Opposition’s criticisms on role of Govt GECOM Commissioners are valid

first_imgDear Editor,The comments by the PNC-led coalition Government-nominated GECOM Commissioner, Vincent Alexander, as captured in the Guyana Chronicle report on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 – captioned “No space for polls this year” – make it clear that the parliamentary Opposition’s criticisms on the role of the Government Commissioners at GECOM are valid.Vincent Alexander’s maintained demeanour during this uncertain period and comments demonstrate clearly that the primary focus of the Government Commissioners at GECOM is to delay General and Regional Elections that should have been held since March 21, 2019 – even with their principal talks about elections being held before the end of the year.Editor, I was part of the parliamentary Opposition delegation that met with the full Commission on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, and the GECOM Chairperson, retired Justice Claudette Singh, was pellucid when she stated that the views articulated by the Opposition Leader would be taken into consideration, with a view to having elections before the end of 2019.Despite this, Vincent Alexander – happy with elections being delayed until 2020, a full year after it was constitutionally due – insists, according to the Guyana Chronicle report, that the GECOM Secretariat’s election timeline has no space for an election this year.The election activities timelines that give March 2020 as the election date, which was proposed by the GECOM Secretariat – where elements have clearly been influenced by the likes of Vincent Alexander and others – can only be described as notorious, given the lengthy delays. For example, the allocation of 55 days between Nomination Day and Elections Day, when the standard period is 35 days.The most recent version of the timelines of elections activities contemplates the start of Claims and Objections all the way until November 19, 2019.  It also proposes other activities – the necessity of which has been discredited.Also, only last week, I pointed out that any merger of data from the House-to-House Registration with the NRRDB is worrisome for several reasons. Firstly, the merger of the data with the existing National Register of Registrants will contaminate the database and it will/may take months to address any such contamination.  Secondly, the data gathered is suspect since the gathering of said information was not scrutinised. Thirdly, the form used in the House-to-House Registration was not the statutory form required for such a purpose.Editor, I wish to remind, that since March 2019, a work-plan was proposed by the Opposition-nominated GECOM Commissioners, which would have seen election activities being run concurrently and concluded within 60 days.  I wish to also remind that the 2015 General and Regional Elections was completed within 71 days of Parliament being dissolved on February 28, 2019.The logical and simplest way, using a time-tested method, is a move to a Claims and Objections exercise, which would kick off once the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE) is extracted from the NRRDB and published.There is now one question that must be answered. Are the PNC-led coalition Government-nominated GECOM Commissioners, apart from protecting a political interest, some pecuniary interest? Is this the reason that they are actively pushing for constitutionally mandated elections to be delayed further?I dare say, it is time for the international community to focus their attention more closely on elements within the GECOM Secretariat, given what is at stake – Guyana’s standing as a constitutional democracy.Sincerely,Bishop JuanEdghill,PPP/Cparliamentarianlast_img read more

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Ex-NPA Boss Gives Customs Brokers ‘11 Commandments’

first_imgFormer National Port Authority (NPA) Managing Director, Madam Matilda Parker, has challenged the newly installed leadership of the National Customs Brokers’ Association (NCBAL) to strive for unity, rather than push for the downfall of others.Madam Parker believes that unity would result in an effective service association for people to get “on board and point in the same direction,” adding that “leadership does not mean domination.” Madam Parker’s admonition is based on the fact that most organizations come into existence to tackle problems that could be achieved with a united front.But if there are disagreements, it is likely that the association would not be effective, and members would spend most of their time arguing and posturing, she said.Delivering the keynote address on Saturday, Madam Parker said the art of leadership is in the ability to make people want to work for you, while they are really under no obligation to do so.“Leaders are people who raise the standards by which they judge themselves and by which they are willing to be judged.“The goal chosen, the objective selected, the requirements imposed are not mainly for their followers,” Madam Parker said. Leaders, she said, ought to develop with energy and devotion, their own skills and knowledge to reach the standard they have set for themselves.The wholehearted acceptance of the demands imposed by even higher standards of a leader is the basis of all human progress.“A love of higher quality, we must remember, is essential in a leader,” declared Madam Parker.She stated that a leader is one who realizes by faith that he or she is an instrument in the hands of God and must be an inspirer of the governed.“A leader must kindle interest, teach, aid, correct and inspire. Those whom he or she leads will cooperate with him or her in maintaining discipline for the good of the group.“The leader must instruct the followers in the goals towards which to strive, and create in them a sense of mutual effort for attaining it,” she said.She then described her style of leadership as the “Eleven Commandments.”“As a leader, when you adopt these ways of behaving, it’s like making deposits into a trust account of another party,” Madam Parker said.The Parker 11 commandments include straight talking, demonstrating respect, righting wrongs and extending trust.”Others are “showing loyalty, delivering results, getting better, confronting reality, clarifying expectations, listening first and keeping commitments.”For his part, installation officer, Dorbor Jallah, urged the leadership of the Customs Brokers to lead exemplary lives. Mr. Jallah is the executive director of the Public Procurement Concessions Commission.The newly inducted officers include Ivan Tumbey, president, Harry To Klechee, vice president, Mohamed Massaquoi, secretary; Alphonso Barkoum, national registrar, Benedict Jallah, financial secretary, James Hinneh, treasurer and Alphonso Weah, chaplain.In his inaugural address, Mr. Tumbey promised to bring every member of the association together and get their trust so as to move the organization forward.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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HOUSEHOLDERS PLANNING TO BURN DEMAND LETTERS AT HUGE PROTEST

