SA to take rhino trade plan to CITES

first_img25 July 2013 A report released by South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs has recommended legalising and regulating the rhino horn trade while creating a national fund for increased intelligence, security and awareness to combat rhino poaching in the country. The Rhino Issue Management report was compiled by a team led by former South African National Parks CEO Mavuso Msimang, following a wide-ranging series of workshops and consultations with non-governmental organisations, communities, traders, professional hunters, ecologists, resource economists and ordinary citizens.Trade proposal for CITES 2016 The report states “that there is support to include commercial international trade in rhino horn as an integral part of South Africa’s comprehensive response strategy to address the continued illegal killing of rhinos,” the department said in a statement on Wednesday. “This recommendation has formed part of the decision by the Cabinet that South Africa prepares and submits a rhino trade proposal for consideration at the 17th Conference of Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 2016.” The report’s recommendations had also helped the Department of Environmental Affairs to review and update its rhino response strategy, the department said on Wednesday, adding that it was key to the report’s findings that “there is no single solution to the rhino poaching scourge. “From this, it is quite clear that our efforts will pragmatically require the employment of a range of strategies along several fronts.”Security review The report recommends a review of the country’s existing rhino security strategy, including a serious upgrade of security on the South African border with Mozambique, backed up by agreements to be negotiated with both Mozambique and Zimbabwe that provide for the protection of wildlife in the Kruger National Park. According to the latest figures from the Department of Environmental Affairs, more than 500 rhinos have been killed for their horn in South Africa since the beginning of the year. The Kruger National Park continues to be the hardest hit, with 321 rhinos poached there since January. Over the same period, 129 suspected poachers have been arrested, while a number of others have already been sentenced and are serving prison terms. Last year, 135 poaching-related arrests were made. The government has put a number of initiatives in place to curb poaching, including signing agreements with Asian countries, including Vietnam, where rhino horns are in high demand because of their supposed medicinal qualities.National rhino fund plan The Cabinet is also backing the report’s proposal to create a national rhino fund to help attract uniform funding for security, awareness and increasing the number of rangers at South Africa’s conservation parks. South African National Parks (SANParks) spokesman Paul Daphne, speaking at the release of the report on Wednesday, said SANParks, which had been given R75-million to address rhino poaching this financial year, planned to recruit 150 extra rangers for the Kruger Park National. So far, 72 had been hired. Fundisile Mketeni, a deputy director-general in the Department of Environmental Affairs, said that while the situation was extremely serious, the rhino species was not about to become extinct. “The death rate has not yet surpassed the birth rate,” Mketeni said. “But the indicator of success for South Africans and the world will be less rhinos killed. We will continue to improve on our strategies to achieve that. “We understand this is an emotive issue, you are angry as South Africans,” Mketeni said. “But we can do more with your interventions. We appeal to you to read our strategies and participate. We are in this thing together.” Mketeni said a national fund would allow civil society, the corporate sector and international funders to make financial contributions to save the rhino. He said there were currently more than 4 000 organisations that collected donations purported to address rhino poaching. “This is not working; we need to have one central funding mechanism,” he said.Centralised permit system Mketeni said the government was doing all it could to combat rhino poaching, but agreed that a lot still needed to be done to clean up the system, including improving security at the country’s borders and dealing with corruption. Other recommendations in the report include the creation of a centralised permit system and database for live rhino sales, rhino horn sales and rhino hunts. Presently, professional hunters, hunting outfitters and trainers only register in individual provinces, and if they are non-compliant in one province they can apply to operate in another province. Legislation strengthening regulation and enforcement in order to prevent abuse of the hunting permit system will soon be passed in Parliament. The draft law will mean that a person who is involved in an illegal restricted activity, but who does not physically carry out the activity, can also be found guilty of an offence. SAinfo reporter and read more

