Mopane worms to alleviate hunger


first_imgRay Maota Dried mopane worms are sold at a market. (Image: Mira Terra Images) The Kruger National Park is home to  theblack rhino, which is distinguished fromthe white rhino by its pointy upper lip. (Image: Goallover.org) MEDIA CONTACTS • William Mabasa Head of Public Relations and Communications +27 13 735 4363 RELATED ARTICLES • Going wild over indigenous silk • Kruger Park marks 110 years • Black rhinos return to Serengeti • Wildlife poachers to be taken downThe Kruger National Park is allowing locals in the area to harvest mopane worms during the festive season as part of a poverty and hunger alleviation pilot project. Mopane worms are a local delicacy in the northern region of South Africa.The locals of the Nxanatseni region of the park between Punda Maria and Phalaborwa in Limpopo have been given permits to harvest the worms between 15 December and 28 December 2010, for their own consumption.Situated in the east of the country, the Kruger Park is part of the portfolio of South African National Parks (Sanparks), which manages a system of parks representing South Africa’s indigenous fauna, flora, landscapes and associated cultural heritage.Sustainable harvesting of wormsThe pilot project will be monitored closely to assess its impact and prevent over-harvesting.William Mabasa, the Kruger’s head of public relations and communications, said: “With high unemployment levels in the rural communities outside the park around the harvesting area, we want to contribute positively towards the wellbeing and livelihoods of families, especially during Christmas time.”Mabasa said that many people in Limpopo province and elsewhere in the country eat mopane worms, as they’re an important source of protein.“Scientists will monitor the ecological, social and economic impact of the harvesting process before, during and after the project has taken place to ensure that it does not negatively affect the ecosystem,” he added.Rangers from the park will escort the 60 selected harvesters to the harvest area and guard them throughout the project.Mabasa said, “The harvesters will be divided into six groups of 10 people each, with each group being accompanied to the harvesting zone by a ranger and guide who will protect them against attacks from animals.”Sanparks is associated with tourism and recreation, spiritual experiences, employment and business opportunities. The mopane worm harvesting project is meant to extend these benefits to include sustainable utilisation of natural resources – one of the parks authority’s key policies.Local delicacyInsects form part of people’s diets throughout the world and in South Africa, the mopane worm (Imbrassia belina) is a delicacy amongst many people in the northern region of the country.Mopane worms are actually large caterpillars that feed on the mopane tree (Colophospermum mopane), which grows in Southern Africa’s drier semi-desert, bushveld and grassland areas.The worms are known as mashonzha, masonja or amasonja among the locals and form part of a multi-million rand trade in edible insects, providing a livelihood for many harvesters, traders and their families.Although they usually feed on the mopane tree, their diet can include leaves of many other indigenous trees. This gives the worms a wider range than just the regions where mopane trees grow. Besides humans, the worms and eggs are vulnerable to disease and consumption by birds.Traditionally the worms were harvested for subsistence but harvesting has become more commercially driven. Because people want to cash in on the lucrative mopane worm business, over-harvesting in one season can lead to a smaller harvest in the next.Mopane worms are preserved by drying in the sun or smoking to add more flavour. They are eaten in the dried state or may be soaked until rehydrated, before being fried to a crunchy texture.South Africa’s premier game parkThe Kruger National Park is South Africa’s premier game park and boasts a variety of species, including 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals.The park was established in 1898, initially to control hunting and protect the diminishing number of animals, and is the largest game reserve in South Africa. Covering almost 19 000 square kilometres, it’s comparable in size to the entire country of Wales.The Kruger is now a part of the 35 000 square kilometre Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a peace park with no internal borders that joins the Kruger to Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park and the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.Although wildlife is its drawcard, its boundaries also encompass over 255 historical and cultural sites, with more yet to be explored.Other national parks managed by Sanparks are: Groenkloof, Table Mountain, Marakele, Golden Gate, Camdeboo, Mountain Zebra, Addo Elephant, Garden Route National Park, Bontebok, Agulhas, West Coast, Karoo, Namaqua, Richtersveld, Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mapungubwe, and Tankwa Karoo.last_img read more