first_imgHouseholders are being encouraged to bring their reminder letters for the household charge to a public protest  – with many planning to burn them at the rally.The march is being organised by the Donegal Can’t Pay Won’t Pay group which is holding the protest in Letterkenny on December 8th at 2pm.Organisers are encouraging the 30,000 householders who received reminder letters for payment to bring them with them during the protest march. Spokesman for Can’t Pay Won’t Pay Micheál Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig, said the group is urging people to ignore these letters as they are “baseless threats that will amount to nothing.”“Bring your letters with you, if you want to show our Co. Council what you think of them. We also urge people to stay strong and maintain their boycott of the household charge and septic tank inspection charge.“This campaign will be won by strength of numbers and continued non payment. The most common suggestion we have recieved from the public and our members, is that we publicly burn them at our protest.“In the past month various Co. County councils and state agencies have tried to scare people into paying the charge. We all remember Clare Co. Council asking people for proof that their household charge was paid, before they would issue third level education grants. “This was quickly rebuffed by legal professionals the move was reversed by Clare Co. Council. This was just another example of misleading scaremongering by Government and Local Authority figures,” he said.He added that since the beginning of the campaign we have endured countless baseless threats like this.It was reported that the charges would be added to utility bills such as your ESB, it then was reported that it would be taken at source ie. wages, welfare payments etc, he said.“All of these threats have been proved to be baseless and people have refused to be duped into paying.“So far up to 60% thats 46,000 people have refused to pay in Donegal. We ask how is the Co. Council gong to take all these people to court. Again we urge people to ignore these letters and to get involved in their local campaign.” HOUSEHOLDERS PLANNING TO BURN DEMAND LETTERS AT HUGE PROTEST was last modified: October 18th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal County CouncilHOUSEHOLD CHARGEletterslast_img read more

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PADDY IS STILL MAKING HIS ‘VOICE’ HEARD DESPITE CLOSE CALL

first_imgDonegal singer Paddy Molloy is still giving it socks on RTE’s The Voice.Paddy Molloy performing on The Voice tonight.The Glenties man got a bit of a shock tonight when he didn’t get the vote from Kian Egan’s group to go through to the next round.Not even his number one fan Jamelia could help get him over the line. But Paddy did manage to get voted in as the outsider by the public and the judges votes.A stunned Paddy, who had huge support in the audience, said he was simply lost for words when interviewed by presenter Kathryn Thomas.But now that his scare as been put behind him, Paddy has promised his fans he will be upping the tempo next week on the show.He told his Facebook followers “Wow…. Close call!! Thank you so so much for keeping me in the race!!! “Big big week next week the gears will be up’d and I will push on!!”  PADDY IS STILL MAKING HIS ‘VOICE’ HEARD DESPITE CLOSE CALL was last modified: April 7th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Paddy MolloyRTEthe voicelast_img read more

