Isimangaliso News Flash
|iSimangaliso celebrates World Ocean Day
As custodian of South Africa’s longest Marine Protected Area, iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority, manages 9% of South Africa’s coastline with its eastern boundary being 5km out to sea.
iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority, through its Marine Environmental Education Programme with 16 schools from surrounding communities, recognises the significance of Ocean Day. These schools directly abut marine sections of the Park. In total 240 learners and educators visited the sandy and rocky shore environments of Mission Rocks and Sodwana Bay in the 2011 programme.
Says Nerosha Govender, who coordinates iSimangaliso’s environmental education programme, “many of the children are from communities whose livelihood strategies include collecting red bait and mussels from iSimangaliso, so sustainable use of marine resources and the importance of conserving our marine heritage is a relevant part of the programme.”
The marine education programme is jointly implemented by iSimangaliso and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife with funds from the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs (Oceans and Coast branch). Local NQF4-qualified guides who participated in iSimangaliso’s Tourism Skills Development Programme act as environmental facilitators.
In the words of one educator, “the facilitators were really friendly, dedicated and passionate and responded to all our questions. We learned a lot about wildlife and the different kind of animals that live in or near the seas. We now know that we must conserve nature for future generations and the community must be aware of nature. We suggest that everybody should be taught about nature conservation, it must be part of the school curriculum” (Mzabalazo Primary).
iSIMANGALISO’s ANNUAL EQUITABLE ACCESS STATS: