Knysna Honorary Rangers led a mass clean-up of the town in an effort to solicit action from citizens on the 05th of June 2019.
Themed ‘Knysna Unlittered’ the campaign aims to rid Knysna of litter from source to sink. Clean-ups planned by SANParks Honorary Rangers (HRs) targeted upstream areas, the town (CBD) and those around the Knysna estuary. So says Delle Henry of HRs ‘we started a string of conversations with learners in Concordia High, Concordia Primary and Thembelitsha yesterday. On Tuesday, Percy Mdala and Chris Nissen would also benefit from educational talks by SANParks rangers and the People & Conservation Department.
On Wednesday, the 05th June, Oakhill High School joined partners in cleaning the main streets of Knysna. These included Turfworks, Ivy Garden Works, SANParks’ Biodiversity Social Programme teams (in yellow and green) and other local volunteers.
‘Firstly, if we can get every person to not litter and secondly to pick up litter they see lying around, we would have won.’
Part of the campaign’s rollout included roping in business via door-to-door action with law enforcement agencies. ‘Litter is our collective responsibility and everyone must play a role. We therefore plead with business owners to clean up in front of their shops and we appeal to everyone not to throw rubbish down stormwater drains’ says Henry.
The 05th June 2019 is World Environment Day (WED) was used as a platform to raise awareness and action for the protection of the environment. This year’s global theme is #beatairpollution.
SANParks Chief Executive Officer Fundisile Mketeni highlighted WED as one of the most significant days in the environmental calendar. ‘’It is important for SANParks to commemorate this day as it raises global awareness about taking positive action to protect the earth’’ added Mketeni. He said that this year’s theme is relevant and highlights the impact of air pollution on Climate Change. It is one of the most serious health and environmental risks locally, nationally and internationally. Air pollution is now recognised as the biggest environmental risk to health in the world. “SANParks hopes to be carbon neutral by 2045 by reducing carbon footprint said Mketeni.
Fascinating facts about the Knysna estuary
Of the 249 national estuaries forming part of a study conducted by independent researchers Jane Turpie and Barry Clarke (2007), the Knysna estuary was ranked number 1 in South Africa in terms of biodiversity significance. This was determined by the number of its fish species, birds and botanical data.
The estuary is home to 43% of South Africa’s plant and animal life and supports rare fish species such as the grunter, white Steenbras, Dusky Cob and Cape Stumpnose. Knysna’s jewel, the estuary, alone contributes some 21, 6% of the total economic value of the 249 national estuaries.