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Bush, Blair admit errors in Iraq

first_imgWASHINGTON – President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have acknowledged difficult progress in the Iraq war they launched together in 2003, but both vowed to keep troops there until the fragile new government takes hold. Both admitted making costly mistakes. “Despite setbacks and missteps, I strongly believe we did and are doing the right thing,” Bush said Thursday evening in a White House news conference with Blair. “Not everything has turned out the way we hoped.” For his part, Blair said he left a meeting this week with Iraq’s new prime minister “thinking the challenge is still immense, but I also came away thinking more certain than ever that we should rise to it.” In unusually introspective comments, Bush said he regretted his cowboy rhetoric after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks such as his “wanted dead or alive” description of Osama bin Laden and his taunting “bring `em on” challenge to Iraqi insurgents. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“In certain parts of the world, it was misinterpreted.” He also cited the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. “We’ve been paying for that for a long time,” Bush said. Blair regretted the way in which Saddam Hussein’s political allies were expelled from the Iraqi military and government soon after the fall of Baghdad. Critics have said the purge left a security vacuum and encouraged former regime loyalists to take up arms against the newly installed government. Blair also said allies seriously underestimated the strength and determination of the insurgency. “It should have been very obvious to us” from the beginning, Blair said. Here for talks with Bush that were expected to spill over into today, the British prime minister briefed the president on his discussions in Baghdad on Monday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who said his forces are capable of taking control of security in all Iraqi provinces within 18 months. Neither Bush nor Blair would give specifics on when soldiers from their countries can begin to go home. “We’re going to work with our partners in Iraq, the new government, to determine the way forward,” Bush said. He said the goal remains “an Iraq that can govern itself and sustain itself and defend itself.” He said one problem is the lack of an Iraqi defense minister, and he urged al-Maliki to fill the post soon. Bush declined to discuss news reports that the Pentagon hopes that the U.S. force, now at 131,000 troops, could be reduced to about 100,000 by this year’s end. He called that “speculation in the press” and said he has not discussed specific reductions in troop levels with commanders on the ground. “We’ll keep the force level there necessary to win,” Bush said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img
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New Tottenham stadium: Drone footage shows arena quickly taking shape

first_imgMost football fans are getting excited about the World Cup right now but Tottenham Hotspur fans have bigger things on their mind.They’re eagerly anticipating the completion of their new stadium, built partially on the site of former home White Hart Lane.The arena, which will house 62,062 supporters, including 17,000 in an impressive single-tier south stand has come on leaps and bounds in the last week with the roof getting several cassettes fitted to it, while the tanks for their on-site microbrewery – run by Beavertown – have been delivered too.But what does the stadium look like after this work? Well, thankfully YouTube channel Mr AV has sent his drone into the sky again and given fans some more incredible footage to watch, and you can see it below… 1last_img read more

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DD LOCAL: RAPHOE COMMUNITY NEWS

