This is Buck, a horse with a huge love towards my horse lover Marisa. They shared a special relationship as they both learnt and taught each other the ins and outs of Horse riding and horse shows. A huge horse who was forgotten about after his first owner passed away, Buck was found by a tiny 8 year old Marisa who took him in and fell in love with him. Marisa is a top rider in Gauteng and South Africa, with many top titles ridden on Buck. Buck got Horse Sickness 4 years ago and he nearly died and managed to survive, where he still won many championships even after a sickness that on an average horses die from. Buck then got Laminitis for 2 years where there is a shifting in the bones of the horse’s hoofs. Marisa and her family continued to get Buck moving again until he could no longer stand any more until one day the family saw Buck’s pain and made the hard decision to put him to sleep. Buck taught Marisa many things and they shared a very special relationship where she would sit and read books to him. Buck trusted Marisa as she was his rider who gave her undying love, support and devotion to her horse, her best friend.

LEILA

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This smiley dog is Leila. A boxer owned by my best friend with an adorable personality. As a small puppy she was very shy and when she was bought home Melissa’s other dog Spud,a boxer, was very jealous of the new puppy. Leila is very playful and shy towards people that she doesn’t know but once she knows you, her love is addictive. In the mornings Leila will wake Melissa up with her dog breath by placing her face right in front of Melissa’s, but will get a fright and run away when Melissa wakes up. Melissa’s family loves this adorable dog, with her playful personality, and she has a safe place in the home and heart of Melissa.

GRACE AND HARLEY

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Grace and Harley are the lovable dogs of the Chamberlain Family. These 2 dogs are the first that you meet when arriving at the house, as their excitement is sprung on you in the form of wet licks and loud barking. The whole family love these dogs but it is Ashleigh who has a special connection to them. Ashleigh, an animal lover, is often found hugging and loving Grace and Harley around the house. The dogs are found resting around Ash and follow her around in hopes of tickles and kisses. When down in Ramsgate, the South Coast of Durban, the dogs wait in excitement for their early morning walks on the beach with Ash. Ashleigh loves Grace and Harley and this is seen in her excitement and love which is shown in their response to her.

ROMEO

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I struggled to find a photo of my childhood dog, Romeo, this photo above is an exact representation of what he looked like (although it is not him). Romeo, is a staffy, with whom I absolutely adored and cherished.Romeo was a year older than me and so we grew up together. I had a special connection with him as I always took him for walks and played outside with him.I loved Romeo, and looked forward to the days when I got home  When there was lighting and thunder Romeo often jumped on to my bed and slept with me, which he never did with anyone in my family. When I found out that Romeo got cancer, I was completely devastated and could not come to terms that he had it. The cancer moved from his leg, to his eye and then to his stomach until it was not controllable and he died at the age of 12 and when I was 11. I still to this day miss him and long for the day that I own a pet with the attachment that I had towards Romeo.

Conclusion

So it can be seen that animals do a have an impact on humans as well as humans have a significant impact on animals. It is clear to see that within each photo, there is a strong connection of love that is carried out by the owner as well as the animals.

The Anthropocene

The Anthropocene…What is it? Who is it? Why is there?

home-imgIntroduction:

Humans are altering the planet. Humans today are seen to change environmental structures and their human activities have a significant impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems. The impact of human activities has continued on to become a threat towards the earth and environment (Steffan, 2011: 843). This relationship between the climate and humans can be defined as the Anthropocene, in the way that the Earth is moving out of its current geological epoch, called the Holocene, and that human activity is largely responsible for this exit and humankind has become a global geological force (Steffan, 2011: 843).

To further help people’s understanding of the new epoch, scientists have called it the Anthropocene. The effect of the Anthropocene can be seen in many ways through the change of environment in ways such as, animal domestication, deforestation, and increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane (Waters, 2016). This transition shows havoc followed by the change of environment and this will be further discussed in the bog post. A discussion will be done of the impact of the Anthropocene of the environment as well as studying the soundscape of urban environments and the birdlife in urban environments that the epoch has had an impact on.

