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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

The elephant in the room

In a recent bust at Zurich airport, officials seized eight suitcases of ivory – 262kg worth an estimated £265,000 – contraband that came from about 50 slaughtered elephants. It is difficult to ascertain whether these kinds of raids indicate that law enforcement on distribution routes between Africa and the Far East is improving, or whether busts are simply increasing with poaching rates.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 219, July 2015
In June 2015, the Department of Mineral Resources gazetted regulations related to hydraulic fracturing or fracking in South Africa offering a framework for the exploitation and exploration of shale gas. It could easily lead one to think that another step has been taken in the direction of the highly controversial question of industrial fracking in the Karoo basin.
Following the tragic killing of striking miners at the Lonmin Mine in Marikana on 16 August 2012, South Africa’s government established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate matters of ‘public, national and international concern’ arising out of the tragic event. Three years on, the release of the Commission’s final report has provoked hostile reactions from many quarters.
On Monday 22 June 2015, SAIIA and Chatham House hosted the launch of a report by Alex Vines, Director for Area Studies and International Law, on 'Mozambique to 2018: Managers, Mediators, and Magnates'.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 218, June 2015
The global economy loses $50 billion every year as a result of poor management of global fish stocks. That figure doesn’t tell the full story of how overfishing, illegal fisheries and environmental degradation impact the livelihoods of coastal and riparian communities, particularly in developing states.
Every year, the United Nations Environment Programme celebrates the World Environment Day on 5 June to raise awareness about environmental issues, reflect on what has been accomplished and call for sustained action globally.
The South Atlantic Zone refers to a grouping of countries from Latin America and Africa that fall on the littoral border of the South Atlantic Ocean. This region holds significant strategic and economic potential for countries from both regions. Traditionally, South Africa’s regional foreign policy is classified as either ‘Latin American’ or ‘African’. However, an approach that conceives of South Atlantic Zone countries as a single entity offers an opportunity to bridge this conceptual and geographic divide while providing a framework for deeper multilateral co-operation.
On 19 May 2015, SAIIA's Western Cape Branch, in partnership with the Conservation Action Trust, invites you to a breakfast seminar on 'The international politics of illegal trade in wildlife.'  This seminar will be addressed by a panel of speakers.
Since shortly after independence, Botswana has depended on its diamond revenues. The diamond industry is inextricably linked to other industries, both upstream and downstream, that together provide much of the government's revenue. But these reserves are likely to decline in the near future.
On 8 May 2015, SAIIA hosted a seminar addressed by Prof. V.N. Attri, Chair of Indian Ocean Rim Studies (IORS) for the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) at the University of Mauritius, on 'The Indian Ocean’s Blue Economy: Perspectives on the Indian Ocean Rim Association.'
In tandem with the steep fall in global commodity prices, demands for a stronger sustainability focus in Africa's extractives industry is on the rise. This shift is leading communities, industry, government and civil society actors to reassess emerging governance challenges in a low commodity price environment.
South Africa is facing a rhino poaching crisis. One of the proposed policy mechanisms to address rhino poaching was the establishment of a Committee of Inquiry to deliberate on matters relating to a possible trade of Rhino Horn.
The 22nd of March every year marks international Water Day. As the world celebrates its most important life-giving natural resource, it is important to take stock of Africa's water challenges and opportunities. Water is the pre-condition for life and the sustainable management of water is fundamental to achieving Africa's development goals.
Global campaigns to protect the world’s forests have raised awareness of the devastating consequences of illegal logging of tropical hardwoods and the clearing of Amazonian and Indonesian rainforests for the cultivation of agricultural crops. In Africa, too, tropical forests face a range of threats.
On 10 March 2015, the Norwegian Embassy in South Africa entered into an agreement with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) to provide financial support of approximately R16 million to our Governance of Africa's Resources programme.
Both the industry-led African Mining Indaba and its Civil Society-led counterpart, the Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI), take place in Cape Town every February. In 2015, SAIIA has continued with its efforts to help build a bridge across the Indaba divide, with two separate stakeholder engagements during the Indaba week involving government, corporate and community participants.
Putting aside all the controversies surrounding President Jacob Zuma’s delivery of the 2015 State of the Nation address, the speech is worth analysing.
Friday, 13 February 2015

SAIIA 2015 Change-Makers Forum

SAIIA is convenening its third annual high-level dialogue forum for ‘Change-Makers’ in the African extractive sector. This event will be held on on Friday, 13 February 2015, on the sidelines of the 2015 Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa.
On 9 February 2015, SAIIA's Governance of Africa's Resources Programme hosted a Mining Indaba Roundtable on 'From Acid Mine Drainage to Fracking? South Africa’s capacity for environmental oversight of extractive industries'.
On 26 January 2015, President Jacob Zuma provided reasons for referring the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill (MPRD-AB 2014) back to Parliament. The Bill had been shepherded through parliament shortly before the 2014 national elections, and has been on the President's desk since then.
SAIIA Policy Insights No 5, December 2014
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 123, January 2015