The Department of Environmental Affairs will from Monday embark on a week-long robust public awareness drive to urge South Africans to protect and conserve wetlands in the North West province.
According to the department, the campaign forms part of South Africa’s activities in marking the World Wetlands Day celebrated on 02 February 2019.
This year’s celebrations are taking place under the theme, ‘Wetlands and Climate Change,’ which demonstrates the importance of wetlands as the planet’s most effective carbon sinks or storage that signify unrealised potential for climate mitigation and adaptation.
Climate change is seen as a major threat to the survival of species and the integrity of ecosystems on a global scale.
At least seven schools and about 7 000 learners and teachers in the North West will participate in the school’s wetland awareness competition.
The competition, to be in both written and oral debate, is open to both primary and high school going, learners.
The prizes will be awarded as follows: first prize winner to receive R25 000 worth of vouchers, the second prize winner will receive a R15 000 voucher and a R10 000 voucher will be awarded to the third prize winner.
“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 the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), 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,” the department said in a statement.