The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment in partnership with other stakeholders is commemorating World Environment Day in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) on Sunday.
The commemoration comes as recent torrential rains and deadly floods were experienced in the province.
The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy has warned that “We can no longer deny the impact of climate change”in her World Environment Day message, she outlined what the government is doing to address climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
In the aftermath of the recent flooding in KZN, the Eastern Cape and the North West, Creecy stressed the need to ensure sustainable development that’s in harmony with nature.
“A recent study by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) found that air pollution, much of it from the burning of fossil fuels, causes around seven million premature deaths around the world each year. Nutrients from farming, sediment from soil erosion and discarded plastic waste are polluting our rivers and coastal waters. The emphasis is clear: time is running out to ensure we protect critical eco-system services and ensure that our current use of natural resources does not threaten the safety and survival of our children and grandchildren,”says Creecy.
The department says such disasters are evidence of the devastating impact the environmental crises have on humanity and a stark reminder of the urgent action needed.
“The world is facing three major environmental crises: climate change, biodiversity and nature loss as well as waste pollution. This is driven by human activity and unsustainable patterns of consumption and production. The world’s most vulnerable communities are often the worst impacted by the environmental crises. The recent torrential rains and deadly floods experienced in KwaZulu-Natal are evidence of the devastating impact,” says Provincial MEC for Environmental Affairs, Ravi Pillay.
World Environment Day: Climate change, pollution take centre stage
The fifth edition of the Plastic Free Mzansi beach clean-up is underway at Sunset Beach in Milnerton, Cape Town in commemoration of World Environment Day.
Plastic Free Mzansi is a campaign that educates the country about plastic, recycling and circular design. The beach campaign is part of a series of clean-ups and recycling workshops that will be hosted throughout the year.
Plastic Free Mzansi says it is important to clean the beaches to remove all rubble and plastic as the winter rains carry it into the ocean where it endangers marine life.
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