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SA celebrates Environment Month - 3 June 2009

Pretoria - Climate change is expected to be the focus of this year’s National Environment Month which is celebrated in June.

Spokesperson for the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs, Albi Modise said South Africa was raising the bar with regards to efforts to mitigate climate change.

The March 2009 Climate Change Summit laid the foundation for a participatory process to shape the way South Africans respond to climate change, he said, adding that the theme "SA Act Now! Combat Climate Change",was appropriate.

"This is particularly significant as it comes at a time when South Africa is drafting the policy framework for climate change. The Long Term Mitigation Scenarios (LTMS) on Climate Change was approved by Cabinet in 2008."

Mr Modise added that action on climate change was seen as an investment for the future as no action would have worse consequences for the world.

Various activities are planned for the month, including conferences, awareness campaigns, information sessions, tree planting and workshops.

Mr Modise said the events would also centre on encouraging South Africans to become active supporters of sustainable and equitable living while acknowledging that communities play a pivotal role in changing attitudes towards the environment.

Environment month coincides with the global celebrations of World Environment Day on 5 June, World Oceans Day will also be celebrated on 8 June 2009 as well as World Day to Combat Desertification on 17 June.

Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Buyelwa Sonjica is expected to deliver a keynote address on World Environment Day at Kwa-Dukuza Municipality in Kwa-Zulu Natal on 12 June 2009.

The day will be celebrated under the theme "Your Planet needs You - Unite to Combat Climate Change."

Celebrated annually in June, the event is used by the United Nations (UN) to stimulate global awareness on environment issues, and enhance political attention and public action.

[ By Gabi Khumalo - BuaNews ]


Find out more about what you can do on World Environment Day - visit the United Nations Environment Programme Website