It's been a while (and more posts now now), but thanks for checking out my latest.
One theme that has emerged over this past year has been protected environments and their place as a litmus test for conservation. The above photo frames part of the prospecting area for a potential coal mine that would tunnel under the Mabola Protected Environment in Mpumalanga. An Indian company called Atha-Africa Ventures is looking to mine, but the area is extremely important for its high water yield. (Work I and others published in the Oxpeckers Center for Investigative Environmental Journalism broke the story and brought it to the attention of the general public and other media outlets. Stories can be found here, here and here.)
This proposed mine is putting environmental legislation to the test, and the ministers of the environment and mining joined forces to sign off on the project. Civil society and many in the interested public were outraged. Moving forward, it will be telling how the Department of Environmental Affairs, especially, chooses to engage with the public.
I have written two stories about this, and the topic is far and away my most shared and has caused the most engagement from readers. Thanks for engaging, as well, and more to come.