COP26 on climate: Top priorities for Africa
Stellenbosch University launches School for Climate Studies
Tokyo 2020 Olympics accused of “superficial” sustainability efforts
Tshwane pledges to tackle climate change, inequality

To diarise
ClimateScience Olympiad calls for youth to help change the world
Africities 2022 offers opportunity to examine water issues
Greenpop/ WWF Groundwater Awareness Campaign
Shutterbugs Rally to Save Our Seas
Youth Unifying for Ocean Protection: 19-20 August 2021

Interesting reads
Jacarandas in parts of South Africa are flowering earlier: why it’s a warning sign
Fund nature protection now or face huge losses, says World Bank
Olympic athletes and volunteers in Tokyo ‘tortured’ by hottest Games ever

We are loving …
Recycling food waste to grow new food
Public Shows of Reflection and Check My Plants
South Africa’s first edible bowls
Two SA wineries recognised with Green Emblem award

Who are Mycelium?  

By Lara Taylor

I really hate flying. I get incredibly anxious that I’m going to miss my plane or die in the air, not to mention the guilt of the environmental impact. Yet I found myself once again in an airport waiting to catch a flight to Johannesburg so I could film a video about water filters… However two hours later as I was gliding over Johannesburg’s patchwork landscape I was reminded of the impact technology can have in people’s lives, but also the responsibility we have over our surroundings.

The next morning, I had to get up really early to meet Murendeni Mafumo, the founder and inventor of Kusini Water Filters – a specialised water filtration system that uses nanotechnology and macadamia nut-shells, to filter water in rural and water scarce areas. As we drove towards the township of Hammanskraal, I remembered why I love my job – one that allows me to enter worlds I would never enter in my day to day to life. To ask questions of strangers I would never meet if it wasn’t for being on an assignment.

Originating from Venda, Murendeni, has had an interesting history. He used to work for the Department of Water at the University of Cape Town and for government but left it all to start his organisation Kusini Water. His passion is to solve the water issues that he saw the government unable to manage – where corruption and politics hindered what he saw as a simple solution. And so together with the generous funding of the Government of Flanders as well as the mentoring of Indalo Inclusive, Murendeni designed a system that could take undrinkable water and turn it into potable water at very low cost.

When I arrived at the school in Hammanskraal where one of his solar-powered systems was in place, I discovered how not only had he purified and made safe drinking water for all the children and staff but the success of the project had also had a ripple effect in the community. As a direct result of his project, the school started a vegetable garden and they were able to sell the clean water at a very low cost to the surrounding areas. This is being done as a means to raise money for other projects in the school like building a library and computer room.

Murendeni has not only made his design open source but he has supported other people and organisations to set up the same system. He has also changed the lives and business of the macadamia nut farmers by consolidating their depot and transport costs. Murendeni is a visionary thinker with an open heart. He sees the benefit in teaching, sharing, mentoring and growing what he is doing. An inspiring man with an uplifting story.

Watch Lara’s Kusini Filters video here

COP26 on climate: Top priorities for Africa

Tanguy Gahouma-Bekale, chair, African Group of Negotiators on Climate Change

United States President Joe Biden on 22 and 23 April this year hosted the Leaders Summit on Climate. According to the White House, the summit aimed to “galvanise efforts by the major economies to tackle the climate crisis”. Leaders of 40 countries, including five from Africa, participated in the virtual event. The event was an important milestone, ahead of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP26), which will take place in Glasgow this November.

The five African leaders who participated in the Leaders Summit emphasised the indispensable role the continent must play in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. They were presidents Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon; Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya; Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, and Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa.

