The City of Cape Town hosted two hundred children at a climate change school holiday programme last week.
The programme was initiated by the City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre, and supported by the Environmental Resource Management Department.
The aim of the programme was to raise awareness about climate change, its impact on weather and the environment and what learners can do to help mitigate the risks.
The Disaster Risk Management Centre has been running climate change awareness sessions for a number of years, but this time they moved it from the classroom to five nature reserves: Blaauwberg, Rondevlei, Helderberg, Bracken and Edith Stephens. Learners who participated in the programme came from Elsies River, Mitchells Plain, Lwandle, Atlantis and Steenberg.
‘Climate change is very real and nowhere is that more apparent than in Cape Town where we are still grappling with the effects of a crippling drought. The programme this week helped learners connect the dots between climate change, the increase in extreme weather episodes and rising sea levels, the effects on biodiversity and what we can do to make a difference.
Instilling environmental awareness at a young age is crucial and primary schools are ideal platforms. Another plus is that an effective message goes beyond the school fence and into local communities and that is how we start conversations and change behaviours,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.
The Climate Change Programme comes just a week before International Day for Disaster Reduction on the 13th of October. Held annually, the day celebrates the way that people and communities around the world reduce their exposure to disasters and raise awareness about the risks that they face.