first_imgRAPHOE NOTES WEEK ENDING 8th March 2013Raphoe Family Resource Centre “FIT FOR LIFE”The aim of this free 5 week programme is to develop a safe space for young people between 12-15 years of age where they will learn more about the issues which are affecting or may affect their life. Objectives of the programme include raising young people’s self-esteem, developing understanding of the complexity of feelings and the ability to manage them more effectively, enabling young people with knowledge about physical and emotional health and developing coping strategies for dealing with issues affecting their physical and emotional health. Through the programme it is anticipated that young people will recognize the relationship between thoughts, feelings and actions, appreciate differences in how people feel about things, being able to talk about feelings effectively, examine their actions and know their consequences, use “I” messages instead of “You”, which will help young people blame less and take responsibility for their role within relationships.Week 1 will focus on Physical Health-the dangers of smoking; Week 2-Emotional Health: Anti-bullying and Peer Pressure; Week 3-Physical Health: Alcohol and Drugs; Week 4-Emotional Health: Friendships and Relationships; Week 5-Physical Health: Stress and Anger Management.The programme starts on Wednesday 13th March at 7.00pm followed at 8pm by the usual Youth Cafe activities. For further information please contact any of the Youth Team on 074 9145796. WOMEN’S GROUPWomen’s group next meeting is due to take place 25th March at 8.00 p.m.MONDAY MORNING DROP-INThe Monday morning drop-in continues in the Family Resource Centre from 10.30am-12.30pm each Monday so why not call in when you are passing for a cup of tea and a chat or bring a newspaper or book and relax in a warm friendly environment. The Family Resource Centre has a book library and you can swop a book anytime you are in. We look forward to seeing youFRIDAY’S NIGHTS AT THE FRC:-The next Movie nite will be held on Friday 22nd March from 7.00 – 9.pm .Parents/guardians are very welcome to come along to help supervise. COUNSELLING SERVICESRaphoe Family Resource Centre is now in a position to offer a free and confidential weekly counselling service to the general public. This person-centred service will be for those experiencing Bereavement/Loss, Separation, Abuse, Mental Health Difficulties and issues around sexuality. It will operate on an appointment basis only. Contact 086 3601718 after 7.00 p.m.RAPHOE TIDY TOWNS APPEAL 2013Raphoe Official Bronze Medal Award Winner 2011 & Silver Medal Winner 2012. It’s that time of year again when we begin to think about Spring cleaning and tidying up. The Tidy Towns are seeking the help of our entire community as in past years. What can you do to help Raphoe for this year’s Tidy Towns Competition ? You couldKeep your area litter free, Remove weeds or overgrowth from boundary wallsPaint your homes/properties & Tidy your Gardens, Keep green areas well mown and tidyPut out hanging baskets or window boxes, Respect Wildlife & Recycle your wasteIf you own a derelict property please have it cleaned up, Donate paint, flowers or shrubs for the town.If you wish to sponsor bedding plants for the Summer it would be very much appreciated this year especially. A Sincere Thank You from the Committee, Supervisor & Staff of Raphoe Tidy Towns Ltd for all your help over the years. Together we can make Raphoe a better place to live, work, visit and play in, today and into the future.For further information on our work please contact the Raphoe Tidy Towns Office on 9145692.SPRING SALE & AUCTIONThe Spring Sale and Auction will be held in Carnone Hall On Wednesday 20th March at 7.30 p.m. Usual stalls and teas available.IRISH NIGHTThe Annual Irish Night will be held in Carnone Hall on Friday 22nd March. Dancing from 9.30 p.m. Music by Duntally Band. Admission €8.00 including supper. All proceeds in aid of Lifford Hospital.RAPHOE PLAYGROUNDRaphoe Playground Campaign are holding an Afternoon Tea with local entertainment on Sunday 24th March from 3.00 – 6.00 p.m. in the Deele College gym in Raphoe. Come along for a cupcake and a cuppa and a slice of Raphoe’s finest musicians and dancers. Admission is €5.00 and everyone welcome.RAPHOE SCOUT GROUPSpecial thanks goes to Donegal Mayor Cllr. Frank Mc Brearty for his very generous donation to Raphoe Scout Group from his Councilors Members Development Fund.FRIENDS OF LIFFORD HOSPITAL TABLE QUIZThe Friend of Lifford Hospital is running a Table on Friday 22nd March 2013 in Friel’s Hotel Raphoe. 4 per team entry fee €20.00 per team. Starting at 9.30 p.m. sharp. Great prizes on the night 1st prize Donegal GAA signed shirt. Please come along and support this worthy cause. Everybody Welcome.RAPHOE BADMINTON CLUBRaphoe Badminton Club’s Annual Badminton Tournament continues in the Recreation Hall with usual events run. Finals will be played on Friday 8th March. For further details contact Joe Magee 074 9145451 after 7.00 p.m., or Sammy Magee on 0749145444 or check out the Raphoe Badminton Club page on Facebook.RAPHOE BOXING CLUBOn Friday morning last the Raphoe Boxing club who have twined with the two-castles Boxing Club from Newtownstewart Co. Tyrone travelled to Connamara for a very successful residential weekend which was funded by the Donegal County Council’s Riverine Project. On Saturday morning the 19 strong party from Raphoe teamed up with the local boxers for a 2 hour squad- training session. The clubs travelled to the Lettermullen beach for kayaking for 3 hours in the afternoon before taking part in a a major boxing tournament on Saturday night and all 14 boxers from the Raphoe Club took part. On Sunday morning the boxers came up against the local footballers in a highly entertaining soccer match before returning home on Sunday night. A very sincere thanks goes to Catherine- Anne Kelly and Martina Fox of Donegal County Council for all their help. Plans for the Clubs forthcoming major boxing tournament are at an advanced stage and coach and matchmaker Gary Mc Cullagh has secured 14 star- studded contests to take place in the Cathedral Hall on Friday 15th March when everyone is welcome along with the action getting underway at 8.30 p.m. sharp.ST. MARYS GAELIC 4 MOTHERS & OTHERSTraining every Wednesday Night at 8:15p.m.If you are 18 years and over and would like to get fit, learn a new skill,have fun and meet new friends then this is the team for you!Please note that all notes should be placed in the box provided in Raphoe Post Office by a Thursday before 4.00 p.m. or alternatively can be dropped into Raphoe Family Resource Centre or e-mailed to raphoefrc@eircom.net.DD LOCAL: RAPHOE COMMUNITY NEWS was last modified: March 9th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:DD LOCAL: RAPHOE COMMUNITY NEWSlast_img read more

