Friday, June 27, 2008

Amazon blacklists the South African Post Office ...

Last week's news was that had blacklisted the South African Post office and will now only courier goods to South Africa. According to reports, rampant theft by Post Office workers has infuriated the internet retailing giant so much that it will no longer send goods to South Africa by post.

Today while driving home from Springbok to Cape Town I heard on the radio that the Post Office has just won the National Business of the Year 2008.

These two reports read together clearly indicate the standard of other national businesses in South Africa. I wonder if Eskom entered the National Business of the Year 2008 competition. If so it must have been a most difficult decision for the judges.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bonn - Tuesday 27 to Friday30

The last couple of evenings in Bonn at CBD COP9 went by in a blur of all day sessions and very late night meetings, where I was involved primarily in the biofuels debate - hence lack of attention to my blog.

I just don't have the energy to describe those final negotiations in detail. Suffice to say that watching the EU and Brazil eventually reach a compromise agreement, the Chinese delegate, a very professional negotiator, sneak in for a touch down at the very last moment (12pm to 3am Friday morning), and the oil producing nations try to derail the whole agreement during the WG1 plenary later that morning and then 'compromise' during the final COP plenary in the afternoon was an absolute education for this first time 'negotiator'.

Here are a few pics taken during those last couple of days.

The BIOTA side event where unfortunately the South African NGO rep, from Paulshoek in the Tanqua Karoo, did not even get a chance to speak

Another kind of side event

I love Kolsch!

Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity

Somewhere close to 3am !!

The Norwegian delegate receiving a necklace from an NGO group who appreciated her efforts regarding Indigenous and Local communities

At one of the late night session I was given a seed bracelet from a young lady from Argentina for the same reason

My colleague Nonhlanhla from Department of Agriculture, Kwa-Zulu Natal

Yours truly holding the fort while the other delegates were otherwise engaged

A WoodCentral sighting!

Forest biodiversity related I guess!

The Japanese delegation inviting everyone to COP10 in Kobe, Japan in two years time

In an earlier post I mentioned that I noticed the blue pleasure boat, the Moby Dick, and referred to it as a significant lapse in German good taste.

Well if you include the floating Chinese Restaurant - perhaps two lapses!

A model railway, complete with wind turbine, at Cologne railway station where I caught the high speed train 'flight' to Frankfurt Airport on Saturday about lunch time

Whew - even a couple of woodturnings in a shop window at Cologne railway station

A solid wooden ball

Not an unattractive burl bowl - though I have seen better

The roof over the platforms at Cologne railway station through which I could actually see the spire of Cologne Cathedral

Leaving Cologne over the Rhine on the first cold and wet day I had on the trip

A grey Rhine view

On board the high speed, approx 300kph, train

Smooth as a plane ride - if not smoother

The Chinese press delegate sitting opposite asked if I'd like my picture taken with my own camera

Nice guy that I am - of course I obliged and did the same for him

And then it was on to the plane at Frankfurt Airport and overnight to Cape Town arriving at 5am on Sunday morning

A quick sleep and off to a friends birthday party at lunchtime! Man am I glad that I took Monday as a days leave!