“We have to find alternative ways of producing our raw materials without asking nature to do it for us,” the Financial Times quoted Zeitz as saying. The German-based company’s recent announcement is just the latest sign that the sports footwear industry is searching for ways to cut its leather dependency. (via Puma runs away from leather in pursuit of smaller footprint | GreenBiz.com)
Sudanese Twitter activist Usamah Mohammed Ali (@simsimt) was arrested four days ago in conjunction with a crackdown on anti-austerity protests by police and security agents. Information on his condition and whereabouts are not clear/known. Al Jazeera’s The Stream is following information on the detained activist and is planning on devoting Thursday’s show to the protests in Sudan.
Check out this video made by Usamah prior to his arrest about why he is joining the protests.
Also: Egyptian journalist Salma Elwardany (@S_Elwardany) will be deported from Sudan for her coverage of the revolts.
If you think that the best entrepreneurs work day and night, it’s time to think again. For the sake of your startup, go to sleep.
This type of proxy war in the scramble for natural resources must not become a trend. Africa does not need to become the next Middle East. Unfortunately there truly are no impartial arbiters over this contract since it seems that every international and regional power is simultaneously cynically promoting their own self interest or that of their multinationals.
Business Week | Sudan’s Use of Chinese Arms Shows Beijing’s Balancing Act
Sudanese jets fired rockets bearing Chinese characters during an air strike inside South Sudan just a week before that country’s president travelled to Beijing to strengthen ties and drum up economic support.
Small Arms Survey, a Geneva-based research group, analyzed fragments from the explosives and said they probably were from a Chinese-made 80-mm rocket fired by a jet in an April 15 air strike on Bentiu, the capital of Sudan’s oil-rich Unity state.
“They have Chinese characters and have a dark green paint that is typical among Chinese rockets,” Jonah Leff, the survey’s Sudan project coordinator, said in an April 25 response to e-mailed questions. “China is Khartoum’s principal supplier of weapons, and the two countries have enjoyed an arms-for-oil relationship for several years.”
Sudan’s use of the rocket highlights the diplomatic tightrope China is walking as it deals with Sudan since the south seceded in July and took with it three-quarters of the formerly united country’s oil production. China is the biggest purchaser of Sudanese crude and China National Petroleum Corp. is among the largest producers in the two countries.
China is handling the weapons issue “prudently” and its “cooperation with Sudan does not violate” United Nations Security Council resolutions, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told reporters April 27 in Beijing.
The article mentions that the poachers were from Chad and/or Sudan, other African nations with sizable desperately poor populations. Thus it is not a stretch to argue that by allowing extreme poverty to fester in the important ecological and biodiverse regions of Africa we are expediting ecological catastrophe.
“In response to the recent large-scale poaching of elephants in and near the Bouba Ndjida National Park, the Cameroon government has announced steps not only to improve security but also to mitigate the effects of climate change on the drought-stricken park, in an effort to prevent elephants moving out of the protected area into the hands of ivory hunters.
About 250 elephants were massacred in January and February this year, according to a report by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), which said that poachers entered the country illegally from neighbouring Sudan and Chad.
“The animals’ trunks were cut off and the tusks were removed with machetes,” the report said. “This latest massacre is massive and has no comparison to those of preceding years.”
The IFAW report said the number of elephants remaining in Cameroon was unclear, but a 2007 estimate put the figure at between 3,000 and 5,000. The North Region of Cameroon, where Bouba Ndjida National Park is located, accounts for 95 percent of the country’s population of savannah elephants, according to the Centre for Environment and Rural Transformation (CERUT), a local nongovernmental organisation.
The killing of the elephants is not only a blow to the endangered species, but also a challenge to the government’s efforts to encourage visitors to its national parks. Tourism has been growing in Cameroon, with a government target to increase the number of foreign visitors to 500,000 this year, up from the 350,000 who visited in 2006. The sector contributes over more than 4 percent of GDP, according to government figures, and provides over 14,000 jobs.”