EcoDoc Africa Information Page
please note that this is a temporary page while the website is under construction
Video ~ Photography ~ Words
EcoDoc Africa is a not-for-profit organisation
South Africa and working on projects throughout Africa,
with the main aim of bringing visual clarity to
environmental issues, experiences and projects.
Our Mission is “to raise awareness and promote
decision making in support of ecological sustainability and
social justice through the provision of multi-media
materials that inspire people and promote an
understanding of the positive and negative impacts of
different developmental approaches.”
Coordinator: Liane Greeff
+27 + (0) 83 415 23 65
PO Box 14842, Nelspruit, 1200
2011 Planned Highlights
|2011 is EcoDoc Africa's third
year of operation and as such the plans for the year reflect ongoing engagement
in documenting environmental issues, the development of the training component
of EcoDoc Africa's work as well as developing the administrative and accounting
systems so that they are clear, simple, transparent and accountable.
The most exciting new development
within EcoDoc Africa is the development of the "Video fro Transformation" Training
Programme which is aimed at demystify videography and helping environmentalists
and human rights activists to understand the basics of filming, story-telling,
editing and uploading to the internet. The training programme is based on the
work of Witness and the International Accountability Project, as well as on Roy
MacGregor's four years experience teaching the Masters Class in Film and New Media
at the University of Cape Town.
EcoDoc Africa is also gaining
experience in developing training videos on how to promote sustainable activities
- and our first project is to produce two 30 minutes training videos to guide
rural facilitators and farmers on how to manage and harvest rainwater and basic
organic gardening techniques.
One of our priority areas
to focus on during 2011 is the development of our outreach programme, with more
emphasis on ensuring that the videos and essays we produce are disseminated more
effectively - through mainstream television, dedicated online sites such as TheWaterChannel.tv
and mainstream media, as well as more targeted and timely dissemination at key
events and to key decision-makers. Our Outreach Programme is being run by Zainab
During 2011, EcoDoc Africa
plans to broaden its Africa focus and to look at the inter-related issues of water
security, river health, climate change, food security and renewable energy. The
holding of the Climate Change COP 17 in South Africa from 28 November to 9 December
2011 is a key event in our calendar around which we will develop our key messages
re climate change.
2011 has been declared the
"International Year of Forests" and EcoDoc Africa will produce a video/photographic
essay on the vast differences between forests and timber plantations as part of
the broader awareness raising campaign of our partners.
One of the highlights of
2011 is the planned development of the South African Rainwater Harvesting Network
and linking with SearNet - the Southern and Eastern African Rain Network - to
hold a regional conference on Rainwater Harvesting in South Africa.
· Our plans include expedition
travelling around Southern and Eastern Africa documenting a cross section of environmental
issues and case studies with a special focus on the fifty year anniversary of
Kariba Dam in Zambia and Zimbabwe, rainwater harvesting in Ethiopia and Kenya,
and micro-hydro in the Malawi, Mozambique and Eastern Zimbabwe corridor.
EcoDoc Africa was selected
as one of forty RAMSAR Wetland Proposed Projects in the World. If funding is obtained,
EcoDoc Africa will document in detail seven of South Africa's prize wetlands.
Our modus operandi is to work in collaboration with like-minded
organisations and individuals. Examples of our recent projects include the following:
Photographic Essay: Thirsty alien trees, no water left and climate confusion:
What version of sustainable development are we leaving our children?
