World Wildlife Day - The Bay's Youth Speak Up!
On Friday, the 3rd of March, it is World Wildlife Day; a date that has been proclaimed as a day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world's wild animals and plants.
Nelson Mandela Bay - home to the big seven and the bottlenose capital of the world - is filled with extremely memorable wildlife experiences with places like Kuzuko Lodge, Addo Elephant National Park and Kragga Kamma Game Park.
But it does not stop there.
We are also known as the 5-Biome City as Nelson Mandela Bay represents a large percentage of South Africa's biological diversity and serves as a meeting point for 5 of the 7 South African Biomes, namely the Thicket, Grassland, Nama-Karoo, Fynbos and Forest Biomes. Just a short drive from the city centre you can find the Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve; a 500 hectare floral wonderland that protects and propagates the unique indigenous flora in our area offering visitors the chance to strap on their hiking boots, grab the binoculars at the bird hide or have a picnic.
And of course don't forget about SAMREC, the marine bird rehabilitation and education centre - situated in Cape Recife Nature Reserve - that cares and nurses injured or oiled sea birds back to health. Due the rapid decline of the numbers of the African Penguin over the past decade a centre of this nature is extremely important and neccessary as it fights the plight of one of our animals which are on the verge of extinction.
Youth are the agents of change
World Wildlife Day will be celebrated this year under the theme “Listen to the Young Voices" to encourage the youth, as the future leaders and decision-makers of the world, to act at both local and global levels to protect endangered wildlife.
The CITES Secretary-General John E. Scanlon, said: "Our generation has not yet succeeded in securing the future of many wild animals and plants. Meeting this challenge will now be shared with the next generation. And to succeed we must fully harness the innovation and energy of youth, and combine it with the wisdom that comes with experience, if we are to make the change we need to see happen."
The engagement and empowerment of youth is high on the agenda of the United Nations and this objective is being achieved through the youth programmes of various UN system organisations as well as the dedicated UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth. Governments, law makers, enforcement officers, customs officials and park rangers across every region are scaling up their efforts to protect wildlife. It is also up to every citizen, young and old, to protect wildlife and their habitats. We all have a role to play. Our collective conservation actions can be the difference between a species surviving or disappearing. READ MORE.
This year's World Wildlife Day encourages youth from all over the world to stand up together to address the dangers, issues and threats to wildlife which includes habitat change, over-exploitation or illicit trafficking.
It’s time for us all to listen to the young voices.
The Youth of the Bay Speaks up on World Wildlife Day
We asked the youth of the Bay some questions about why we should protect our wildlife and what can we do to protect our wildlife.
This is what they had to say.
The children of Jonker Fourie, from travel blogs Firefly the Travel Guy and Port Elizabeth Daily, said the following:
Megan - (12 years)
"It is important to protect animals otherwise there won't be any animals left for the future for us to see. To protect our wildlife we can come up with new organisations to look after animals and catch bad people who wants to hurt animals. It will be sad if we have to put walls and electric cables around animal zoo's and game reserves because there aren't any other animals left."
Dylan - (14 years)
"Without protection endangered animals will disappear from earth. We won't have animals like elephants, rhinos, leopard and penguins left for our children to see one day. Perhaps animals will only be left in game reserves because all the animals were killed in nature.
Children don't have money to give when it comes to protecting our wildlife but there is still a lot that we can do. We can give our time and volunteer at a place like SAMREC or even just pick up papers on the beach. We can also help to teach our friends how to look after nature and not take animals for granted."
You can find Jonker's blog at www.portelizabethdailyphoto.blogpost.co.za and at www.fireflyafrica.co.za, he is also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
From the Dirsuwei family blog, Chasing the Rainbow, Cian (11 years) voiced his opinion:
"It is important to protect animals so that they don’t go extinct and that our children can see the beauty of wildlife. I can’t imagine a world without animals. I have always been to game parks and I live in a nice forest full of animals and if there were no animals the world wouldn’t be the same. If we don’t protect the animals they will die from people killing them, littering, pollution, hunting. People mess up the world."
You can find the Dirsuwei family's blog at www.chasingtherainbow.net and also on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.
You can never be to young to have your say...
Local Blogger from Just Ella Bella, Eleanor Douglas-Meyers' son is only 3 years old but he had a whole mouthful to say!
Have a look at what Aidan said when his mother asked him why we should protect animals!
You can find the Eleanor's blog at www.justellabella.co.za and also on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.
Nadine Rose Larter, the blogger behind Passing the Open Windows, asked her son why we should protect animals and what we can do to help animals. This is what Noah had to say:
"We have to look after them so that they don’t die and we have to drive around in our cars and if we see an animal is about to eat plastic then we must tell it to stop.
You can find the Nadine's blog at www.passingtheopenwindows.co.za and also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The blogger from My Spreadsheet Brain, Luchae Williams, asked her son to tell us what he thinks about protecting our wildlife. This is what Kyle had to say:
"We don't realise how close to extinction our wildlife is. It's our duty to look after nature and the animals on our continent. We can start by recycling and taking care of our environment. I also think that we should be petitioning the government to fund more pro-wildlife organisations."
You can find Luchae Williams on her blog at www.myspreadsheetbrain.co.za, and on social media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Social Media Shakeup guru, Chantal Bezuidenhout asked her daughter, Hannah Bezuidenhout, who is 13 years old to share her opinion. This is what Hannah said:
"Well, I don't think the animals WANT to die! The future depends on us. I want my kids to be able to go to Addo Elephant National park and Kruger National Park and experience the same things that I have been able to experience. If animals are here on earth, then they are meant to be here. I think everyone should get involved and raise money to help protect our animals - we should also stop thinking about ourselves and not only save water when we are on water restrictions but do that all the time, we should also educate people about the consequences of not having beautiful wildlife. And educate more people on being rangers."
You can find Chantal Bezuidenhout on her blog at www.socialmediashakeup.co.za, and on social media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Well folks, there you have it! The YOUTH has spoken and they leave us with no choice but to LISTEN!
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