At COP26, the African Group of Negotiators will echo the African leaders. We will speak with one strong, clear and single voice in Glasgow. We will maintain that COP26 will succeed only if Africa is at the heart of the negotiations. In fact, under the UNFCCC, putting Africa at the heart of the global climate agenda is a binding obligation. Africa’s situation deserves extraordinary attention: the continent contributes just 4% of global total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the lowest of any region, yet its socioeconomic development is threatened by the climate crisis. In other words, Africa contributes the least emissions but suffers the brunt of the consequences. For example, in addition to the effects of the climate crisis such as food insecurity, population displacement and water scarcity, more than half of African countries are likely to experience climate-related conflicts.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, the annual adaptation costs in developing countries, currently estimated at $70bn, will rise to $300bn by 2030 and $500bn by 2050. At the same time, African governments currently spend between 2-9% of their GDPs to fund adaptation programmes.

At COP26 in Glasgow, countries will launch an adaptation goal and adopt a strategy for achieving such a goal. Glasgow, therefore, presents an opportunity to recognise and address the unique needs and circumstances of Africa. There are several ways to do this, including the following:

First, the developed countries must avoid shifting their climate responsibilities, particularly regarding their cumulative GHG emissions, to developing countries. Also, the developed economies should lead with clear targets for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

Second, based on the commitments and obligations under Article 4 of the UNFCCC, developed countries must mobilise and provide adequate climate finance resources and transfer environmentally sound technologies to African countries.

Third, the Covid-19 crisis must not derail the climate finance agenda. A massively scaled-up and more progressive multilateral response is required to address the climate crisis, and finance is at the heart of it. At COP26, countries must agree on a finance architecture, including an agreement on the continuation of long-term climate finance (LTF) under the UNFCCC. This should be in addition to the launch of a new finance goal under the Paris Climate Agreement.

Fourth, developed countries must pledge to meet their pre-2020 climate finance gap of $100bn. The $100bn per year should be the floor, not the ceiling, and continuing efforts must be made to determine and meet the needs and priorities of developing countries.

Meeting in the UK in June, the G7 nations rightly renewed the pledge they made in 2009 to contribute $100bn annually to help poor countries cut emissions. Since 2009, however, scientific research shows that more needs to be done in mitigation and adaptation.

Fifth, at COP26, negotiators must recognise that the conditional parts of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) represent the most ambitious contributions to the Paris Agreement on climate change, and these require climate finance resources that should be accessible through bilateral and multilateral channels.

Lastly, Africa needs additional support for its initiatives, including the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) and the African Adaptation Initiative (AAI). The continent needs grants, not just loans that exacerbate its debt burden. Rising debt and the Covid-19 pandemic have weakened poor countries’ capacity to tackle the climate crisis.

Africa’s priorities for COP26 include adaptation, climate finance, a market mechanism (Article 6), ambitious NDCs, a transparency mechanism, meeting pre-2020 mitigation commitments and recognising Africa’s unique needs and circumstances. Market mechanisms under the Paris Agreement should help raise ambition on mitigation actions, support sustainable and green development in African countries and provide finance for adaptation. Unfortunately, the transparency mechanism of the Paris Agreement was without an outcome at COP25. It needs to advance at COP26.

The transparency mechanism should capture progress and achievements in both action and support; it should be a tool to enhance climate action and ambition while supporting developing countries to build and maintain national transparency systems to meet the reporting requirements enunciated in the Paris Agreement.

Crucially, there should be an increase in international support for Africa’s adaptation and mitigation programmes and initiatives. Current reductions in official development assistance by developed countries will weaken the capacity of poor countries to fight the climate crisis.

We are close to a climate emergency; therefore, the same attention and resources directed at Covid-19 should be deployed to tackle the threat of climate change. Just like the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change has no border. For Africa, the pandemic presents a unique opportunity for a green recovery.

The African Group used the occasion of the virtual UN Climate Change subsidiary bodies sessions (SBs), which took place from 31 May to 17 June 2021, to synergise their positions on a range of issues. Additional SBs in or before Glasgow may be necessary to enable prioritisation of the agenda items on adaptation, technology transfer, among others.

It will be the turn of Africa to host the COP27. It will take place in November 2022 in Egypt. The success of COP26 will provide Africa the necessary fillip as it prepares for the subsequent COP. Africa is eager to partner with the developed countries to ensure an ambitious outcome at COP26. We cannot afford to fail.