Key Propositions

The world and its natural environment is an interesting place as it the home too many diverse ranges of fauna and flora.  The key proposition of the Anthropocene is the way that humans have been altering the environment (Gisli, 2013), and this has resulted in the destruction of the ecosystems. The ecosystem has been destroyed and polluted as a result of the Anthropocene. Fauna and flora are getting destroyed as land is being excavated and built on. The fauna and flora are under threat from humans as everyday human activities, such as driving, are effecting the ecosystems, as polluting, dumping of waste and litter have a negative impact on the natural environment.

The soundscapes of the Anthropocene

Over the past 2 days I have kept a sound journal of all the sounds that I am surrounded by. It was interesting to see that I was unaware of these sounds until I was forced to stop and listen to the sounds around me. Living in a university residence in the center of a busy South African university city, I was able to distinguish the constant noise of cars, hooters going crazy and the famous reverse tone of a large truck outside my window. I was also made aware of the sounds of building and construction machines as there was a constant hum of the hitting, grinding and shoveling of sites. With inside my room I was made accustomed to the ongoing noise of my fridge and light hum of my fan.

By keeping the sound journal I was able to distinguish the dominating sounds which displayed the impact of the Anthropocene epoch. It is seen that these noises are industrialised which shows how humans have distanced the relationship with nature as the sounds of cars and jack hammers are more recognisable than to those of birds.

The Sounds of birds in the Anthropocene

Today the sounds of birds are overshadowed by the loud industrialised sounds of the 21st century. It is difficult to hear birds these days as the loud noises of cars and trucks drown out their songs and this is an indication of the impact that the Anthropocene has had on the natural environment.

By keeping a sound journal it was clear to see that besides hadeda’s and pigeons, there was faintly distinct sounds of birds throughout my day. In the quietest time of the day, in the early mornings, I was aware of the constant chirping of birds outside my room, but however, as the day progressed, the chirpiness quieted down by the sounds of the city waking up. It is clear to see that the lack of birds is an indication that humans have influenced the sounds that can now be heard.  This is a further clear indication of the dwindling biodiversity of the Anthropocene as there is a small amount of birds in the Anthropocene. Many of the birds can no longer stay within the city and so many birds have migrated to environments and spaces suitable to their lifestyle.

It was further interesting to see that as a young girl, I shared a large interest with my grandmother towards birds. Receiving a bird book one year for Christmas was one of my most memorable gifts. However, due to the introduction of the internet and lack of appearance of birds, my knowledge has deteriorated and I lack an interest.  This is further another impact of the Anthropocene as my involvement in the urban lifestyle has made me ignorant to the little nature left that surrounds me.

Our Elders

Whilst talking to my parents and grandparents about the animal and bird life that existed when they were growing up, I noticed that they had a larger amount of wildlife to share about. It was easier for them to recall the types of birds that they witnessed when growing up. Much like today they recall hadeda’s and pigeons. However they spoke about hoopoes and sparrows, which are uncommon sites today. My dad and grandfather joked about how they used to play in the veldt by their houses, and often came into encounter with snakes.

The discussions with my elder family members made me realise how the biodiversity has changed through the years as a result to the Anthropocene epoch.  No longer are there areas of veldt occupying the playgrounds for children as these have been industrialised to accommodation, buildings, or any other relevant structure to support and provide for humans as an alteration to the environment. I remember my grandfather speaking of how he and my grandmother used to travel on Louis Botha Ave, Johannesburg to Pretoria and speak of the day when the veldt will be built into buildings.

It is interesting to see that from when I grew up I noticed the ducks that used to sit on the hockey field at school and how, as the school grounds expanded, the ducks featured less and less. I also remember seeing the ducks sitting in our swimming pool, as it was the closest land of water to them.

Presently I can see the degradation of ecosystems as air pollution as increased, more factories are being built and areas are becoming more industrialised. The remaining land is being broken down and built on resulting in less environment for ecosystems.

Conclusion

The increase of urban lifestyle and industrial development indicates that the dominant sounds around us, of cars and building machines, reveals that we are living in the Anthropocene as we are more prone to recognise those sounds than that of birds. Through the discussions of my elder family members, it is evident that the environment around us has changed and developed to situate the Anthropocene epoch. Humans reflect in the industrialisation of society and this is evident of the Anthropocene because of the loss of ecosystems and biodiversity.

