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Running on Empty
"Elon Musk, I
you have not forgotten us
We need your car in Africa"
In a recent interview, they asked me
where I would like Tiger Canyons to be in ten years time.
This is my reply:
1. I would like Tiger Canyons to be
bigger than 65,000 hectares.
2. I would like Tiger Canyons to be owned
by influential likeminded people who have a common vision of
a wild & free tiger population, self-sustaining, outside the
3. I would like Tiger Canyons to support
a population of lion, leopard, cheetah & tiger co-existing &
self-regulating with no internal fences.
4. I would like Tiger Canyons to employ
two hundred people with a multiply effect of five. (In other
words a thousand people are benefiting daily from Tiger
5. Tiger Canyons to uplift, upskill &
train the Philippolis community in the field of
6. To act as a catalyst to allow farmers
to convert their sheep farms to wildlife.
7. I would like the entire Tiger Canyons
motor fleet to be running on environmentally friendly motor
vehicles. No burning of fossils fuels. (Recent research in
South Africa indicates that the motor manufactures in South
Africa are not even close to producing an environmentally
8. The Tigress Julie Lodge & other lodges
on Tiger Canyons to be entirely powered by solar energy. (No
burning of fossil fuels)
9. Tiger Canyons should be growing its
own food. (I have land available, I have water & I have many
people in close proximity who are unemployed. Here is an
10. A nursery is established which
produces 1,000 indigenous trees a year, which are planted
along the drainage lines at Tiger Canyons.
11. Vegetable gardens using permaculture
is established which makes Tiger Canyons independent of
12. Five wetlands a year for five years
are created. These are habitat for fish, frogs, flamingos,
waterfowl, blue crane & tigers.
13. Only game meat & fish caught in the
Van der Kloof lake are served.
14. No industrialized farming products
will be purchased. No battery chickens, pork from crowded
pig farms, no beef from feedlots etc.
15. Any person who is vegetarian or
vegan, is offered a discounted price at Tiger Canyons.
16. School children from neighbouring
towns are brought on educational tours free of charge.
17. I would like Tiger Canyons to become
a voice for the endangered tiger & indeed all endangered
The limitations to this are, time left on
the planet, finding like minded people and money.
Tread lightly on the Earth
Plant and animal species that are the
foundation of our food supplies are as endangered as
wildlife but get almost no attention, a new report
Farmers evaluating traits of wheat
varieties in Ethiopia.
The sixth mass extinction of global
wildlife already under way is seriously threatening the
world’s food supplies, according to experts.
“Huge proportions of the plant and
animal species that form the foundation of our food
supply are just as endangered [as wildlife] and are
getting almost no attention,” said Ann Tutwiler,
director general of Bioversity International, a research
group that published a new report on Tuesday.
“If there is one thing we cannot
allow to become extinct, it is the species that provide
the food that sustains each and every one of the seven
billion people on our planet,” she said in an article
for the Guardian. “This ‘agrobiodiversity’ is a precious
resource that we are losing, and yet it can also help
solve or mitigate many challenges the world is facing.
It has a critical yet overlooked role in helping us
improve global nutrition, reduce our impact on the
environment and adapt to climate change.”
Three-quarters of the world’s food
today comes from just 12 crops and five animal species
and this leaves supplies very vulnerable to disease and
pests that can sweep through large areas of
monocultures, as happened in the Irish potato famine
when a million people starved to death. Reliance on only
a few strains also means the world’s fast changing
climate will cut yields just as the demand from a
growing global population is rising.
There are tens of thousands of wild
or rarely cultivated species that could provide a richly
varied range of nutritious foods, resistant to disease
and tolerant of the changing environment. But the
destruction of wild areas, pollution and overhunting has
started a mass extinction of species on Earth. The focus
to date has been on wild animals – half of which have
been lost in the last 40 years – but the new report
reveals that the same pressures are endangering
humanity’s food supply, with at least 1,000 cultivated
species already endangered.
Tutwiler said saving the world’s
agrobiodiversity is also vital in tackling the number
one cause of human death and disability in the world –
poor diet, which includes both too much and too little
food. “We are not winning the battle against obesity and
undernutrition,” she said. “Poor diets are in large part
because we have very unified diets based on a narrow set
of commodities and we are not consuming enough
The new report sets out how both
governments and companies can protect, enhance and use
the huge variety of little-known food crops. It
highlights examples including the gac, a fiery red fruit
from Vietnam, and the orange-fleshed Asupina banana.
Both have extremely high levels of beta-carotene that
the body converts to vitamin A and could help the many
millions of people suffering deficiency of that
Quinoa has become popular in some
rich nations but only a few of the thousands of
varieties native to South America are cultivated. The
report shows how support has enabled farmers in Peru to
grow a tough, nutritious variety that will protect them
from future diseases or extreme weather.
Mainstream crops can also benefit
from diversity and earlier in 2017 in Ethiopia
researchers found two varieties of durum wheat that
produce excellent yields even in dry areas. Fish
diversity is also very valuable, with a local
Bangladeshi species now shown to be extremely
“Food biodiversity is full of
superfoods but perhaps even more important is the fact
these foods are also readily available and adapted to
local farming conditions,” said Tutwiler.
Bioversity International is working
with both companies and governments to ramp up
investment in agrobiodiversity. The supermarket
Sainsbury’s is one, and its head of agriculture, Beth
Hart, said: “The world is changing – global warming,
extreme weather and volatile prices are making it harder
for farmers and growers to produce the foods our
customers love. Which is why we are committed to working
with our suppliers, farmers and growers around the world
to optimise the health benefits, address the impact and
biodiversity of these products and secure a sustainable
Pierfrancesco Sacco, Italy’s
permanent representative to the UN’s Food and
Agriculture Organisation, said: “The latest OECD report
rates Italy third lowest in the world for levels of
obesity after Japan and Korea. Is it a coincidence that
all three countries have long traditions of healthy
diets based on local food biodiversity, short food
supply chains and celebration of local varieties and
He said finding and cultivating a
wider range of food is the key: “Unlike conserving
pandas or rhinos, the more you use agrobiodiversity and
the more you eat it, the better you conserve it.”
The USA missed an
opportunity when they failed to elect John Kerry
when he ran for President. John Kerry is one of the
few politicians who is knowledgeable and concerned
about the environment. Kerry led the USA into the
Paris agreement and Trump led them out. If Leonardo
DiCaprio could be persuaded to go into politics, he
and Kerry would make a formidable pair. This would
be good for USA, good for the environment and good
for the planet.
Tread Lightly on the Earth
Tread lightly on the
Copyright 2007 @jvbigcats All rights reserved
Cat Cub Safari
The Light Has Gone Out
Riding the Tiger
Lion - Tiger
- Human Communication
Emotional humans, emotional cats
Julie gives birth to 5 tiger cubs
International Tiger Day
To all Photographers
A Shot in Anger
at Tiger Canyons
Privatizing the Tiger
Death of a Legend
Response to Elephant
by Daryl Balfour