“The Hermanus economy is in fact the environment as it’s based on tourism that relies on the splendour of our beaches, estuaries, mountains, nature reserves, hiking trails and botanical uniqueness”, said Sheraine van Wyk, WCC Eco-Learning Manager.
She was speaking at the Hermanus Connect meeting on Tuesday 13 October in the Municipal Auditorium. Hermanus Connect is a newly-formed group of concerned people with a common vision for the future of Hermanus who came together to promote the concept of many organisations contributing to the success of a town.
The Hermanus Ratepayers, Hermanus Business Chamber, Hermanus Tourism and Whale Coast Conservation (WCC) all participated in the event.
Caring for this environment is critical for a healthy economy. But it cannot be done just by a handful of conservation organisations. It needs a whole village, or indeed everyone, to do this.
Small actions can have big impacts when it involves the minds of young people. Arbor Day in September is an example of a world-wide movement that raises awareness, especially in schools, of the importance of trees to our own survival. For this reason the Whale Coast Conservation Youth Environment Programme includes tree planting activities in most Overstrand schools. During the week around Arbor Day WCC organised planting of 76 trees, some in communities but mainly at schools from Grabouw to Gansbaai.
Many other organisations, such as the Department of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries, the Overstrand Municipality, Agrimark, the Zwelihle Youth Café and last, but not least, the Overberg branch of Afriforum, lent their support.
For example, Afriforum provided the compost and bone meal for all the trees. Members planted trees at Okkie Smuts Laerskool in Stanford and lent moral support at tree planting events at Gansbaai schools and the Zwelihle Youth Café. It is this kind of involvement and support of a whole community that will enable conservation organisations to care for our environment.
Communications Manager: Whale Coast Conservation
Photo: Executive of the Overberg branch of Afriforum
From left: Elmarie van Dalen (Chair), Marianne Rossouw, Willie Groenewald and Chris Harding