Refrences

Gisli, P et al. 2013. Reconceptualizing the ‘Anthrops’ in the Anthropocene: integrating the social sciences and humanities in global environmental change research. Environmental & Policy 28:3-13.

Steffen, W et al. 2011. The Anthropocene: conceptual and historical perspectives. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 369:842-867.

Waters, CN et al. 2016. The Anthropocene is functionally and stratigraphically distinct from the Holocene. Science 351(6269):[sp].

Whitehouse, A. 2015. Listening to birds in the Anthropocene: the anxious semiotics of sound in a human-dominated world. Environmental Humanities 6:53-71.

Rhi(no) Poaching

Rhino Poaching in South Africa.

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South Africa is a country known to act as a home to many wild animals, particularly the Big 5. The Buffalo, Rhino, Lion, Leopard and Elephant are the 5 largest animals in the animal kingdom and are viewed in awe by many admirers. It is however saddened that poachers roam the wild streets in search for the killing of these wild animals, recently the White Rhino. More recently it has been seen that our white rhinos are soon to be extinct because of the rising rates of the poachers killing spree. Poachers are hunting down and killing white rhinos for their horns, and then furthermore selling the horns as it is believed that they have medicinal value. It is sad to think that the harmful and monstrous killings of our rhinos result in the near extinction which is soon to follow.

Who and what are the drivers of change?
  • Game rangers and the general community
  •  Rhino Poacher who are killing the Rhinos.
  • ·Non-profit organisations and groups.
What is happening?
  • ·Killing of Rhino’s in game parks, and removing their horns to sell on the black market.
  • Demand of rhino horns in Vietnam and China.
  • Rhino poaching rates are increasing

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What can be done?
  • Saving the Rhinos and stopping the rhino poachers.
  •  Making the community aware by encouraging them to be active.
How to get it done?
  • Enforcing strict security in game parks in southern Africa by monitoring who can access the game parks and by watching the targeted rhino areas

Do the drivers for change relate to the “Great Acceleration” of human technologies, powers and consumption?

It can be seen that game rangers in various game parks, particularly the Kruger National Park, have shown a great interest in the removal of poachers in the area. This can be seen how these drivers of change relate to the “Great Acceleration” as the animal extinction rates, particularly of rhinos, have gone up drastically.

It is seen that the rhino poaching rates have increased from the year 2002 to 2007, by only 12 – 15 rhino kills a year, to now over a thousand killings annually. (Howard, 2015). As a result, to the potential solution of decreasing the activity of poachers, as well as the poaching, this commitment falls under one of the columns of the National Development Plan of the South African government, which aims for the protection and enhancement of the country’s environmental assets and natural resources (Crawford, 2015).

Culturally and socially it can be seen that the White Rhino is a valued animal. This can be seen as it is worldwide recognized because it of one of the Big 5. It is however seen that culturally, China and East Asia, (Howard, 2015), have a particular interest in the Rhino Horn, as the horn has medicinal value that is said to help in illnesses. The illegal value of this is shown in the way that the harmful killings are carried out by poachers in order to make profits and generate income.

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How does the absence or presence of solutions relate to “The New Human Condition”?

With relation to “The New Human Condition”, it can be seen that rhino activists are alarmed and have responded in action. This can be seen in the way that the activist’s reaction of the almost extinction of rhino’s result in the ultimate goal of change. Furthermore the alarm that the activists have raised is seen in the way that rhino poaching is seen more to increase as the opposing forces have seemed to gain faster momentum.

As mentioned with the focus from the National Development Plan of the South African government, the focus ensures that the protection of our rhinos is highly important and need full attention. The community is in despair as majority of people want the protection towards the rhinos. This can be seen in the funding towards a protection program as the Kruger National Park owns 4 large helicopters which patrol the game reserve for security protection and search for poachers (Crawford, 2015). The use of the helicopters allow for the rangers and other helping aids to assist in keeping documents and tracks of rhinos movement as well as the poachers movement. The expectations and results to put the end to rhino poaching stems from the idea that determination and commitment are the factors that result in change.

