cape town celebrates world wetlands day

Submitted by incoming on Thu, 2012-02-02 08:59

Intaka Island WetlandIntaka Island WetlandIn celebration of World Wetlands Day, the City of Cape Town will be hosting various wetland education programmes as part of its Youth Environmental School (YES) programme during February 2012.

World Wetlands Day is held every year on 2 February and marks the signing of the International Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar Convention) on 2 February 1971. World Wetlands Day was celebrated for the first time in 1997 and since then, events and activities are held world-wide in February each year to raise awareness of wetland values and benefits. Ramsar is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

To date, the City of Cape Town has set aside over

30 areas within the metro boundary to be managed as nature reserves, many of which support wetlands. Some of these reserves will be participating in celebrations around World Wetlands Day, including Witzands Aquifer Nature Reserve, Macassar Dunes Nature Reserve, Table Bay Nature Reserve, False Bay Nature Reserve, Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve, Edith Stephens Nature Reserve, Southern Suburbs Satellites, Tygerberg Nature Reserve, Wolfgat Nature Reserve and Harmony Flats Nature Reserve.

In partnership

Programmes will also be hosted at wetland areas outside of those mentioned above, like Intaka Island at Century City, Noluthando Primary School for the Deaf in Khayelitsha and the Biodiversity Showcase Garden in the Green Point Park. Ward allocation funding for transport will make it possible for learners from those wards to participate in wetland programmes on the City’s nature reserves.
Displays will be set up for the general public at the Milnerton and Brooklyn/Rugby libraries during February 2012.

The City will be hosting these programmes in partnership with the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa , Eco Activities, Metrorail, the Century City Property Owners’ Association, the Jungle Theatre Company and the Provincial Government of the Western Cape’s Sustainability Directorate.

Development cannalising wetlands?Development cannalising wetlands?The theme for 2012 is Wetlands and Tourism, emphasising that responsible tourism supports wetlands and people. Tourism can have both positive and negative impacts on wetlands, and on Cape Town’s unique and irreplaceable biodiversity. World Wetlands Day is a time to highlight wetlands as great places to visit, but to also stress the need for care and respect of wetland environments.

The YES programme activities will all revolve around environmental education, wetlands and nature reserves and the YES team will involve over 2 000 learners from Cape Town. Programmes will feature activities such as purification experiments, water droplet pledges and analysis of wetland samples. Programmes are aligned to the curriculum, ensuring that a day spent away from school is productive for both learners and educators. All schools participating in the programme will also receive the 2012 Ramsar World Wetlands Day poster and support materials.

By exposing learners to our amazing wetlands we hope to create a passion for understanding our invaluable natural resources and instil important conservation values at a young age.

The media are invited to attend the following programmes:

Witzands Aquifer Nature Reserve
Date: 30 – 31 January or 1 – 3 February 2012
Time: 09:00 to 12:00
Contact: Charline McKie, Tel: 021 577 5000

Noluthando Primary School for the Deaf (Khayelitsha)
Date: 31 January – 2 February 2012
Time: 09:00 to 12:00
Contact: Khuthala Swanepoel, Tel: 021 483 2610

Biodiversity Showcase Garden (Green Point Park)
Date: 31 January – 3 February 2012
Time: 09:00 – 12:00
Contact: Paul Arends, Tel: 021 487 2567

Southern Suburbs Satellites: Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area
Date: 1 February 2012
Time: 08:30 – 11:30
Contact: Skye Marks, Tel: 021 700 1843

Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve
Date: 1 – 3 February 2012
Time: 09:00 – 12:00
Contact: Mark Arendse, Tel: 021 701 7542

Intaka Island Environmental Centre
Date: 2 February 2012
Time: 09:00 – 13:00
Contact: Paul Arends, Tel: 021 487 2567

Green Point Urban Park, Amphitheatre. The River of Lifedrama will be performed by Jungle Theatre Company to 180 Grade 3 learners.
Date: 2 February 2012
Time: 10:00 – 11:00
Contact: Lorraine Tanner, Tel: 021 788 5641

Macassar Dunes Nature Reserve
Date: 15 – 16 February 2012
Time: 09:00 – 12:00
Contact: Jerome September, Tel: 021 392 5135 Cell:083 749 1073

Intaka Island Environmental CentreIntaka Island Environmental Centre

Schools wishing to book for environmental education programmes at their local nature reserve on dates other than these should please contact the reserves directly.

For more information on the City’s nature reserves or the YES programme, please visit www.capetown.gov.za/naturereserves or www.capetown.gov.za/youthenvironmentalschool

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