The main tenet of this photographic essay is that there is
not enough water available for South Africa's current and planned development,
and that there is a need to examine the nexus between our scarce water resources,
potential climate change impacts, and the decision to plant more water intensive
timber plantations. Coupled with this conundrum are the issues of food security,
or the lack thereof, and the potential water and food security impact of alien
invasive plants, including the uncontrolled expansion of invasive timber plantation
species such as Black Wattle, Pines and Eucalypts which take over valuable land
and water resources. This project was undertaken in collaboration with GeaSphere and can be found at:
Water Flows to Money: Water and Climate Change
flows to money. This needs to change. How this happens is the heart of this video’s
message on water and climate change.
lakes, aquifers and rainfall patterns will be affected by climate change and leave
millions of people even more vulnerable than they already are.
video was undertaken as a collaboration between the Environmental Monitoring Group
and EcoDoc Africa, and highlights the importance of shifting our thinking and
economic patterns in order to address this effectively. The video was recorded
and edited by Liane Greeff at the Second Africa Water Week and features Jessica
Wilson of EMG and Trevor Manuel from the Office of the Presidency both talking
about the reality of climate change and its relationship to water.
Plantation Trees and Water Use: Seventy years of Jonkershoek Paired Catchment
Experiments – A Tour with Arthur Chapman
significant amounts of water and South Africa is an arid country. In this documentary
Arthur Chapman from One World Sustainable Investments (previously CSIR) takes
us on a tour and shares with us the background of seventy years of hydrological
research in the Jonkershoek Valley and how the paired catchment experiments work,
and how much water trees really use. This documentary was produced in collaboration
with GeaSphere and made with funds from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation.
See at: www.myvideo.co.za/video/plantation-trees-and-water-use-part-1
Fundraiser Isibani- Bring the Light
"We Fear the
Unknown Future: Testimonies of the Mphanda Nkuwa Dam Affected"
This is a short documentary about the impending resettlement
of communities away from the Zambezi River to make way for the Mphanda Nkuwa Dam,
downstream from Cahora Bassa. It was produced, filmed and edited by Liane Greeff
of EcoDoc Africa in collaboration with the Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG)
and Justica Ambiental (JA!) and made possible with funds from the Global Greengrants
Fund and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation.
Declaration of Broken Promises
history of large dams in Africa has been one of broken promises and incalculable
losses. This is the story of the dam affected in their own voices. It is based
initially on the Southern African Hearings for Communities affected by Large Dams
in 1999, and was endorsed and presented by the African Rivers Network with some
changes at the African Ministerial Conference on Hydropower and Sustainable Development.
This 9 minute video gives life to the
Declaration through the use of photographs of Africa dam case studies. This is
shared on the anniversary of World Rivers Day (September 2009) in support of wild
rivers everywhere and the communities who depend on them.
Production and most photographs: Liane Greeff.
Narration and music: Roy MacGregor. Other photographs provided by the African
Rivers Network and the Environmental Monitoring Group. The original declaration
was edited by Steve Rothert and the Southern African Hearings Team based on community
presentations, and the African Ministerial Conference was developed by Liane Greeff
and Terri Hathaway and the African Rivers Network delegation. This EcoDoc Africa
Production was funded by the Global Greengrants Fund.
of the International Declaration: Stop the expansion of monoculture tree plantations!
The 21st September is the International
Day against Monoculture Tree Plantations. EcoDoc Africa produced a video of the
Declaration with visuals to commemorate the day. This was undertaken in collaboration
with GeaSphere and TimberWatch.
International Declaration: Stop the expansion
of monoculture tree plantations!
Internacional: ¡Detengan la expansión de los monocultivos de árboles!
Spanish version was done in collaboration with the World Rainforest Movement.
This was an experiment in doing a multi-lingual project whereby the World Rainforest
Movement sent EcoDoc Africa a voice recording of the Declaration in Spanish, and
we could edit it using the same visual imagery. See: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kaw117imL0
We celebrate nature
at every opportunity, and in August 2009 we visited Ponta D’Ora and experienced
swimming with dolphins, which is a life changing experience.
However, it is
a controversial issue the extent to which we should be able to intrude on the
dolphins in their natural environment and can be easily abused by unethical tour
guides. Our experience was a good one in that the dolphins chose to swim with
us for a few fleeting minutes after we entered the water. Our documentary can
be see at: www.myvideo.co.za/video/dolphins-in-turquoise
In order to achieve our mission we have formulated the following
To produce and disseminate visual material such as DVDs, articles,
papers, photographic essays, photographic and multi-media exhibitions of important environmental and social justice issues, with
a special focus on water issues in Southern Africa and Africa.