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Football Travels to Marist on Saturday

first_img Marist Game Notes DES MOINES, Iowa — The Drake University football team is ready for the second-half of the season after coming off its bye week as the Bulldogs travel to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. to square off with Marist College Saturday at 1 p.m. EST.Saturday’s contest is the sixth meeting between Drake and Marist and the first between the programs since 2014. The Bulldogs lead the series, 5-0, and are 2-0 at Tenney Stadium. The Bulldogs fell to Dayton, 20-10, in their last time out on Oct. 7, snapping a six-game Pioneer Football League winning streak. The Red Foxes enter Saturday’s game on a two-game losing streak as they lost at Valpo 49-15 last week.Senior quarterback Grant Kraemer took a few lumps during non-conference play, but has used those lumps to get out a stellar start in conference play. Over the last three games, Kraemer is averaging 320 yards passing while completing more than 55 percent of his passes; compared to averaging 216 yards and 58 percent in the first three games of the season. He leads the PFL and ranks 18th in the country with 1,611 yards passing. Heading into the season, head coach Rick Fox knew the potential of his young receiving group had and they have shown what they are capable of. The Bulldogs’ trio of wide receivers–sophomore Mitch McFarlane and juniors Devin Cates and Steven Doran–rank in the top-20 in receiving yards in the PFL. McFarlane is leading the group with 26 receptions for 456 yards and three touchdowns. Doran has also caught three touchdowns to go with his 20 receptions for 304 yards, while Cates has tallied 21 catches for 289 yards and two touchdowns. The Bulldog defense has proven to be one of the best in the PFL as it ranks in the top-three in seven statistical categories. Drake leads the league in total defense (299.0) and first downs (15.7) and ranks second in pass defense efficiency (99.2), passing yards (194.3 ypg.) and scoring (16.3 ppg.). The Red Foxes offense is led by one of the top receivers in the PFL, Juston Christian. Christian leads the league with 41 receptions with a team-best 632 yards. Defensively, Wesley Beans leads the squad with 46 tackles including 27 solo stops. Peter Dalatour paces the front three with three sacks and three quarterback hurries.Print Friendly Version Audio Live Stats Video Streaming Drake Game Notes Story Linkslast_img read more

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DONEGAL MAN’S ASTONISHING FINISH IN IRELAND’S TOUGHEST RACE

first_imgA DONEGAL man has finished an incredible 24-hour endurance race in second place – and in under 16 hours!Sean McFadden is pictured with race winner Bill Wells from Canada and third placed Michael McCarron.Sean came home in 15 hours, 36 minutes and 24 seconds. He was just over 14 minutes behind the winner and under two minutes ahead of McCarron. The Race around County Donegal provided the ultimate single-day test for endurance athletes in Ireland with a 260km multi-sport (running, cycling, kayaking) event across the least hospitable terrain in Ireland.Fancy trying it yourself? – Here’s the route….looks like a week’s worth to us!Stage1 – Run (22km) Gartan Adventure Center to Lough SwillyStage 2 – Kayak (15km) Ramelton to Rathmullen Stage 3 – Cycle (100km) Rathmullen to Mt MuckishStage 4 – Run/Walk/Scramble (5km) 500 vertical metres gained up and down MuckishStage 5 – Cycle (75km) Mt Muckish to Glenveigh National ParkStage 6 – Run (43km) to Gartan Adventure Centre, a marathon along the paths and trails of Glenveigh DONEGAL MAN’S ASTONISHING FINISH IN IRELAND’S TOUGHEST RACE was last modified: March 2nd, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalthe racelast_img read more