South African-built drone to fly in 2012


first_img16 August 2011The Seeker 400 prototype, a South African designed and built unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, is due to make its maiden flight in the first quarter of 2012, says local defence company Denel Dynamics.UAVs can be used for national security, crime fighting, disaster management, election monitoring, and search-and-rescue operations.According to Denel UAV executive manager Tshepo Monaheng, the company’s decision to invest in the UAV, which is funded from its balance sheet, was based on global requirements for such capability.Israel and the US dominate in the global market which is estimated at US$14-billion per annum, however there is scope for South Africa to use local skills to create UAVs.Denel Dynamics is a division within the Denel Group with its core business covering tactical missiles, precision-guided weapons and unmanned aerial vehicles.Deployable in most conditionsDenel said the Seeker 400, which is deployable in most conditions, is larger and has more capabilities than the previous Seeker II. It is capable of staying in the air for 16 hours and can simultaneously operate two payloads. It has a range of 250km, but with the use of tactical ground stations, this can be extended to 750km.“There is already a launch customer for the Seeker 400, who operated the Seeker I tactical UAV in the early 1990s,” Denel said. “Two other countries, which currently operate the Seeker II, are also interested in the Seeker 400 because the new aircraft can be controlled by simply using their existing Seeker II control stations.”The Seeker 400 flight test programme will run for most of 2012, with production expected to start by the end of 2012. It is planned that weapons be added to the aircraft, with several countries having already expressed interest in an armed version of the UAV.“Globally, UAVs are becoming ever more important and more widely used,” Denel said. “Although costs are coming down, UAVs are not necessarily cheaper or easier to operate than crewed aircraft – some top-of-the-range UAVs are very expensive.”But the fact that they have no human on board means they can be sent into high-risk environments and can be kept aloft much longer than conventional aircraft, Denel added.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Does Windows 8 Need Add-On Security Protection? And What Are Your Choices?


first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#Microsoft#security#web Lock image courtesy of Shutterstock. For example, both 360 and Norton Internet Security attempt to sniff out scams on social networking sites like Facebook. Widgets on Windows 8 allow users to control and manage their Norton installation. And though toolbars may be a (thankfully) thing of the past in the built-in IE10 browser, Norton is developing a custom, secured version of the IE browser with its own built-in protections, for users who want the extra security. Panda Security also announced its own security suite this week, which includes Panda Antivirus Pro 2013, Panda Internet Security 2013 and Panda Global Protection 2013. None of them seem particularly optimized for Windows 8, although they’re compatible with the new operating system.According to the company, the new suites offer a series of technological improvements:Better disinfection capabilitiesImproved on-access scanningA new operating system vulnerability disinfection systemA new built-in system to submit questions to technical supportA new password manager that protects users’ digital identity and allows them to store their credentials securely.According to the company, if consumers buy now, Panda will toss in an extra month on top of its annual subscription. Prices range from $40.99 for Panda AntiVirus Pro to $60.99 for Panda Internet Security 2013 to $71.99 for Panda Global Protection 2013. Kaspersky Lab, for its part, recently announced its Internet Security and Antivirus suite, which costs $79.95 for a year’s subscription to the former. In addition to improved performance, Kaspersky Interent Security includes Safe Money, a virtual keyboard to log into financial sites and avoid keyloggers that can sniff your hardware keyboard commands. markhachman Security vendors say add-on security products will be needed for Windows 8 – and they’re rolling out suites of solutions to enhance whatever Microsoft offers with its new operating system.According to Gerry Egan, a senior director of product management for the Security Technology and Response Group at security vendor Symantec, the new Windows 8 “Modern-UI”-style apps (formerly known as Metro) are sandboxed, or isolated from the rest of the system, as well as curated. But one of the “myths” of Windows 8 is that it’s more secure, because underneath the Metro interface lies the traditional desktop, Egan said.Security Vendors Say Windows 8 Still Needs Security HelpThat’s the standard line for most security vendors. For them, there’s no question that Windows 8 will require protection, no matter what improvements Microsoft has made.“[Microsoft has] minimal changes there,” Egan said. “They have SmartScreen [dialogues asking if a user wants to install new software] in more places; they’ve revamped the heap manager. But in our studies, most traditional malware runs there unchanged. [It] might be a little difficult to get at the system, but far from impossible.”“So, in that sense, the statement ‘Windows 8 is safer because it’s sandboxed is only partially true under certain circumstances,’” Egan said. “That’s our opinion, anyway.”Windows 8’s security enhancements include both the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), an improved version of the BIOS software that runs when a PC boots up, but one that requires modern hardware. Then an Early Load Anti Malware (ELAM) driver loads, which Egan said basically provides signature-level protection, the more traditional method of virus detection. (Most modern anti-malware now incorporates behavior-based heuristic detection and even reputation to sniff out new malware.)Neither approach can block social engineering attacks like phishing, which have become more and more common, Egan said. Naturally, social engineering is an area that Norton is focusing on. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Norton, Panda and Kaspersky Update Their Security SuitesSo although Symantec may or may not be able to sell security solutions for Windows RT devices, its traditional security solutions will be available for Windows 8, including Norton 360; Norton Internet Security, its “all-in-one” security suite; Norton Internet Security, which lacks the file backup and maintenance capabilities of Norton 360; and the stripped-down Norton AntiVirus solution, which protects the PC from malware.Norton 360 will cost $89.99 and Norton Internet Security will cost $79.99, both covering for a year’s subscription for three PCs. Norton AntiVirus will cost $39.99, but will cover a single PC for a year. All have been designed for Windows 8, Egan said.last_img read more

