World Environment Week

Sam Stretton
14 August 2015

Global World Environment day was held on the 5th June with the message “7 billion dreams 1 planet consume with care”.  World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries. It also serves as the “peoples’ day” for doing something positive for the environment, galvanizing individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet.

South Africa is considered as one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world due to its species diversity and endemism as well as its diversity of ecosystems and plays a key role on this global platform.

Due to exams on the 5th of June, Nature’s Valley Trust (NVT) a community driven NPO working at the cutting edge of integrated conservation in South Africa worked with the children of Phakamisani Primary School this week to relay the message to celebrate world environment day and it’s message.

 

Figure 1a4

Figure 1: learners are receiving lessons on a) the solar system; b) renewable energy and recycling; c) how things are connected (the web of life) and d) anthropogenic impacts on natural resources.

 

 

204 children attended the event over the course of 3 days. We covered 4 environmental topics affecting our local communities in each session:

1. The Solar System

2. Energy & Recycling

3. The Web of Life

4. The impact of population on natural resources

Some questions that were asked: Why does Saturn have a ring on it?; Where can we get renewable energy from?; What natural environment and elements does a bush pig need to survive?; What will happen to the energy systems as the population grows?

All groups experienced various activities in relation to each topic to help build understanding of our role and responsibility in maintaining a clean environment, building a solid energy program and the impact on life should we not look after our beautiful surroundings in South Africa. We had great interaction from the grade 7 students who were excited to learn and experience the outdoor environment with different animals and trees in their natural habitat, especially the vervet monkeys.

Many thanks to De Vesselot campsite for allowing us to host the activities at their premises, the teachers at Phakamisani Primary School for participating in this project and of course the facilitators that gave bags of energy to their topics for us all to enjoy.

 

Figure 5

Figure 5: The educators on the various subjects covered for the three-day event. From left to right: Greg and Romeo (SANParks); Zi, Meagan, Yanga and Maggie (NVT volunteers and environmental officer) and Miila and Mic (not featuring in the photo) (Lunchbox Theatre). Credit to Sam Stretton (volunteer (UK)) for the lovely photos.

 

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