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First Polaris climate centre for Cape Town

first_imgCape Town’s Polaris climate change centrewill be shaped like a giant iceberg. The Collier jetty in Cape Town harbour,where the Polaris will be built.(Images: International Polar Foundation)MEDIA CONTACTS • Michel de WoutersIPF South Africa executive secretary• Ben HuygeIPF press officer+32 2 543 06 98Lyndon JafthaAlready known for its progressive green philosophy, Cape Town is about to score another coup by hosting the world’s first interactive climate change centre, a project driven by the Brussels-based International Polar Foundation (IPF).The centre was launched in December 2011 at the V&A Waterfront, where it will be built on the Collier jetty.Among the dignitaries present at the ceremony were Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife, Princess Charlene; Michel de Wouters, IPF South Africa’s executive secretary; and Nighat Amin, the IPF’s vice president.Known as the Polaris Climate Change Observatory (PCCO), the centre is scheduled to open in 2014.“Without a protected planet and without an environment sheltered from the violence of a disrupted climate, our entire vision of the future is called into question,” said Albert, who is involved with the IPF as well as projects run by his own environment-focused foundation.He then stressed that the project needs the help of the private sector to thrive.“They are essential partners; essential for their financial support, of course, but also for their capacity for rallying large numbers of people.”Albert finished off by quoting the late environmental activist Wangari Maathai, Africa’s first woman Nobel Peace laureate.“You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them.”A building like no otherThe multi-level PCCO will resemble an iceberg in a large pool of water and visitors, as they go along, will learn about Earth’s history as far back as 800 000 years.After crossing the water and entering the iceberg, which has an overall floor area of 3 000 square metres, visitors will see a large globe, 15 metres across, in the atrium. This will be the central point of the PCCO, not only to remind visitors what is at stake but also to serve as a 3D screen to explain phenomena such as weather patterns.Near the globe, a giant ice core – a sample of ice sheet, drilled deep enough to show all the layers of snow accumulated over thousands of years – will support a transparent spiral staircase.Other features and exhibitions will include Ante Hominem and Advent of Mankind (climate history); Dance of the Planets (natural climate variations); the Blue Planet observatory (inside the globe); The Carbon Age (man-made climate); and Domus in Terra (solutions for climate change mitigation).This will be the basic model for future Polaris centres, but it can easily be adapted to different sites. The second one will be built in Brussels.Educating the public about climate changeDespite regular meetings, conferences, symposiums, lectures and discussions on the topic of global warming, solutions are slow to arise.With challenges growing in number, including the effect of climate change on sea temperatures, polar animal populations and the global weather, the world’s leaders and its citizens are working hard to save the situation.But it is not all bad news – scientists agree that the damage can be halted, and even reversed in time. However, this will not happen if people remain uneducated about their impact on the environment and the danger into which they are putting the world.And this is the aim of the PCCO – to educate visitors, through temporary and permanent exhibitions, as well as education and outreach activities, about the consequences of climate change and the helping role that everyone can play.last_img read more

Samsung’s solar solutions

first_imgSamsung’s flagship village also provides internet access, helping to bridge the digital divide that disadvantages underdeveloped communitiesSamsung is playing its part in helping poorer communities access healthcare and education; on Tuesday 1 April the company handed over its first solar-powered village to the Malibongwe Ridge community.Samsung’s flagship village also provides internet access, helping to bridge the digital divide that disadvantages underdeveloped communities.“The United Nations says being online is now seen as fundamental to human development, and access to the internet may soon become a basic human right, like access to water,” says George Ferreira, vice-president and chief operations officer at Samsung Electronics Africa.“Our challenge was to look at what was needed versus what was available and devise a plan that connected the two.”On average, more than 25% of Africans don’t have ready access to electricity in their homes; this limits connectivity and access to education and healthcare, which are central to the success of isolated rural and peri-urban communities.The solar-powered digital village will provide access to these necessary services.HEALTH, EDUCATION AND INTERNET ACCESSThe digital village is a project in line with Samsung’s commitment to researching and investing in green technologiesBuilt in a refurbished 12 metre- long shipping container, the village’s mobile classroom is designed for use in remote areas and is easily transportable.The classroom is fitted with Samsung notebooks and netbooks, an interactive whiteboard or e-board, and Samsung Galaxy tablets; all powered by solar panels attached to the roof.The village’s solar-powered healthcare centre provides basic services such as eye, ear, blood and dental screening, mother and child healthcare, and treatments on site.The healthcare container is mobile, taking its services to surrounding communities to eliminate travel expenses for residents already struggling to make ends meet. The centre also disseminates information on basic preventative healthcare.Samsung has partnered with non-profit Right to Care, which delivers prevention, care and treatment services; the organisation will encourage male circumcision as a preventative healthcare measure.Right to Care’s Dr Mashudu Munyai said, “We are excited to work with Samsung on this uplifting and inspiring project.”The healthcare centre also has a Tele-Medical Centre; telemedicine relies on modern communication technologies to provide healthcare workers in far-flung areas with access to updated diagnostic methods and medical processes.The Tele-Medical Centre will work in conjunction with Samsung’s Tele-Medical app, which will guide nurses on site through the necessary processes to ensure all relevant information is captured and that diagnoses are accurate.“Today, we are seeing an innovation we’ve worked hard on developing come to life, and it is very exciting,” says Ferreira. “Good health is at the centre of one’s wellbeing and impacts society at a fundamental level.“It affects a child’s ability to learn at full potential, and adults’ ability to provide for their families. This is why we have complemented our strong focus on education with a focus on quality healthcare.”RENEWABLE AND CLEAN SOLAR ENEGRYWhen the village’s solar panels are under pressure, there is a standby solar-powered generator to provide additional electricity. The generators can also provide affordable and eco-friendly power to schools, homes and community centres.The digital village is a project in line with Samsung’s commitment to researching and investing in green technologies. It is also in line with a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (DED).“We are encouraged by the work Samsung is doing in the green technology space,” says Albert Chanee, head of the DED.“This type of out-of-the-box thinking is what will make a measurable and meaningful difference in people’s lives and, ultimately, change the world. The digital village aligns with government’s vision of finding alternative solutions to African problems, and we are proud to be a part of it.”last_img read more

Cattle on Feed Preview

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Rick KmentDTN Livestock AnalystOMAHA (DTN) — Little significant change is expected in the Cattle on Feed report Friday with current estimates pegging total animals on feed at 99.7% of year-ago levels. The expected 4% reduction in cattle placements through February will likely be the main focus of the report and pre-report adjustments. These numbers appear to have already been partially factored into the market given the strong market shifts over the last two weeks.USDAPre-report EstimatesActualAvgLowHighOn feed March 199.799.0100.6On feed February 1Placed on feed during February96.092.2101.5Fed cattle marketed during February100.899.7101.3Rick Kment can be reached at rick.kment@dtn.com(KM/CZ)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more