ALSO READ: The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have announced a campaign to improve climate literacy among Africa’s youth by launching a toolkit to push for climate and environmental literacy becoming a  compulsory subject from kindergarten through to university level across the continent. Read more

Stellenbosch University launches School for Climate Studies

Stellenbosch University (SU) launched its School for Climate Studies on Thursday, 29 July – the first school of its kind in the country that has the status of a faculty, highlighting the impetus of its establishment in battling the climate crisis. Speakers at the virtual launch included Professor Wim de Villiers, rector and vice-chancellor of SU; deputy minister of higher education, science and technology Buti Manamela; and Professor Guy Midgley of SU’s Department of Botany and Zoology.

“Contextualising the need for research on climate within the framework of our institution of Stellenbosch University’s Vision 2040 is really not a difficult task, said De Villiers. “Our Vision 2040 by its very definition aims to gaze into the future, but actually all future scenarios we can possibly imagine may actually be moot if climate studies and climate change are not at the top of our agendas.”

“The School of Climate Studies will have a broad mandate to work across all faculties, centres and institutes at Stellenbosch University, as well as with other national and international higher education institutions, and public and private enterprises because that’s the way we need to go in order to disrupt these silos that often stand in the way of us addressing these complex issues and problems that Jim Collins has called the ‘big, hairy, audacious goals’ that we need to set ourselves in solving,” said De Villiers.

The vision for the school is to: be a world-class institution for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary climate and related studies in and for Africa; support and encourage research partnerships both nationally and internationally; and work across all academic entities at SU, national and international higher education institutions, and public and private enterprises.

“There is general agreement that in Southern Africa we urgently need expertise, knowledge and innovation to better understand and adapt to the complex results of worsening climate events. This knowledge is also needed to support our negotiators in international multilateral conventions to ensure that our interests are well represented and supported by a credible evidence base,” said Manamela.

“The school we are launching here today will give impetus to [our] focus on climate change – an increased landscape of institutions providing specialised training and capabilities which the country needs in order to deal with the negative impacts of climate change and develop necessary adaptation mechanisms.”

The core activities of the school will include:

  • Research and development; 
  • Teaching and learning; 
  • Collaboration, capacity building and consultancy;
  • Commercialisation and social impact.

Speaking on how we need to sustainably integrate our economic and environmental systems, Midgley said, “For some reason we give priority to the economic system. There’s a common thought that human well being lies in economic wellbeing, and thus the economic system in the world gets priority. This has led to, in some senses, the strip mining of the world’s ecological system to support the economic system because it’s beneficial to people. But, in fact, people are part of the living system… and we should reset the balance between these two systems.”

For more information on the SU School for Climate Studies, click here.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics accused of “superficial” sustainability efforts

By Jennifer Hahn in Dezeen

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics has started amid claims that its promise to be the greenest games ever are “greenwashing”. Instead, it is the third-least sustainable Olympics since 1992, according to a new study. This year’s event marks the first Olympics to be carbon neutral and to run entirely on renewable energy, according to its organisers.

“The majority of the measures that have been included in this particular Olympics, and the ones that were particularly mediatised, have a more or less superficial effect,” said David Gogishvili, who is co-author of a peer-reviewed study of the games conducted by the University of Lausanne. “The efforts the International Olympic Committee is making are important but they are limited and not enough. From my perspective, unless they heavily limits the construction aspect and the overall size of the event, they will always be criticised for greenwashing.”

The games, postponed from last year due to the pandemic, have been billed as the greenest ever, with producing zero-waste, restoring biodiversity and moving “towards zero-carbon” among the event’s five sustainability pillars. At the opening ceremony, the torchbearer will wear a uniform made from discarded Coca-Cola bottles and hold a hydrogen-fueled torch formed of repurposed aluminium from disaster relief shelters. Throughout the competition, athletes will sleep on recycled cardboard beds and receive medals made from old smartphones on podiums 3D-printed from household plastic waste.

