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Attending the Green-Flag Award Ceremony

On Friday January 23rd I had the privilege to attend the Green Flag Award Ceremony for Eco-Schools in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The ceremony was organised by Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa & World Wildlife Fund task team in association with De Beers Mines & Nampak.

The aims of having Eco-Schools in my view are to:

  1. Encourage sustainable development in education and management;
  2. Improve the environmental performance of schools by teaching learners the three “R's”: RECYCLE, RE-USE, and REDUCE; and
  3. Uplift local communities through the knowledge gained by the learners.

The day started well; among the speakers were representatives from WWF-SA, Department of Education in the Limpopo Province, De Beers Mines, and lastly we were honoured with the presence of the reigning Miss Earth South Africa, Matapa Maila who happened to sit next to yours truly during the ceremony!! More importantly though, she is from Limpopo Province, which I think meant a lot to everybody, especially the learners.

[caption id="attachment_409" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Miss Earth South Africa was here to honor the learners."]Miss Earth South Africa was here to honor the learners.[/caption]

All the speakers stressed the importance of community upliftment through education, especially environmental education.

[caption id="attachment_410" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="The learners during the award ceremony."]The learners during the award ceremony.[/caption]

The highlight of the day for me was listening to the learners recite poems they wrote for the day. They all sounded convincing; in addition their attitude showed that from then on there would be no going back. The learners also showed us some of the objects that they made from recycled materials, pictured below.

[caption id="attachment_412" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Crafts made from recycled materials."]Crafts made from recycled materials.[/caption]

Later during the day, best performing schools and educators were given awards for their hard work towards environmental education.

Although this is not directly relevant to the leopard research, I hope in the future I will have the opportunity to present the leopard work to the learners.

[caption id="attachment_411" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Naturally, Miss Earth wanted to sit by me during the ceremony. "]Naturally, Miss Earth wanted to sit by me during the ceremony. [/caption]

Judging by the distance between me and the nearest person I must have been wearing my leopard perfume!

I would like to thank Cathy Dzerefos of Eco-Schools Limpopo Province for inviting AWF to the ceremony.

About the Author

Nakedi joined AWF in 2007, working in the Limpopo region, where he's from. Nakedi's initial work was focused on studying the great cats to shape conservation strategies to benefit communities he's known all his life. In 2014, Nakedi moved on from the Limpopo region, becoming AWF’s Congo landscape ecologist.

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