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Media Release: SANParks and Miss Earth SA âDefend our Earthâ on Earth Day, 22 April 2008

16 April 2008

South African National Parks (SANParks), in association with Miss Earth South Africa, will be commemorating International Earth Day on Tuesday, 22 April 2008, as part of a global effort to highlight the issue of environmental conservation.  

Earth Day was conceptualized and established by US Senator Gaylord Nelson over a period of seven years between 1962 and 1970.  The very first Earth Day commemoration saw a demonstration of about 20 million people and the involvement of thousands of schools in America.  Earth Day has now been established globally and is celebrated on 22 April every year.

The concept for that very first Earth Day was focused around a “teach-in”, in order to educate people about the state of our environment.  That focus still remains and is implemented on a broad platform, where education does not only occur in schools but also in the corporate sector.

In keeping with the SANParks vision to make the national parks system the pride and joy of all South Africans and the world, SANParks has coordinated activities across all of its parks for Earth Day 2008, to educate staff members, guests and the general public about the importance of sustained conservation efforts that each individual can make. We also ask all website users to fill in a pledge form, that will be hosted on so that our virtual community can participate too!

SANParks’ theme for this event is “Defend our Earth, care for its Life and People”.

Acknowledging the current power crisis faced by South Africans, there will be a voluntary power shut down of all but essential services, between 09h00 and 11h00 across all our parks, including SANParks Head Office, Groenkloof National Park, in Muckleneuk, Pretoria, which will be the Gauteng venue for Earth Day 2008 activities. The impact of this will be a 534.74 kW/h saving of energy by Head Office alone and each of the individual parks will show similar savings on energy consumption.

SANParks’ partner for this event is Miss Earth South Africa, the South African contingent of an international beauty pageant, which is associated with Consol. Miss Earth is the third largest pageant in the world and aims to promote environmental causes and conservation education through beauty.

Miss Earth South Africa finalists will also be present at the Earth Day 2008 event to showcase their efforts for environmental education in the country.

The culmination of the SANParks / Miss Earth South Africa - Earth Day 2008 event will be the signing of “The Pledge” by SANParks staff, Miss Earth South Africa representatives and guests.

Issued by South African National Parks

wanda mkutshulwa
Head of Communications
South African National Parks
Landline: 012 426 5201
Mobile:  0829082692

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