Yet despite these initiatives, Tokyo 2020 is still the third-least sustainable Olympics to take place in the past 30 years, according to the report. Masako Konishi, climate and energy project leader at the World Wildlife Fund Japan, agreed with its findings. “Using recycled plastic for building podiums is good as a showcase but it doesn’t leave any legacy to Japanese society as they didn’t ban the use of these plastics,” she told Dezeen.

However, Konishi, who is a member of the Tokyo Olympics sustainability committee, also argues that the event will set an important precedent by becoming the first games to offset all its emissions through carbon credits. “The Tokyo Olympics collected more than enough carbon credits, more than 150 per cent of what was needed, meaning that it will be carbon negative,” she said. “These carbon credits follow robust guidelines, which I think could be a role model for future Olympics.”

Concern around the environmental impact of the Olympic Games first arose in the 1990s, when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) published its own version of the UN’s sustainable development plan Agenda 21, sponsored by oil giant Shell. However, when University of Lausanne researchers analysed all 16 Olympics that have taken place since 1992, they noticed a clear decrease in the sustainability of the games since then, with Tokyo in the bottom three.

This trend can be traced back to the increasing size of the event, Gogishvili says, which causes a chain reaction of environmental, social and economic impacts. “In 1964, when Tokyo last hosted the Summer Olympics, there were 5,500 athletes participating,” he said. “Today, there will be around 12,000.”

“More athletes means more events, more participating countries and more media. They need more venues, accommodation and larger capacity, which means more construction and a more negative ecological footprint.” The IOC announced last year that all of its upcoming events would be carbon-neutral and, as of 2030, “climate positive”. With this aim, Tokyo 2020 implemented a decarbonisation strategy that helped reduce the event’s estimated carbon footprint from 2.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) to 2.73 million tonnes.

Beyond the use of renewable energy and electrified transport, this was achieved by cutting down on new construction in favour of retrofitting 25 existing sports venues and making both old and new buildings more energy-efficient. Among the newly constructed buildings, the Olympic Plaza and Kengo Kuma’s Japan National Stadium are built from timber in a bid to limit emissions. However, some of this wood has been linked to deforestation, which effectively negates its positive impacts.

To compensate for the emissions that remain, the Japanese Olympics Committee has purchased 4.38 million tonnes worth of carbon credits, generated through local energy-saving and efficiency projects in Tokyo and Saitama prefecture. “The decarbonisation strategy is the best out of all the past Olympics,” Konishi said. “I believe the most important thing that the Tokyo Olympics can show the world is that with current technology, it’s possible to get to carbon-zero.” However, unlike offsets that directly remove carbon from the atmosphere via processes such as direct air capture (DAC) or soil carbon sequestration, energy efficiency projects like this only help to reduce future emissions rather than removing existing ones from the atmosphere.

Even as Tokyo 2020’s estimated footprint has been lowered further now that foreign visitors will be barred due to the pandemic, the event will still result in a net addition of 2.4 million tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere, which is more than the entire city of Copenhagen emitted last year. “Carbon offsets have been criticised by different scholars, because what they tell us is: we’ll keep emitting but we’ll just try to offset it,” Gogishvili said. “It is possible to have more sustainable Olympics but there are some radical changes that the IOC needs to take.”

According to the researcher, this includes establishing an independent body to evaluate the Olympics’ sustainability claims, as well as rotating the games among the same cities to mitigate the need for constantly constructing new infrastructure. But the thing that would have the biggest impact, he argues, would be a focus on degrowth and downsizing the event. “The first modern Olympics, which were hosted in Athens in the late 19th century, had only 300 athletes,” he said.

“Of course, we are not saying that we have to go to that level. But there needs to be a discussion between the IOC, National Olympics Committees and maybe the UN, which takes into consideration the current realities of the world and the climate crisis, to come to a reasonable number.”

