#04 2021

We’re part of the solution #ForNature

By Rebotile Matabane, SAASTA volunteer based at the SAEON Elwandle Node

SAEON celebrated International Biodiversity Day on 22 May under the theme “We’re part of the solution #ForNature”. The virtual event was attended by 36 learners from the education outreach programmes of the Ndlovu, Elwandle and Egagasini nodes. 

The speakers introduced the concept of biodiversity and encouraged the learners to be ambassadors of biodiversity. Through his talk, Dr Tony Swemmer, manager of the Ndlovu Node, alerted the learners to the diversity of species found in their neighbourhood. The learners were given an opportunity to collect biodiversity data by taking pictures of different species they find in their surroundings.

Using practical examples, Dr Dave Thompson, biodiversity scientist at the Ndlovu Node, showed the learners the value of biodiversity and how we can all be part of the solution to conserve biodiversity. This can be as simple as not littering, as our litter may end up in the ocean and kill marine organisms.

Kahoot quiz 

During the event there was a Kahoot quiz in which 29 learners participated. The quiz was based on the online SAEON Biomes Manual. The learners were made aware of this competition well in advance to enable them to prepare by going through the manual.

Emelda Tsundzukani Makukele from Majeje High School, a SAEON Kid at the Ndlovu Node, was the worthy winner of the competition. Emelda won herself a tablet that was delivered to her home. In her acceptance speech, Emelda thanked SAEON and her mum for encouraging her to study the Biomes Manual which resulted in her winning the quiz.

Gift Makhubela from Ntshuxelo High School, also from the Ndlovu Node, won the weekend’s Backyard Bingo Game as part of the iNaturalist competition that SAEON is running until the end of September. Gift won himself 1GB of data.

What the learners had to say 

Many of the learners said that they enjoyed the programme and learned a lot in the process. Comments included:

  • I enjoyed learning about biodiversity in my neighbourhood as well as participating in the quiz.
  • It was interesting to learn that there are many different species in South Africa and in the world. I thought there were only thousands of species, but actually there are millions.
  • I enjoyed learning why it is important to preserve our biodiversity.
  • There were things I did not know about biodiversity, so the programme helped me a lot.
  • I enjoyed taking pictures outside.
  • What I learned today about biodiversity is the enormous variety of life on earth. I also learned more about different species.
  • Dr Tony’s presentation brought a new perspective on biodiversity.
  • The Kahoot quiz taught me many new things.

The International Day for Biological Diversity is celebrated on 22 May every year