Press Releases 2009

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Ordinary leather shoes generally contain environmental toxicants: Tests on commonly purchased leather shoes carried out in a survey by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) and global partners including groundWork, Friends of the Earth South Africa reveals that ordinary leather shoes contain environmental toxicants of various kinds that invariably can spread both to the wearer and into the environment. Read more ...  
Is the South African government serious about climate change?  Ask the World Bank! groundWork, Friends of the Earth, South Africa, with the support of Climate Justice Now! South Africa, released a report titled ‘Banking on Climate Destruction: The World Bank and Eskom' which exposes how the World Bank masquerades as a crusader of climate change while channeling billions of dollars towards fossil fuel projects. Read more ...  
Climate Chronicles: Read the Climate Chronicles - a climate justice perspective on the United Nations Conference on Climate Change being held in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Read Issue 1;Issue 2; Issue 3; Issue 4
 
Global Day of Action on Climate Change: Climate Justice Now! KZN Action in south Durban.Saturday the 12th of December is the Global Day of Action on Climate Change.  People globally will take public actions to get the message through to the world’s politicians gathered in Copenhagen Denmark that we want Climate Justice Now! See the CJN! KZN programme of action  
The World Bank and Eskom - Banking on Climate Destruction  As part of the Climate Justice Now! SA’s actions during the Copenhagen Climate Change negotiations, groundWork, South Africa’s leading environmental justice NGO, is joined by South Africa’s foremost climate change NGO, Earthlife Africa (Jhb), in the release of groundWork’s new report investigating the on and off $5-billion dollar World Bank loan to Pretoria for future fossil fuel development.  The report is being released in Copenhagen, Denmark and Durban, South Africa.  See Press Invite to the South African launch.   
Toxic Waste Company Finally in Court – Is there Political Interference? On Thursday, the 10th of November, Thermopower finally faces a court of law because of its activities in Olifantsfotein, where it incinerates local and imported toxic waste as per permission granted from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism in July 2004. Read more ...  
Die-in at Sasol09: December 2009, residents of Zamdela, Sasolburg and the Vaal Triangle, staged a Die-In at Sasol’s main gate in Sasolburg to bring the world’s attention to the impact Sasol’s dirty industry has on climate change.  Read the memorandum delivered to Sasol Management, the South African Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs and President Zuma.  
South African Governnment shows poor commitment to African Continent. Copenhagen: At a side meeting for African civil society organisations, the Chairperson of the G77 and China, from Sudan, stated that Africa is getting a raw deal and is being forced to sign their death sentence. He highlighted the division within the Africa group and mentioned that South Africa has been key to the division that has been created. read more...  
We want Climate Justice Now! The Climate Justice Now! KZN week of Climate Change Action to highlight the need for immediate and honest greenhouse gas reduction emission plans from Copenhagen will start on Monday, 7th December 2009. CJN! KZN demands immediate Emissions Reductions; Climate Debt Payment; and no carbon trading. See the Week of Action programme ...  
Global Anti Incineration Alliance : Alert! Dirty Industries Attempt to Hijack Global Climate Talks! Copenhagen: As the world's governments convene here in Copenhagen to solve the unfolding climate crisis, polluting industries are putting up a fight. The incinerator industry, one of the world's dirtiest, is trying to repackage itself as a “climate solution” in order to grab climate subsidies meant to support the development of clean technologies. Read more ...  
Medical Waste Dumped Illegally. On Sunday, South Africa’s largest weekly, the Sunday Times, presented South Africa with a horrific account of how health care waste (also referred to as medical waste) has been dumped illegally in Welkom, a small mining town in South Africa.  Please visit http://www.timeslive.co.za/sundaytimes/article212394.ece to read the story.  groundWork sent a letter to the Sunday Times calling for government to deal with this ongoing problem in a transparent and democratic manner. Read the letter.  
Shell:  We Will Always Remember! Today marks the 14th Anniversary of the state murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa, an acclaimed writer and leader of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). groundWork dropped a ‘Shell Remember Ken Saro-Wiwa’ banner from the Shell Refinery in south Durban to commemorate the death of Ken Saro-Wiwa and the suffering of people globally.   
National Waste Management Strategy The development of the National Waste Management Strategy is mandated by the National Environmental Management: Waste Act of 2008, and must be developed by 2011.  It will lay the ground rules for how governance occurs relation to those entities that produce waste and those that dispose of waste.
See the Summary of key strategic issues to inform the NWMS and groundWork’s response
 
South African Waste Pickers to Visit Egypt South African citizens are joining the ever growing global movement of waste pickers.  Seven waste pickers will be joining groundWork in a visit to Egypt to attend a conference titled: ‘Towards and Culture of Sustainable Communities, Economies and Environment’ from the 27th of November to the 29th of November in Cairo.  
More Urgent Action is Required Against Polluters. The Department of Water and Environmental Affairs recently launched their 2005 State of the Air Report and also held a Lekgotla for two days from 12-13 October 2009. As civil society, the progress made in the management of air quality in South Africa is considered positive, and is a direct result of community people challenging polluting industry and government inaction.  However, there are some concerns ... read more  
High levels of environmental toxins in plastic shoes In a ground breaking study, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation with its global partners, including groundWork, Friends of the Earth, South Africa undertook a study into plastic shoes, produced and sold all over the world.Read some of the findings of the report.  
Public Screening of 'The Story of Stuff' followed by panel discussion. The first public screening of ‘The Story of Stuff’ in South Africa followed by a panel discussion on 'Wasting the Nation: Making Trash of People and Environments' will be held at the Auditorium Museum Africa on Wednesday 05 August 2009. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute film that takes viewers on a provocative and eye-opening tour of the real costs of our consumer driven culture—from resource extraction to iPod incineration.  
Recycling Revolution: South Africa’s First Waste Pickers Recycling Gathering Waste pickers from more than 50 waste landfill sites from all 9 provinces met in Johannesburg on the 2nd to the 3rd of July 2009. Read:
- groundWork press release;

- Melanie Samson's article on the meeting;

- Final Declaration arising from meeting (English and Spanish).
 
Making the Health Care Sector healthier groundWork in partnership with Health Care Without Harm and the Democratic Nursing Organisation in South Africa hosted a workshop entitled: ‘Nurses Building Healthier Environments’ in Durban on Monday 29 June 2009.  
Memorandum to Minister van Schalkwyk At the recent climate change meetings held at Gallagher Estate a memorandum was handed to Joanne Yarwitch to pass on to the Minister of Environmental Affairs.  
Press Release - People’s Summit and Protest March at National Climate Change Summit On the 5th of March 2009, Earthlife Africa Johannesburg [1] and groundWork, Friends of the Earth, South Africa [2] will be hosting a People’s Summit on Climate Change at the Midrand Convention Centre. The People’s Summit parallels the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism National Climate Change Summit.  
Stunning Victory in Nairobi On Thursday 19th February world environment ministers finally agreed the process to establish a global, legally binding international treaty to tackle mercury pollution in Nairobi at the United Nations Environment Program 25th Session of Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum. Click to read more.  
Annual review of the State of Environmental Justice in South Africa. On Tuesday 10th February 2009, groundWork releases its 7th Annual review of the State of Environmental Justice in South Africa. This review focuses on waste in South Africa at a time when President Kgalema Motlanthe is about to sign the National Environmental Management: Waste Bill into force. Click to read Press Invitation  
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