Premier Modise warns of failure to conserve and protect environment
8 Jun 2012
Failure to explore best approaches to conservation and protection of the environment could have dire consequences on earth and future generations, North West Premier Mme Thandi Modise warned on Thursday.
Premier Modise issued the stern warning at the signing of endorsements ceremony for the Magaliesberg Biosphere Project held near Hartbeespoortdam as part of the World Heritage Day celebrations.
The Premier said that the natural resources and ecosystem services within the Magaliesberg Biosphere Project need to be jealously protected and preserved as a living laboratory for future generations.
“Agriculture should play a significant role towards greening in rural and urban areas as planting trees, organic farming practices, rooftop gardening and urban farming provides healthier living spaces and assists in offsetting carbon emissions,” she emphasised.
The Premier committed that the North West Provincial government will increase its efforts of raising awareness on conserving environment and be part of the global drive to promote the green economy but emphasised that residents of Majakaneng also should derive benefit from the project.
“This project should be fashioned in the identities of the people from the immediate beneficiary communities. They should not be left behind as it advances,” she cautioned.
Also adding to the voice of the premier, MEC Rhoso said her department will mobilise all sector of the society in the province to conserve the environment. “It is not the responsibility of government only to encourage people to conserve the environment but the responsibility of the entire North West community. Big businesses such as mining houses should not only focus their energy in extracting mineral resources in our province but must also play a huge role on taking care of the environment,” said Rosho.
She added that school children must also be taught at an early age how to take care of the environment. MEC Rhoso cited that World Environment Day Celebrations play a hug role in raising awareness about the importance of conserving the environment. World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment to create, educate and raise awareness on environmental conservation.
In South Africa, June is celebrated as national Environment Month, with all citizens mobilised to implement integrated interventions to protect the environment. This year's environment month celebrations are held under the international theme: "Green Economy: Does It Include You?"
Paivi Halinen representing the Finnish partners on the project said that they support the project because conserving the environment is not only challenge to the North West province but it also affects the entire world. Halinen stressed that Biospheres can enhance environmental education to a new level both in scale and quality for instance enabling student exchange between countries and can also be the empowering force for the local communities by creating jobs for young people near their homes.
She added that biospheres can act as innovative surroundings for the green economy.
Premier Modise and MEC for Education, Louisa Mabe thanked the Finnish Delegation for their efforts to be in the province as well as the work that they are doing to ensure that people take care of the environment not only for now but for future generation as well.
Biosphere represents an innovative and sustainable approach to managing land and water resources. The development of a network of Biosphere, as envisaged by UNESCO, is aimed at ensuring conservation and sustainable development in order to reduce biodiversity loss, improve livelihoods.
It also enhances social economic and cultural conditions for environmental sustainability and contributes towards environmental sustainability through the pursuit of the Millennium Developmental Goals.
Lesiba Moses Kgwele
Tel: 018 388 3705
Cell: 083 629 1987
Fax: 086 620 4802
Issued by: North West Office of the Premier
8 Jun 2012
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