SA works to conserve wetlands

Friday, February 22, 2019

The Department of Environmental Affairs will go on a public awareness drive to raise the importance of protecting and conserving the country’s wetlands.

The drive, which will be carried out in Mpumalanga, is scheduled to get underway on Monday, 25 February.

“The ultimate objective of the campaign is to heighten education and raise public awareness on the value of wetlands and their vital contribution to human wellness.

“At the centre of it all is attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically Goal 13, which urges parties to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, through strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries,” said the department on Friday.

The four-day campaign in the province’s Ehlanzeni District Municipality forms part of South Africa’s activities in marking World Wetlands Day, which was celebrated on 2 February 2019.

This year’s celebrations are taking place under the theme ‘Wetlands and Climate Change’.

The department highlighted that climate change is seen as a major threat to the survival of species and integrity of ecosystems on a global scale.

“At least eight schools in Mpumalanga will also participate in the schools wetland awareness competition,” said the department, adding that the competition - in both written and oral debate - is open to primary and high school going learners.

Several prizes will be up for grabs, with the first prize winner set to receive a R25 000 voucher, while the second prize winner will receive a R15 000 voucher and a R10 000 voucher will be awarded to the third prize winner.

The competitions will culminate into an award ceremony scheduled for Friday, 1 March at the Ehlanzeni District Municipality’s Disaster Management Centre. -