Tshwane pledges to tackle climate change, inequality

The City of Tshwane is among the nine cities around the world that have pledged to work on an action plan aimed at tackling climate change and also at addressing inequality and economic exclusion among disadvantaged communities.

This was revealed at the recent C40 Cities webinar, where mayors and leaders from around the world congregated to deliberate on the role of local and national governments in scaling global ambition on climate action and a just green transition. Tshwane mayor Randall Williams said: “During this engagement we pledged, as the City of Tshwane, that we seek to ensure that climate action addresses inequality and exclusion.” Part of the discussions focused on the need to create employment through an initiative called “climate action for jobs”, seeking “to drive climate change goals together with employment goals”

“In the preparation for the Tshwane Climate Action Plan, we have taken an evidence-based approach and commissioned the identification of climate risk zones in the updating of our climate risk and vulnerability assessment. These are areas that experience one or more climate-related hazards which could be worsened by the presence of various social or environmental stresses.”

He said the plan would craft and direct actions to the climate risk zones with a view to “reduce the impact of the hazards or to build the coping capacity for the affected communities”. “Therefore, we aim to tackle inequality by directing City resources and partnerships to areas of extreme social vulnerability to foster a safer environment and more resilient City for its residents.”

Tshwane’s pledge would be co-ordinated by the C40 Cities climate leadership group, which is a network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities working to deliver the urgent action needed now to confront the climate crisis.

The C40 Cities expressed support for action plans by nine mayors from cities around the world to address issues of climate change, inequality, social justice and access to decent jobs. Other cities that pledged to address the impact of climate change on communities are Accra, Barcelona, Cape Town, Durban, Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg, Los Angeles and Warsaw.

DIARISE: ClimateScience Olympiad calls for youth to help change the world

The ClimateScience Olympiad aims to engage and empower 10,000 youth globally to come up with actionable solutions to climate change. The finalists of this online competition will go on to compete during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) for a pool prize of $10,000. Combating the lack of climate change education is an urgent issue that ClimateScience, the non-profit organisation initiating the Olympiad, directly tackles by offering young people the opportunity to make innovative proposals for solving climate change.

The ClimateScience Olympiad (CSO) is entirely free, takes place online and consists of three phases, the first being the Qualifying Phase. Running from January to September 2021, where youths aged 14-25 sign up and participate. Participants can either compete as individuals or in teams of two to write proposals to climate change-related problem statements ranging from biodiversity to carbon capture. The top 5% of participants will progress to the semi-finals in October, where they will undergo an interview based on their proposals. Finally, the 50 highest scoring semi-finalists will then be invited to compete in the finals in November during COP26, Covid-19 allows. For more information on ClimateScience, or to register for the Olympiad, visit:

DIARISE: Africities 2022 offers opportunity to examine water issues

Kenya will host Africities 9 from 26-30 April 2022, under the auspices of the Pan-African Organisation of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa). The theme will be ‘The role of intermediary cities in Africa in the implementation of the UN Agenda 2030 and the African Union Agenda 2063’. Intermediary cities are described as cities with a population between 50,000 and one million people that generally play a primary role in connecting important rural and urban areas to basic facilities and services. They are home to 20% of the world´s population and one third of the total urban population.

The summit focuses on the need for Africans to learn, promote and present a new approach to sustainable development. It is premised upon UN Agenda 2030 sustainable development goal 11, sustainable cities and communities that seek to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Implicit in this is SDG 6 – to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Many African countries are behind when it comes to access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation; water use efficiency; and the implementation of integrated water resources management (IWRM).

