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The greatest concentration of rhinos in South Africa and the health of its rural citizens are under threat. Mining company Ibutho Coal has put in an application to mine coal on the border of the pristine iMfolozi Wilderness Area, part of the last 1% of true wilderness left in South Africa. Please help us fund the legal action to stop this from happening.
The iMfolozi Wilderness lies within the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa, home to a vast array of wildlife, including the Big Five. The area currently supports the greatest concentration of rhinoceros in the world. It also has a strong cultural heritage, dating back to the Stone Age with a strong connection to Zulu people, including King Shaka. The area remains sacred to Zulu people today and has enjoyed a reputation as a major tourist attraction for over 100 years. Not a place to mine coal.
Sheila Berry, spokeswoman of the opposing citizens says: “Two coal mines already enclose the iMfolozi Park. With this application for a third mine, iMfolozi will literally be hemmed in by mining operations. Open-cast coal mining requires a substantial amount of water, and inevitably causes widespread air, noise and water pollution. All this results in irreparable environmental damage. South Africa has enough mines. A unique wilderness area with such a rich history can never be replaced.”
A fast-growing movement opposes this mine, as shown by more than 164,000 signatures collected with the Avaaz petition and the Care2 petition. Despite this broad and worldwide opposition, Ibutho Coal Ltd has not withdrawn its application. Now, the local community must take legal action to save its healthy living environment and the neighboring pristine wilderness. Because these citizens have limited financial resources, your contribution to this Grrrowd campaign is crucial for their fight for environmental justice.
The lawsuit will challenge the government and company’s failures to:
- adequately consult with and involve the affected Fuleni communities
- consult with the landowner (the Ingonyama Trust Board) and His Majesty, the Honourable King Goodwill Zwelithini, the Zulu King
- consider the coal mine’s impacts on the adjoining protected Wilderness area putting people and wildlife, including the threatened rhinos, at risk
- consider the limited water resources and impacts of pollution
- comply with environmental legislation and tribal trust law
This is a campaign by Environmental Defender Law Center (EDLC) to raise funds and support for Global Environmental Trust (GET), a South African non-profit organization that assists communities in areas of environmental significance affected by bad planning and unscrupulous environmental practices. EDLC works to protect the human rights of individuals and communities in developing countries who are fighting against harm to their environment. On a pro bono basis, EDLC will support GET strategically in executing the legal action.
This Grrrowd campaign aims to collect net total sum contributions of € 83,568
- Legal fees, expert fees, court fees: € 75,718
- Travel cost: € 7,000
- Project budget audit by external accountant: € 850
The campaign costs are:
- Campaign production (video, manifesto, etc.): € 850
- Payment fees (estimated average of 3.4%): € 2,870
- Affiliate fees (5% on an estimated average of 50% of all contributions): € 2,182
This adds up to a total gross contributions target of € 89,470
Keep it all crowdfunding model
This campaign is using the Keep it All crowdfunding model, which means that independent of the campaign result all of the net collected contributions will be transferred to EDLC and GET. If unfortunately the campaign target is not reached, EDLC and GET agree to spend the collected contributions for the protection of the iMfolozi Wilderness Area in alternative ways. EDLC and GET agree to communicate about the expenditure to Grrrowd and the Contributors in a transparent and timely manner.
You can become part of the campaign manifesto
When the crowdfunding target of this campaign is successfully reached, Grrrowd will produce a campaign manifesto: a digital photo-book telling the story behind this campaign in compelling photo-mosaic pictures. As a contributor you can become part of the story by allowing Grrrowd to use your social media picture in these photo-mosaics. Of course you can also choose to keep your contribution (and picture) anonymous.
In the media
This case has been covered by:
- The Guardian (July 17th, 2014)
- Produced and Directed by Jeffrey Barbee. An Alliance Earth production www.allianceearth.org
- Daily Maverick (September 3rd, 2014), opinion article by Braam Malherbe