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South African filmmaker wins top enviro award

first_imgThis pristine Karoo landscape is underthreat from commercial exploitation.(Image: Flying Fish Productions)Filmmaker Liz Fish has spent the pastfew years of her career focusing onraising environmental awarenessthrough film.(Image: Anthony Weaver)MEDIA CONTACTS • Liz FishFlying Fish Productions+27 21 689 1199RELATED ARTICLES• SA short film makes festival finals• Cannes triumph for SA films• Gavin Hood: from Tsotsi to X-Men• Pieter-Dirk Uys scoops Teddy Award• African cinema on the big screenPippa EhrlichCape Town-based journalist and filmmaker Liz Fish will soon travel to Canada to receive the inaugural David Suzuki Green Award at the 32nd Banff World Media Festival, which takes place from 12 to 15 June in Banff, Alberta.Her entry, titled Fracking up the Karoo, was selected by the jury as this year’s best candidate for the prestigious award.The award is named after the eminent Canadian environmental activist, academic and host of The Nature of Things, and is part of the Banff World Media Awards Green Initiative. Now in its fifth year, this programme recognises individuals and organisations whose environment-related work creates public awareness and instigates positive societal changes towards protecting our planet.The award was formerly known as the Green Grand Prize. The 2009 Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove, an exposé of Japan’s dolphin-hunting practices, won it in 2010.Winners are selected by a so-called green jury made up of broadcasting and environmental leaders. Up until this year, the panel consisted of judges from Canada, the US and China, but was opened to more countries in 2011, giving South Africans the opportunity to put their work forward. This year’s jury president was the Sichuan Television Festival.Fish commented on her achievement: “I’m deeply honoured to receive the inaugural David Suzuki Green award, as he’s an icon as an environmentalist and broadcaster, as well as a prolific writer on environmental issues.”She believes that television has a powerful role to play in protecting South Africa’s natural heritage, “The biggest problem with protecting the environment is ignorance. People have no idea about what we are destroying and what the impact of their behaviour is or feel completely helpless in taking it on.”She said that by taking viewers to the scene of the environmental issue, no matter where in the world it is, film and television gives them insight into the issue, so they can see who or what is causing destruction or alleviating it.Working for changeFracking up the Karoo is an insert produced by Fish’s company Flying Fish Productions for local investigative journalism programme Carte Blanche.It investigates the possible effects of the controversial process of natural gas exploration on South Africa’s Karoo basin, with its clean air and wide open spaces. The insert also shows South African viewers what has already happened in the US because of fracking – contaminated water sources, sick people, and the industrialisation of formerly peaceful rural communities.The story aired in February 2011 and caused significant public outcry. There is currently a moratorium on gas in exploration in South Africa, while government authorities conduct a thorough investigation into hydraulic fracturing, the technique that is used to extract the gas.Growing awareness amongst communitiesGeorges Leclere, director of the Banff awards, said: “Liz Fish’s incisive environmental journalism has made an outstanding impact in South Africa and around the world.”Leclere added that the jury was “delighted” to honour Fish, as she was the ideal recipient of the award.During apartheid, Fish’s work focused on issues of social justice, but recently her focus is on environmental awareness. She has won a number of awards as a Carte Blanche producer, and her work has prompted significant governmental and social action with regards to environmental crises.Her award-winning 2009 story Fish Fraud investigated restaurants and wholesalers who were fraudulently labelling and selling fish, with a resulting significant impact on the local fish industry.In 2010 the hard-hitting E.coli revealed how Western Cape rivers were being polluted by raw effluent which in turn soiled beaches. The story prompted the government to upgrade numerous sewage plants to protect South African rivers.According to Fish, green issues on the African continent often come second to social and economic challenges.“Having said that, there are so many amazing environmentalists doing huge amounts with minimal funding,” she said. “We are seeing a growing awareness as more communities take on greening, recycling and general awareness and preservation of the environment.”Fish described the challenge to filmmakers is finding creative ways to make these issues accessible and entertaining.“Green issues need to be part of sitcoms, soapies and game shows.”SA film festivals attracting international playersAfrica’s rich natural heritage makes it a premier destination for environmental film makers. In March 2011 South Africa hosted the annual Wild Talk Africa Film Festival, a premier international event for the global wildlife film making industry.This year’s Encounters documentary film festival will run from 9 to 26 June in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Showcasing 17 international films and 19 African productions, the festival will be attended by International filmmakers, as well as 25 local producers.last_img read more

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