Learners ­embrace ­biodiversity

2017-05-31 06:02
Learners and teachers of the Boitshoko Primary School in Galeshewe who ­welcomed lessons on biodiversity and sustainable tourism by the Sol Plaatje Municipality in celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity on Friday, 19 May. Photos: Boipelo Mere

Learners and teachers of the Boitshoko Primary School in Galeshewe who ­welcomed lessons on biodiversity and sustainable tourism by the Sol Plaatje Municipality in celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity on Friday, 19 May. Photos: Boipelo Mere

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Learners and teachers of the Boitshoko Primary School in Galeshewe welcomed the lessons on ­biodiversity and sustainable tourism brought to them by the Sol Plaatje municipality in celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity on Friday, 19 May.

The day is usually celebrated on 22 May.

The educational programme took heed of the call made by the general assembly of raising awareness on environmental concepts, through its resolution 55/201 of 20 December 2000.

The school is part of the first leg of the programme, that is expected to be rolled out to various schools and the community of Kimberley at large.

Headed by Richmond Gwenda of Scouts South Africa and Maruping Passe of the municipality, the theme “Biodiversity and Sustainable Tourism” was celebrated.

Awareness was raised on the important contribution of sustainable tourism, both to economic growth and to the conservation of biodiversity, where Gr. 6 and Gr. 7 learners assembled under a large tree inside the school yard to do practical work.

They were taught how plants make their own food; how a certain type of plant, called a xerophyte, sustains its own water supply; how carbon dioxide travels through a plant; and about the role sunlight plays in plants.

Gwenda shared a few examples of plants that can sustain water supply and spoke about how they protect themselves from predators, including alien plants.

He elaborated on the negative impact tourism could have on the environment.

“Some of the harm caused to wildlife, which could imply irreparable damage, is the poaching of elephants,” he warned the learners.

Passe added that the learners needed to learn and know what needed to be done to sustain natural resources for the current and future generations.

Acknowledging the importance of the programme, Passe said it was their first presentation and that they were planning on extending it.

“We will start rolling out the programme at schools by rotating and including members of the community,” said Passe.

Catherine Masiane, the Eco-Schools coordinator at the school, said that bringing the programme to children was the best move, as they are the best ambassadors to take the message home.

“They will also be teaching their parents, who never had the opportunity to be equally informed,” said Masiane.

“We appreciate this initiative, as it is in line with their curriculum.”

The Boitshoko Primary School is an Eco-school.

Eco-Schools is an international programme of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) which supports environmental learning in the classroom. It has been implemented in South Africa by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (Wessa) since 2003.

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