Change is a big part in order to see the end to rhino poaching. It is however difficult to get the momentum of this movement going and to keep the momentum going as people need the knowledge behind the movement, which majority of people lack. Solutions such as the implementations of private animal farms, strict border control and the introduction of security patrols in game reserves are successful to the extent that they do result in game rangers further enhancing the protection of the rhinos. The despair and alarm generated by the public can create and help keep the fight to stop Rhino poaching.

rhino-poaching-stats-saDo the proposed solutions engage with the business/corporate sector?

The solutions engage with the business/corporate sector as rhino poaching is only one of the many animals that are targeted by poachers. It is seen however that there are many environmental groups and organisations that share the concern towards animals such as the SANParks Environmental Crime Unit and the Provincial Conservation Anti-Poaching Unit which is part of the SAPS (South African Police Service) Crime unit (krugerpark.co.za). This shows the strict lawful enforcing of the criminal activities implement by the SAPS that is carried out towards the prosecution of the poachers.  It is also seen that groups such as Save The Rhino International, investigate more into the illegal trade sector, which is how the Rhino horn is sold and distributed (savetherhino.org, 2011).

Companies such as TRAFFIC expose the harshness to what the removal of the rhino horn does, as recently TRAFFIC exposed Vietnam politicians abusing the rhino horns in ways that were alarming and unethical. This exposure raises alarm to the world outside as people are shown for what the poachers are doing with rhino horns (savetherhino.org, 2011).

This shows the business sector generate an enforcing hand in generate aid and assistance in Rhino Poaching as well as their high recognition and economic power emphasis the importance of saving the Rhinos.

Do the proposed solutions and means to do it stem from collaborative processes of research, stakeholder engagement and public participation?

The intensive research carried out by environmentalists shows the statistics of rhino poaching in general. The statistics help the general public generate an understanding of what is happening to the rhinos and thus it helps to create possible solutions. The collaboration of the government with the game parks generate a larger security enforce that ensures the protection of the Rhinos

Are the solutions translated into practical means that can easily be achieved by the public?

Due to the high demand of the safety of the Rhinos, Practically the solutions can be easily achieved by the public as there are many organisations and groups that the public can join to help save the Rhinos. The public are often encouraged to stay active by passing their knowledge of the situation to other people who have a concern.

Have a look at https://www.savetherhino.org/events to see how you can get involved in the fight to save the rhinos.

Conclusion

Rhino poaching is a large environmental issue in South Africa. Dominated by wildlife and many game parks, the Kruger National Park being one of the largest and most well-known, is a target for poachers. Rhino poachers kill Rhinos, cut off their horns and sell the horn illegally. The 4 articles used, Crawford (2015), Howard (2015), krugerpark.co.za and savetherhino.org (2011), gave an insight into the rhino poaching in South Africa and the possible solutions. It was seen that there is a high demand of rhino horn in East Asia, which is used for medicinal purposes. Rhino poaching in South Africa has shown that a large amount of people are involved in the solution to stop the killings and save the rhinos. As well as there are many organisations and environmental groups that support the cause, and the public can get involved by joining. The demand to save the rhinos is high as poaching rates have increased and continue to do so each year, which may result in the extinction of rhinos.

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Reference List

Crawford, A. 2015. Rhino Poaching: Behind the scenes with South African rangers. [Online] Available From: http://www.southafrica.info/about/animals/fighting-rhino-poachers-141015.htm#.VwIPK-J97IU [Accessed: 03/04/2016]

Howard, B.C. 2015. South Africa Sees Record Year For Rhino Poaching. [Online] Available From: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/01/150122-rhino-poaching-south-africa-conservation-science/ [Accessed: 03/04/2016]

SaveTheRhino. 2011. Time Magazine Article – Killing Fields: Africa’s rhinos under threat. [Online] Available From: https://www.savetherhino.org/latest_news/news/312_time_magazine_article_-_killing_fields_africas_rhinos_under_threat [Accessed: 03/04/2016]

Siyabonga Africa. Shocking rise in rhino poaching leads to the formation of new unit. [Online] Available From: http://www.krugerpark.co.za/krugerpark-times-6-1-shoking-rise-in-rhino-poaching-25183.html [Accessed: 03/04/2016]