DIARISE: Greenpop/ WWF Groundwater Awareness Campaign

The Greenpop team, in collaboration with WWF South Africa, has developed a groundwater awareness campaign for schools in the Cape Town area. This programme is part of the Table Mountain Water Source Partnership, funded by the Embassy of Denmark in South Africa. The programme aims to shed some much-needed light on the groundwater situation in the Western Cape, which received a lot of attention following the effects of the 2018 drought as communities searched elsewhere for water availability. The campaign provides partner schools with lesson plans, resource packs and educational videos to assist teachers in teaching students about the importance of groundwater. And the campaign will culminate in a poster competition, where the winning student and school will win funds and materials to support their school. Winners are to be announced in September.  Learn more about the campaign here:

DIARISE: Shutterbugs Rally to Save Our Seas

A first-ever Marine Protected Areas photographic competition – to put people in the picture about the value of conserving our ocean environment – is under way in South Africa. It covers marine creatures, scenery and activities and is one of several initiatives linked to Africa’s inaugural MPA Day which was held on Sunday, August 1.

Organised by an alliance of ocean conservation agencies, the competition is part of this broader drive to promote MPAs, and ensure that marine life can thrive, reproduce and grow, said Judy Mann, conservation strategist at the SA Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR). South Africa has 41 Marine Protected Areas. These protected areas make up only 5 percent of the country’s coastline – well below the global target set by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. In 2016, it called for protecting at least 30 percent of the ocean by 2030 through a network of MPAs and other conservation measures. The MPA Day Photo Competition closes on 31 August 2021. Click here to submit entries.

DIARISE: Youth Unifying for Ocean Protection: 19-20 August 2021

In the first-ever virtual event of its kind on the continent, a youth-driven marine group called Youth4MPAs in partnership with WILDOCEANS and supported by World Surf League PURE, The Pew Charitable Trusts and Oceans5 has launched an African Youth Summit focusing on unifying youth across Africa, engaging with global marine experts and amplifying their young voices to advocate for the protection of its oceans.

Established in 2018, Youth4MPAs has been instrumental in growing a voice of change for South African oceans and their protection. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are critical because they are able to defend the ocean’s capacity to produce oxygen, sequester carbon and provide food and livelihoods for billions of people. They are also important for the future because they can protect depleted, threatened, rare, and endangered species.


Jacarandas in parts of South Africa are flowering earlier

About 16% of the land in the Gauteng City Region is planted with trees, forming one of the world’s largest and most densely vegetated man-made urban forests. Johannesburg alone is recorded to have over 10 million trees. Octogenarian residents who have lived in Gauteng their whole life might remember that jacarandas did not always flower in September. In the 1920s and 1930s, the trees only started to bloom in mid-November. Gradually over the decades, the date of bloom has advanced through October to the early weeks of September. This is referred to as a phenological shift, and is being observed across a range of species globally as a result of climate change.
The Conversation

Fund nature protection now or face huge losses, says World Bank

In its first Economic Case for Nature report, the World Bank looked at how many economies rely on biodiversity and how they would cope if certain services provided by nature collapsed. It found that sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia would be worst hit. The study identified key “ecosystem services” that it said were close to tipping points, including wild pollinators and provision of food from marine fisheries and timber from native forests. “It’s not just about biodiversity – it’s about the economy. The moment to act is now,” report co-author Gianni Ruta, lead environmental economist at the World Bank. The global economy faces annual losses of $2.7tn by 2030 if ecological tipping points are reached and countries fail to invest more in protecting and restoring nature, the World Bank said, calling for a greener Covid-19 recovery. Read the report

Olympic athletes and volunteers in Tokyo ‘tortured’ by hottest Games ever

Olympic athletes and volunteers in Tokyo are being “tortured” by dangerous heat, meteorologists have said, as the hottest Games in history puts pressure on organisers to rethink the future of sport in a climate-disrupted world. Temperatures hit 34C in the Japanese capital on Thursday with humidity of nearly 70%. Athletes and sports scientists say the combination of heat and moisture has led to “brutal” conditions that must be avoided at future events. This could limit the range for endurance sports in terms of geography, season and time of day. Pressure will grow for big events to be moved to cooler seasons, higher latitudes, morning and evenings. Many elite athletes, like many specialist species, will see their habitat shrink. The Guardian


… these initiatives which support our aim of living in a more sustainable world.