Amend outdated tourism Act, demand Goa hotel owners


first_imgThe Goa Small and Medium Hoteliers Association of Goa has said that unchecked online room aggregator services, mushrooming illegal guest houses and wholesale liquor shops doing unchecked retail business were the bane of Goa’s tourism. At a press conference here on Monday, president of the association, Serafino Cotta, demanded that the Goa Tourism Trade Act be amended to check and regulate most of these ills. He also blamed lopsided regulation and a unresponsive State Tourism Ministry being busy selling “refrigerators to Eskimos”.The medium and small hoteliers held poor management of the tourism industry responsible for declining footfalls. “There is a sharp drop in arrivals. Instead of looking to arrest this fall, the Tourism Ministry is going to travel marts in countries which hardly have any interest in Goa. They are visiting international markets where the officials have a good holiday,” alleged Mr. Cotta. Mr. Cotta said the biggest problem encountered by them was unregulated accommodation, which he said accounted for nearly 85% of all accommodation in the State. “Illegal conversion of second homes into boutique hotels and bed and breakfast ventures is bleeding the genuine hotel industry. These outfits get liberal licences under an antiquated Tourism Trade Act , do not pay adequate taxes, tariffs as per hospitality structure and thus deny a level playing field for medium and small hotels, and eventually cause a loss of revenue to the State,” said Santanio D’Souza, secretary of the association. “Online room aggregators with their aggressive pricing have also driven the room prices down making it difficult for small and medium hotels to survive. At the same time the low prices has promoted ‘cheap tourism’,” said joint- secretary Pifran Fernandes. Mr. Cotta also demanded a ban on wholesalers of alcohol being given retail liquor licences, which he said, had triggered an unhealthy trend of tourists drinking in public places leading to nuisance. “People buy drinks from wholesale liquor stores, which are cheap and start drinking on the streets and just litter the surroundings and beaches. Goa is projected as a destination where alcohol can be purchased even in a supermarket,” Mr. Cotta said.last_img read more

Sachin Tendulkar deserves Bharat Ratna: Dhanraj Pillay


first_imgFormer hockey captain and Olympian Dhanraj Pillay on Wednesday joined the increasing chorus of voices demanding that batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar be given the ‘Bharat Ratna’ by the Indian government. “Sachin certainly deserves to be conferred the Bharat Ratna for the way he has been playing for the last 22 years. He was the mastermind of our World Cup victory,” said Pillay, who has represented India in four Olympics and hockey World Cups. Pillay, who spoke on the sidelines of the function to release veteran photographer Mohan Bane’s pictorial book on the Beijing Olympics with English captions, The Gold Wall of India, also believed that Tendulkar should play in the next World Cup in 2015. “He’s as fit as a 19 or 20 year old and he should play in the next World Cup too,” said Pillay about Tendulkar who would be turning 38 on April 24. Union Energy Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde also said Tendulkar deserved to be honoured with the Bharat Ratna. “Just like Donald Bradman, Tendulkar has brought happiness to the cricket fans of the world with his batsmanship. He deserves to be conferred with the Bharat Ratna,” said Shinde who was among the dignitaries present at the book release event. With inputs from PTIlast_img read more