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YOUNG people from all over Gauteng who attended the celebration of World Environment Day at the Suikersbosrand Nature Reserve near Heidelberg were encouraged to combat climate change by adopting green practices. The summit, involving more than 100 youths and organised by the City and the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, took place from 4 to 6 June.

World Environment Day is an annual event celebrated around the world on June 5. The theme of this year’s celebrations was “Green Economy: Does it include you?”.

The purpose of the summit was to empower youths to undertake programmes and projects that contribute towards a positive environmental impact.

The young people, who spent three days in the camp, engaged in activities such as tree planting, food gardening and storytelling.

They were encouraged to be mindful of their actions and to consider everything they do today in the light of the impact their choices will have on future generations.

Apart from outdoor activities the youths were taught simple skills to help save the environment.

Visiting the farm museum Visiting the farm museum The summit also covered the topics of water conservation, household food security, energy saving, life skills and safety, alien plant control and how to access bursaries from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Participants were encouraged to share their ideas about ways of creating a greener environment. The discussions revealed that communities lack the will to protect open spaces such as parks, resulting in a waste of much-needed resources.

“The youths were taught responsibility towards the environment and the simple act of planting trees that will help them tremendously in combating climate change,” said Sinah Magolo, manager of the environmental education unit at City Parks.
World Environment Day, which was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972, has become one of the main vehicles through which the UN stimulates awareness of the environment and encourages political attention.

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