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Youth Environmental School celebrates 10th anniversary

by Gabi Khumalo
on 03 Jun 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

The City's Youth Environmental School (YES) Programme will be celebrating its 10th anniversary during the World Environment Day on Thursday.

YES is a youth capacity-building programme, achieving its goals of environmental education and awareness through a variety of projects, activities, resources and opportunities.

The programme is open to all schools (learners and educators) in Cape Town.

When the programme started in 1999, 2 000 learners were participating however, over the years, the number has increased to more than 55 000 learners.

Initially, the YES programme is a week-long event held at a central venue during World Environment Week in June, however, it has now expanded to a year-long programme which takes place across the whole city.

The YES team from the City's Environmental Resource Management (ERM) Department works in partnership with more than 130 organisations to present interactive, curriculum-based lessons and activities to learners.

It focuses on all aspects of sustainable development by linking themes to major commemorative days and weeks.

The key themes include Wetlands, Air Quality, Water and Sanitation, Waste, Biodiversity, Energy and Climate Change, Heritage, Tourism, Marine and Coastal, Sustainable Transport and HIV and AIDS.

The event will held at the River Club where the first YES programme was hosted as part of the Cape Metropolitan Festival of the Environment in 1999.

It will end with a tree planting ceremony in the Two Rivers Urban Park.

Meanwhile, the city's partnership with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Cape for Kids, South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Centre for Conservation Education will be hosting a number of programmes in support of World Environment Week from Monday to Thursday.

This year's theme is, "Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy".

During the week, SANBI will be running a programme where learners will visit Kirstenbosch for a hands-on lesson focusing on the effects of climate change on biodiversity.

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA will present a puppet show on how to care for domestic animals, while Irene Toerien, a voluntary worker will present a marine animal conservation programme at schools.

The Cape for Kids will present a biodiversity and agriculture programme to learners on the wine farm, Nitida, using the character Monty the Meerkat.

Bracken, Helderberg, Macassar Dunes and Harmony Flats Nature Reserves will be running a biodiversity conservation programme for learners at the reserves.

The Centre for Conservation Education (CCE) will be teaching learners about medicinal plants, learners will also have lessons on the Built Environment at Groot Constantia.

Learners will also have a lesson on forest ecology during a walk in the Tokai Forest. - BuaNews

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