Weekend Wrap: SA's organic wine farming, Drunk BA pilot removed from cockpit, Discover SA's wetlands

2018-01-21 20:11 - Kavitha Pillay
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Gabi Zietsman

Cape Town - With the growing Cape water crisis being one of SA's biggest news topics at the moment, we're not surprised if you didn't have time to catch up on other travel news.

No need to stress though as we have you covered with this weekend's top travel stories you may have missed.

World Wetlands Day: Discover SA's 23 wetlands and why they are important

World Wetlands Day is celebrated annually on 02 February, with this year's theme being "Wetlands for a Sustainable urban future - Urban Wetlands Make Cities Liveable".

SA's Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) says not all land that is wet is considered a wetland, and that wetlands are hubs for biodiversity and perform important ecological functions such as controlling flooding, filtering water and improving air quality.

"Urban wetlands play a vital role in making cities safe, resilient and sustainable. City planners, policymakers, NGOs, research institutions and communities all have important roles to play in conserving urban and rural wetlands," says DEA, adding that while it may not be "immediately apparent", efforts in Cape Town to "cut water consumption are also of benefit to wetlands".

Wetlands can be found across South Africa which has 23 Ramsar sites. In celebration of these important ecological spaces, why not visit a wetland near you. Click here to discover SA's Ramsar wetlands in each province.

British Airways pilot, allegedly drunk, taken off plane

A British Airways pilot has been removed from the cockpit of a flight amid fears he was drunk.

The Sun newspaper reported that police "rushed on the plane" after worried airline workers alerted them before the flight left for Mauritius.

BA apologised and said it was "taking this matter extremely seriously and are assisting the police with their inquiries". See the full story here.

WATCH: What you should know about organic wine farms

Cellar Master Jasper Raats from Longridge Wine Estate says organic wine farming is important for our health and the environment. 

According to Raats, South African grape and wine farmers are too 'conservative' in their methods and need to make changes to ensure healthy soil for future generations, especially in the current drought.

Longridge Wine Estate uses natural methods to cultivate wine - instead of pesticides they use geese to get rid of unnecessary pests, and include methods to reduce waste and work with nature instead of against it.

Their menu is also seasonal and entirely dependent on what’s currently growing in their organic vegetable garden. Click here for more information about their organic wine farm.

PICS: Swiss resort cut off after snow increases avalanche risk

Swiss authorities say a village near the famed Matterhorn peak is again cut off to road and rail traffic after new snowfall renewed the danger of avalanches.

The Matterhorn Gotthard railway says on its website on Sunday, 21 January, that land access to the village of Zermatt would be closed down through at least noon on Monday, 22 January, but that helicopters were still taking people in and out.


#ShockWildlifeTruths: Near-wipeout of funny-looking antelope in 2015 linked to climate change - study

200 000 Saiga antelope died in a bizarre bacterial outbreak in 2015, but new studies show that this may have been the result of climate change.

ALSO SEE: #ClimateChange: How 5 animals are impacted by extreme weather

Like the rhino, their horns are also used in traditional Chinese medicine, which has led to their vulnerable status today alongside with centuries of hunting.

Scientists confirmed the cause of death to have been a bacterial disease that caused hemorrhagic septicemia. However, the latest study published in Science Advances has found a link to climate change that led to the bacteria's sudden attack on its hosts. Read the full story here.

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