Hulu on the iPad? Not as Easy as it Sounds

first_imgIn a recent interview, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar told technology reporter Om Malik that his company was “very bullish” on mobile, even going so far as to say “we will embrace every device.” That’s a funny statement, considering that the company has been touting that same sentiment for years but has yet to launch anything for mobile, be it an app or simply a mobile-ready streaming site. Now, with the launch of the iPad just around the corner, the rumors of an iPhone/iPad Hulu app are rising up again. But there’s a bigger mobile web than just the one accessible via Apple products, and that may be what Hulu has its eye on now. “We don’t think about one device only,” Kilar said. However, going mobile is going to be a challenge for Hulu. And it’s not as simple as re-encoding a few videos, no matter what you may have heard. Problem A: Hulu’s Business Model Needs WorkThe fact that Hulu exists at all is somewhat of an amazement. Through tenuous connections with major studios, the collaborative, experimental effort to bring streaming TV to web (and make it profitable) has managed to attract a number of users in the U.S. Although the audience size varies widely depending on who’s counting, the company has managed to become a household name thanks to eye-catching commercials on NBC featuring actors from the network’s top shows. But there’s a problem facing Hulu: in-video advertising is, apparently, not as profitable as once hoped. In fact, it’s just too expensive, says Marc Ruxin, the Chief Innovation Officer for ad agency network McCann Worldgroup. Hulu has been aware of this problem, though, and has been hinting towards the launch of a subscription service, with News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch telling an investor conference last fall that the company, was looking at “adding subscription services and pay per view” options. Through the subscription model, Hulu could potentially generate enough revenue to keep the studios happy and maybe even encourage them to offer up more programming. Unfortunately, the subscription model has yet to launch and the profits from video ads have been far too lean for some Hulu participants. Recently, for example, Viacom pulled two of the top shows – The Daily Show and the Colbert Report – from the site, claiming that they simply weren’t earning enough money via the advertising model currently in place. Viacom Inc. Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman said that “on the current economic model for Hulu, there’s just not much in it for us to continue at this time.”And so the situation degrades.So what is Hulu doing now? It’s trying to attract more viewers to its site with the launch of “If I Can Dream,” an original series that premiered earlier this month. The fact that they’re now making the foray into this sort of online programming is somewhat worrying. After all, if hit video webisodes alone made for a profitable service, then YouTube would have achieved profitability ages ago, instead of (maybe) getting there this year, five years post-launch. Let’s face it, original programming is a bonus for Hulu users, but it’s not going to take the place of hot shows like the now-departed Comedy Central fare.Problem B: Will Apple Allow a Hulu App on the iPhone/iPad?Another problem? Hulu has been planning to delay its iPhone app launch until a subscription model was in place, according to earlier reports. But with the biggest names pulling out, subscriptions could be a harder sell. Still, even if Hulu was able to make subscriptions happen, there are no guarantees that Apple would ever allow them into the iTunes store, especially considering they’re offering a competing product. (See: Google Voice banishment from the iPhone, for example). Meanwhile, Hulu’s online site doesn’t work in the iPhone’s web browser because it was built in Flash. If Apple rejects the Hulu app from iTunes, the company’s other option is encoding all their site’s content in H.264 and make that available via HTML5, the new web language that offers streaming video sans plugin. Since this has already been done, a Hulu app could launch a player on the iPhone or iPad, if, of course, Apple allowed them to do so. If not, then a mobile site would have to be built in HTML5 – video controls, overall UI, advertisements and all. That’s no simple process.What’s Hulu Doing Now? So is this the plan Hulu has decided on now? It’s hard to know for sure. Like Apple, the company is incredibly secretive about their plans and product roadmap, often refusing to respond to calls and emails entirely, even to say “no comment.” And yet, the Hulu iPhone app exists. We’ve spoken to someone who’s seen it…but that was ages ago. For all we know, iPhone/iPad app plans have since been scrapped to work on a new solution that works around any potential Apple restrictions. But sources inside Hulu have clammed up lately, meaning they’re either building something top, top secret…or perhaps nothing at all. We hope it’s the former, because frankly, an iPad without Hulu is a sad, sad affair. But will we ever see a real app? At this point, we’re not holding our breath. Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img sarah perez Tags:#Apple#NYT#Video Services#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Sunny Deol names ‘representative’ for Gurdaspur

first_imgSunny Deol, BJP Parliamentarian from Punjab’s Gurdaspur, has stoked a controversy by appointing a “representative” to attend meetings and follow up important matters on his behalf. Opposition parties have termed the move an insult to voters. The Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party criticised Mr. Deol’s decision on Tuesday, accusing him of making a “mockery of democracy.”Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar said in a democracy the voter is always right. “It’s their choice. One has to accept it. Even his voters knew they had it coming. Actually, they perhaps never expected anything more than a selfie with him,” said Mr. Jakhar. “What more can be expected of him? He himself admitted during canvassing that he didn’t know anything about politics. His voters probably never expected him to shift his base to Gurdaspur. You reap what you sow,” he told, The Hindu.AAP’s Harpal Singh Cheema, leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly, said it was absurd for a “public representative” to appoint a “representative.”“It’s an insult to democracy. Mr. Deol’s decision goes to show his lack of seriousness towards the people of his constituency. He is trying to delegate his powers, but he needs to understand this is not the way things work in a democracy. Why did he contest election if he cannot serve his constituency?” wondered Mr. Cheema. “People have elected Sunny Deol and not someone he would like to appoint,” he said.Mr. Deol had recently issued a statement on his official letter-head, appointing his close aide Gurpreet Singh Palheri as his representative. “I hereby appoint Gurpreet Singh Palheri, son of Supinder Singh, resident of village Palheri, district Mohali, Punjab, as my representative to attend meetings and follow important matters pertaining to my Parliamentary constituency, Gurdaspur (Punjab), with concerned authorities,” read the letter dated June 26.‘A non-issue’The actor-turned-politician, meanwhile, said it was unfortunate that a controversy being created out of a non-issue. “I have appointed a personal assistant to represent my office in Gurdaspur. This appointment has been made to ensure smooth flow of work whenever I am out of Gurdaspur to attend Parliament or travelling on work. The intention is merely to ensure that no work is disrupted or delayed due to any reason whatsoever and to keep myself updated on a daily basis,” he tweeted from his official Twitter handle.He added that as an MP he was genuinely committed to the cause of Gurdaspur.last_img read more

Frontline Raises USD 100 Mn for Fleet Expansion

first_imgzoom Tanker owner and operator Frontline has completed its share offering raising gross proceeds of USD 100 million to fund growth opportunities through vessel acquisitions.The funds, raised through the issuance of over 13.4 million of new shares, will also be used for general corporate purposes.The new shares were priced at USD 7.45 per share, the shipowner said, adding that the offering “was significantly oversubscribed.”Frontline’s largest shareholder Hemen Holding Ltd. has agreed to be allocated 1,342,281 new shares in the offering, corresponding to 10 per cent of the offering. Hemen will now own an aggregate of 82,145,703 shares in the company, around 48.4 per cent of Frontline’s shares and votes.The due date for payment for allocated new shares is expected to be December 16, 2016.Subject to full payment of the new shares, the company said that the delivery of the new shares is expected to be delivered to the subscribers and become tradable on the Oslo Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange on or about December 16, 2016.last_img read more