On animal copyright, tourists in South Africa, endangered British shell fish, voluntourists in New Orleans, and coyotes in Central Park.
Animal copyright By J LE FOULER & E. MASSÉ
Dogs, frogs, tigers, whales and eagles are among the cheapest actors advertisers can use. Canadian film-maker Gregory Colbert has created the Animal Copyright Foundation so that brands using animals to advertise their products actually pay a certain fee for doing so. In return, they can label their products as animal copyright friendly. The foundation, which is counting on peer and consumer pressure, hopes to "collect one percent of a media buy, including print, broadcast and internet, that uses animals"* as of January next year. 99% of the benefits collected are planned for use in animal conservation projects.
Source: *« Put a fiver in his bank » The Economist 11 March 2006.
South Africa: waiting for holiday makers By Adeline HUQUE
During the Apartheid year, South Africa wasn't much of a prized destination for world tourists but since the end of the infamous regime, South Africa is back on holyday makers' maps. In the second quarter of 2005, the number of American, British and German tourists increased by 6.9%. Safari tours, journeys to the "city of gold" and gambling trips are standard treats. The South African economy heavily depends on tourism: since 2004 it has become the first source of revenue, before the gold trade. Airport taxes represent 1% of governmental revenues, while gambling carries out near 14% of these revenues. Foreign tourists have spent about R 10.3 billion (around $ 1.65 billion), in the second quarter of 2005, an increase of 20% for the same period a year ago! The South African government has decided to develop the tourist trade and hopes to create 400 000 jobs by 2014.
Sources: "Tourism central to growth in South Africa," Vanguard 17 February 2006; "SA govt confident of 6% growth rate after 2010," Mail&Guardian Online 13 March 2006; "South African tourism," The Economist 20 March 2003; South African Government Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism: www.environment.gov.za; South African Tourism board: www.south-africa-tourism.com
British & world shellfish on the way to extinction. By Simon CARLI
It is well known that carbon dioxide rejected in the atmosphere by human activity is linked with climate change. But it is less widely known that the seas soak up half of these emissions, resulting in a dramatic acidification of the oceans. A lot of species such as plankton or corals are very sensitive to acidity. It also affects shellfish such as crabs, oysters and mussels. They can become unable to build or repair their shells with calcium carbonate, which is attacked by carbonic acid. OSPAR, the inter-governmental organisation set up by the Northern European countries, monitors the state of the North Sea waters and has recently issued an alarming warning about oceans acidifying and the drastic consequences on marine species.
Sources: « Acid seas threaten to make British shellfish extinct, » The Sunday Times 12 March 2006.
Voluntourists in New Orleans By Pauline LAVAGNE d'ORTIGUE
Combining work and play thousands of college students will be using their spring break to help rebuild the flood-ravaged city, cleaning out houses, churches and day-care centers. Some of the areas where rebuilding has begun are of questionable safety though. Organised voluntourism started in the 1960s with the creation of the Peace Corps. Ecotourism started in the 1980s and volunteer vacations really took hold in the 1990s.
Sources: "New Orleans Working Vacations Catch On," The Washington Post 15 March 2006 ; http://www.VolunTourism.org/
New York Coyotes By Pauline LAVAGNE d'ORTIGUE
A coyote was spotted loose in Central Park at the end of March. It has managed to evade a long search. One of its predecessors, tracked down and captured in the park seven years ago, has since resided at the Queens Zoo.
Source: "A Coyote Is Spotted Roaming Near the Zoo in Central Park, » The New York Times 22 March 2006.