EcoDoc Africa Information Page


www.ecodocafrica.co.za -
please note that this is a temporary page while the website is under construction


Video ~ Photography ~ Words

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EcoDoc Africa is a not-for-profit organisation based in
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 good
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.”

 




Contact:                                                                                                                                                 

Coordinator: Liane Greeff

+27 + (0) 83 415 23 65

liane@kingsley.co.za

Postal Address:

PO Box 14842, Nelspruit, 1200

South Africa

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Video and Sound Director:
Roy MacGregor

+27 (0) 72 14 84 213

roymac@netactive.co.za

 


 


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 Adams.

·        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. See: www.ramsar.org/pdf/sgf/SGFPortfolio2010.pdf.

 

 




Collaboration:

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:

www.geasphere.co.za/articles/thirstytreesnowater.htm




Documentary: Water Flows to Money: Water and Climate Change


Water currently flows to money. This needs to change. How this happens is the heart of this video’s message on water and climate change.

Africa’s rivers, lakes, aquifers and rainfall patterns will be affected by climate change and leave millions of people even more vulnerable than they already are.

This 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.
See: www.myvideo.co.za/video/water-flows-to-money-water-climate-change



Documentary: Plantation Trees and Water Use: Seventy years of Jonkershoek Paired Catchment Experiments – A Tour with Arthur Chapman


Plantations use 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

 

 

Documentary Fundraiser Isibani- Bring the Light


Whilst filming a rainwater harvesting case study at Potshini, Bergville we visited the Isibani Community Centre at Winterton and were amazed at the work they do in the community especially around health and child care which is so desperately needed.  We decided to film them in action and to produce a documentary of their work, and their dreams in order to help them raise funds and to attract volunteers. See:

www.myvideo.co.za/video/isibani-bring-the-light-part-one and

www.myvideo.co.za/video/isibani-bring-the-light-part-two



Documentary: "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.

See: www.myvideo.co.za/video/we-fear-the-unknown-future


Documentary: Declaration of Broken Promises

The 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.

See: www.myvideo.co.za/search/declaration-of-broken-promises


Video 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!
See:
www.myvideo.co.za/video/21-september-declaration


Declaración Internacional: ¡Detengan la expansión de los monocultivos de árboles!

A 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

 

 

Dolphins in Turquoise


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

 

 



Objectives:

In order to achieve our mission we have formulated the following key objectives:

·         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 ,  www.MyVideo.co.za 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 languages


Background:

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 international campaigning.

 

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.





We 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 application.


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Partner Organisations:

 

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 Earth Matters
    • 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)

o   Water Flows to Money: Water and Climate Change

  • EMG and Justica Ambiental

o   We Fear the Unknown Future:

  • African Rivers Network

o   Declaration of Broken Promises

  • TimberWatch and World Rainforest Movement
    • Declaration against monoculture alien tree plantations
    • Declaración Internacional: ¡Detengan la expansión de los monocultivos de árboles!
  • International Rivers

o   Lori Pottinger on Mphande Nkuwa

  • South Durban Environmental Alliance

o   Shell Protest

  • The Water Dialogues South Africa
    • Straight Talk
    • Introduction and six case studies of The Water Dialogues South Africa

 

Membership:

EcoDoc Africa is a member of the following networks

  • African Rivers Network
  • The South African Water Caucu
  • TimberWatch

 

Funders:
We receive funds directly from funders as well as through our project partners.
Direct funding from:

  • Global Greengrants Fund

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
  • Heinrich Boll Foundation through the Environmental Monitoring Group for "Water Flows to Money: Water and Climate Change"

  • Masibambane / Department of Water Affairs South Africa

 

Archive of Photographs

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.

 




 

Contact Us:


Coordinator:
Liane Greeff

+27 (0) 83 415 23 65

liane@kingsley.co.za

 

Postal Address:

PO Box 14842, Nelspruit, 1200

South Africa



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