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Media Release: SANParks focuses on community education during National Environment Month & World Environment Day

Date: 5th June 2009

South African National Parks (SANParks) joins the country in acknowledging National Environment Month this June which incorporates World Environment Day (WED) on Friday, 5 June 2009.

South African National Parks (SANParks) joins the country in acknowledging National Environment Month this June which incorporates World Environment Day (WED) on Friday, 5 June 2009. The United Nations had established World Environment Day in order to raise awareness of the various environmental issues facing the world.

The global theme for World Environment Day 2009 is “Your Planet Needs You - Unite to Combat Climate Change”. The South African Department of Environment has therefore chosen the theme “SA ACT Now! Combat Climate Change” for National Environment Month this June.

SANParks, being a leading conservation agency in South Africa, with a mandate to manage a system of national parks that represents the biodiversity, landscapes, and associated heritage assets of South Africa for the sustainable use and benefit of all, is inherently linked to issues affecting the environment. As such SANParks recognises its role in promoting environmental education, especially among the communities living in close proximity to the national parks.

Programmes in and around various national parks managed by SANParks, have been underway since 1 June 2009. These include public presentations, exhibitions and displays, clean-up operations with the communities, educational sessions about climate change, focussed interaction on recycling, litter and other environmental issues with schools and the Kids in Parks Programme as well as staff awareness about climate change, recycling and waste management.

SANParks has, through its People and Conservation Division, developed sound relationships with the communities living on the borders of the national parks. “As SANParks, we have always believed in extending the ethic of environmental protection beyond the boundaries of our proclaimed protected areas and into the communities that live around them,” said Dr David Mabunda, Chief Executive of SANParks. “During National Environment Month, and on World Environment Day, we will continue our environmental education responsibility by engaging these communities about the sensitivities of their surroundings, and hope that the gravity of simple issues like litter and recycling is understood by all and that we as a nation, can work together towards reducing our ecological footprint and do our bit for the environment,” he said.

The various National Parks involved in activities during National Environment Month and World Environment Day are Addo Elephant, Bontebok, Golden Gate Highlands, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Kruger, Marakele, Camdeboo, Mokala, Richtersveld, Agulhas and Garden Route National Park – Tsitsikamma Section. The SANParks Youth Outreach Junior Rangers also have programmes running in the various provinces.

Issued by:
Zakiya Fareed Media and Stakeholder Relations, SANParks, Tel: 012 426 5202, Cell: 082 766 6342, E-mail: zakiyaf@sanparks.org

Media Enquiries:
Ms. wanda mkutshulwa, Head of Communications, South African National Parks, Tel: 012 426 5201, Cell: 082 908 2692, E-mail: wandam@sanparks.org

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