To develop a website and to use existing websites such as www.YouTube.com ,
and www.flickr.com to disseminate
these eco documents and documentaries and make them broadly available to
interested parties throughout the world.
To explore the latest Information and Communication Technologies
(ICT) as a means of raising the profile of sustainable development issues,
and sharing research with our networks
To train and to produce training materials to help other organisations
to develop multi media materials.
To work in partnership and to amplify the messages of environmental
organisations in Southern Africa and Africa, or organisations who have a
focus on Africa. The members of the African Rivers Network and the
South African Water Caucus have particular relevance in this regard.
To facilitate people’s testimonies and stories of environmental
and social injustices and being exposed to decision makers and the media.
To highlight people’s positive examples of working with the earth
in an eco- sustainable manner.
To work in collaboration with partner organisations across Africa
(and across the world) and to promote dissemination of materials in different
EcoDoc Africa came about as a result of the
growing realisation of the power of video and people’s narratives to facilitate
understanding of complex environmental issues, and to combat environmental impact
reports which often reduce people to numbers and environmental impacts to being
insignificant. At the same time the advent of broad band internet has provided
an important outlet for these visual documentaries and narratives to be shared
with interested parties around the world at very low cost, and thereby to facilitate
|About us and our partners:
Liane Greeff and Roy MacGregor are the main
active members of EcoDoc Africa. We are nomadic and travel from project to project,
spending months in different parts of South Africa, and increasingly we plan to
spend more time further North exploring rainwater harvesting, sustainable agricultural
practices and micro-hydro projects in other parts of Africa.
Other members of EcoDoc Africa are Philip
Owen (who provides the Secretarial base in Mpumalanga, and which we are currently
using as a base to operate from, and where most of the editing takes place), and
December Ndlovu who helps with community visits and translation, and Zainab Adams
who provides support.
are currently in the process of establishing an Advisory Board consisting of people
who can advise us on both environmental content and multi-media technologies and
We aim to keep EcoDoc Africa lean to build
up a broad range of partner organisations and individuals whose work we want to
amplify. Our birth date was 17 April 2009 and the partner organisations that we
have worked with since then include the following:
- GeaSphere Educational DVD
- Timber and Water Use: A Tour of the Jonkershoek
Valley with Arthur Chapman
- Thirsty alien trees, no water left and climate
confusion. A photographic essay
- The Environmental Monitoring Group (EMG)
Water Flows to Money: Water and Climate Change
- EMG and Justica Ambiental
We Fear the Unknown Future:
Declaration of Broken Promises
- TimberWatch and World Rainforest Movement
- Declaration against monoculture alien tree
- Declaración Internacional: ¡Detengan la expansión de
los monocultivos de árboles!
Lori Pottinger on Mphande Nkuwa
- South Durban Environmental Alliance
- The Water Dialogues South Africa
- Straight Talk
- Introduction and six case studies of The
Water Dialogues South Africa
EcoDoc Africa is a member of the following networks
- African Rivers Network
- The South African Water Caucu
We receive funds directly from funders as well as through our project
Direct funding from:
Indirect funding from:
- Swedish Society for Nature Conservation through
GeaSphere for the "Plantation Trees and Water Documentary"
- Siemen Puu Foundation through GeaSphere for
the "Thirsty alien trees, no water left and climate confusion" Photographic Essay
Boll Foundation through the Environmental Monitoring Group for "Water Flows to
Money: Water and Climate Change"
- Masibambane / Department of Water Affairs
EcoDoc Africa is building up an archive of
photographs, video and audio materials that we share with other organisations
to promote awareness around environmental issues. Below are some of the scenes
we have filmed during 2009 and 2010.
+27 (0) 83 415 23 65
PO Box 14842, Nelspruit, 1200
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