Recycling food waste to grow new food

Himkaar Singh picks up people’s perishable scraps and gives them back enriched vermicompost to grow fresh food in their gardens. In 2019 he started
The Compost Kitchen in Johannesburg which collects food waste from households on an e-bike every week, for a monthly fee. The waste is recycled into vermicompost using thousands of earthworms. The compost is given to the customers at the end of the month to use in their vegetable gardens to grow food again, completing the cycle of organic waste by giving back compost to the customers who gave food waste. The Compost Kitchen recently won a big UN award and were voted one of the Top 300 Best Sustainable Practices at the 5th Global Entreps Awards held earlier this year. This is the Oscar awards for sustainability.

Public Shows of Reflection and Check My Plants

We’ve been huge fans of Public shows of reflection for the longest time! Bryan Little works with light to inspire people about our incredible ecology while raising awareness around specific issues such as roadkill of indigenous and endemic species. Have you spotted one of these artworks on Cape Town’s roads at night? Please show their Backabuddy campaign some love and check out the giveaway they are holding in collaboration with the incredibly awesome Check My Plants – surf on over to either of their pages for the details on how to enter.

South Africa’s first edible bowls

Om nom, Mycelium Media Colab loves this one! Munch Innovation has designed and produces edible bowls, aiming to replace single-use plastic bowls for the food and catering industry. Made from unbleached and stone-ground wheat flour, bran, canola oil and rooibos extract. A study conducted by the Department of Environmental Affairs in 2017 on Plastics Materials Flow confirms that packaging constitutes the largest component of single-use plastic waste generated in South Africa. These edible bowls aim to replace single-use plastic bowls for the food and catering industry. The company’s bowls are being manufactured in Cape Town, and are currently being exported to clients in Ghana, Dubai and Belgium. The bowls are also being sold locally.

Two SA wineries recognised with Green Emblem award

The newly introduced Robert Parker Green Emblem has been awarded to 24 wineries around the world, with two South African farms getting the seal of approval. The award recognises wineries that demonstrate “extraordinary efforts in the pursuit of environmentally friendly practices”. Reyneke Wines in Stellenbosch and Sadie Family Wines near Malmesbury have both received international acclaim.

Reyneke Wines in Stellenbosch produces its own fertiliser and avoids herbicides, pesticides, and fungicide, creating wines which are certified organic by the National Organic Program (NOP) in the US and European Union.  The winery is also recognised for its biodynamic agricultural processes – in preserving the existing ecosystem – by Demeter International. Sadie Family Wines, located roughly 70 kilometres from Stellenbosch in the Swartland region, converted to biodynamics with grapes picked by hand and as little mechanical interference in the entire wine making process as possible.

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The world is facing an unprecedented crisis, significant environmental degradation, deepening social inequality and economic collapse. These interlinked crises are exacerbated by man-made climate change. We will only overcome these challenges and be able to bring about a sustainable and regenerative world by working together to rebuild our connections and relationships with natural systems, and with each other. Mycelium is a collaboration of multi-media content creators focused on showing what a sustainable and regenerative world could look like, and how to get there. We do this by raising awareness and showcasing examples, and by growing the number of practitioners able to support this mission.

Our values are based on those of the International Co-operative Alliance: self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. We also embrace the values of collaboration, honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. Our value system acknowledges the need to combat the significant levels of inequality in South Africa, particularly those related to race and gender. We have chosen to work through the cooperative model because it offers economies of scale and scope, increased bargaining power, a space for learning, and the ability to offer value to our members and broader society.

Membership to the Mycelium Media Colab is open to multimedia storytellers, artists and regenerators that share our vision collaborative and transformative change. It offers a networking and support space for members to share skills and inspiration, and creatively cross-pollinate, as well as a platform and organisational structure for projects that require a team.  Ownership of projects is shared between the creators and the co-operative. Contact for more information and visit