End-Of-Year Newsletter Dec 2011
The new year is almost upon us; a good time to reflect on the year that’s passed. So what exactly did we get up to in 2011?
This year we wanted to focus particularly on local food security by helping equip people with the knowledge needed in order to set up their own organic food gardens. So the year began for us with a weekend workshop in February at Lake Farm Centre on starting your own permaculture garden. Shortly after that, we had another introductory workshop in March at The Irie, a small restaurant that used to be in Richmond Hill. We had another workshop there in June as part of Green Week which was organized by the Alliance Francaise. Our last two workshops were held in November, the one on growing organic food and the other on the use of Effective Micro-organisms. Across all the workshops we had a total of around 60 participants who I hope are all regular harvesters by now.
The there was the rest of Green Week that we collaborated on, with a presentation on Transition, as well as an event at Settlers Park Primary School where a number of Water Berry trees were planted. Tree planting also began at the Joy To The Nation Church in Walmer in November, with a variety of 90 indigenous trees to be planted.
Also in November a number of our core team members spoke at a seminar hosted by the municipality on the topic of climate change and how various sectors might respond to the crisis. Municipality put out an open call earlier in the year for input on a new vision for Madiba Bay, and we quickly got to work on our submission, which is really the tip of the iceberg when we look at it now. Unfortunately, we have heard nothing more about the process. We have tried to meet with persons from the municipality to find out more about this but have been blown off several times. Perhaps we (civil society) should develop the vision further and take our own steps towards achieving it. What do you say?
We also put through comments on the National Climate Change Response green and white papers. The final draft still seems to lack the ambition needed to address the climate crisis. Perhaps government still doesn’t realize the urgency of the situation; perhaps corporate interests hold greater weight. This became clear on a global level during the COP17 climate talks in Durban this month, which we went through for. We arrived on the day of the big march past City Hall and to the ICC. The remainder of our time was spent attending presentations at the People’s Space, connecting and learning from other groups from around the world. I expect most left with the expected feeling of disappointment as our so-called leaders failed, yet again, to produce a solid agreement and instead chose to delay action even further. So if they won’t do anything, then the task really does lie with us, the people. But we’ll be sure to report back further on that in the new year.
And of course our monthly Green Drinks evenings are still going, providing the space for like-minded folk to just meet, hang out, and share ideas. Then there’s the Baakens Valley Community Partnership which we’re participating in, developing a vision for and supporting the renewal of the whole Baakens Valley area, which we hope will soon become a safe and pleasant space for both locals and tourists to enjoy.
There was a lot we would have like to do this year, but weren’t able to for various reasons, so we’ll just have to make up for that next year. Lets make 2012 the year local resilience was built!
So from NMB Transition Network team, we would like to wish you and your families a safe and joyful festive season.