Monday, October 10, 2011

The Road to COP17: Expedition Images

I am sitting here at eleven in the evening, uploading pictures before a day-break start tomorrow.  It has been a long couple days of driving to get the Baviaanskloof of South Africa where we are covering a story about what it takes to regenerate landscapes that have been degraded. Outside I can hear the sound of the water falling over the spillway of the Coega Dam. The Baviaanskloof mountains supply the water to Port Elizabeth. The Living Lands Foundation is working with the local communities and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry to make sure that the catchment area that feeds the dam delivers clean water, -among many other projects.  That means taking care of their local watershed, which means preventing overgrazing, and restoring the local subtropical thicket which used to cover these mountains. Together they are attempting to mitigate and adapt to Climate Change by making sure the local ecosystem works. That ecosystem has been badly damaged by farming methods that are unsustainable. In the next week we will be visiting different stakeholders and trying to get a handle on the situation. We will be in the kloof, far from cellphone and internet but will try to keep this blog update with the help of Jurgen Meekel and his team in Johannesburg.

Here are a few images of the trip down into the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

Solar PV panels used to power a road diversion near Colesburg, South Africa.
Sunset over the Karoo Desert about 50km north of Graaff Reinet

Twilight over the lake at Pienaarsbaken Farm in the Karoo Desert.

The Coega Dam in the Eastern Cape of South Africa

The Coega River flows out of the Baviaanskloof

The Coega Dam
In the background half of the hillside has been decimated by Sheep farming, while on the other side of the fence the
subtropical thicket has been saved. 

Solar Hot water heaters in Jensonville in the Karroo desert of South Africa.

Mountains soar above a high pass south of Middelburg on the Karoo Desert.

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