Our nation’s future relies on a well-educated public to be wise stewards of the very environment that sustains us, our families and communities, and future generations. It is environmental education that can best help us as individuals make the complex, conceptual connections between economic prosperity, benefits to society, environmental health and our own wellbeing.
There is a generation of people in South Africa that is unfortunately not in touch with the importance of protecting and enjoying our natural heritage. They don’t have the privilege of experiencing the physical, sensory, psychological, health and long-term commercial merits of being in harmony and connected to nature. They also don’t have the privilege to cherish our natural heritage because of social, economic and historic factors. This generation of young South Africans will heavily influence the government, commercial and business environments in the years to come.
This will have a direct influence on all functions of society, not limited to conservation. We need to share the realisation that everything from food security to national job creation and health is directly influenced by our protection of, and connection to, the natural environment.