IN CELEBRATING what would have been Madiba’s 101st birthday, and in celebration of Arbor Month, 101 trees will be planted on Robben Island.
The first were planted yesterday, with the rest expected to be planted over the next few days.
Robben Island Museum’s chief heritage officer, Dr Pascal Taruvinga, led the initiative yesterday, which is also part of a bigger partnership between Konica Minolta South Africa and Food & Trees for Africa.
The vegetation programme was initiated three years ago to act as a sustainable equilibrium for the environment.
Taruvinga said at the core of the initiative was to contribute sustainably to biodiversity.
“We want to set global approaches other institutions and countries can learn from. Through revegetating the island, we are eliminating invasive species, like the Rooikrans tree, and replacing it with indigenous trees, with the hope of an improved ecosystem,” Taruvinga said.
Konica South Africa has planted 46 000 trees since 2008.
Some of the trees planted yesterday include waterberry, dune crowberry, white milkwood, wild peach and sand olive.
Usisipho Kamnqa, general horticultural assistant on Robben Island, said that society should maintain a healthy and safe environment.
“We are trying to bring back harmony by planting trees and also educating our youngsters to conserve it for future generations.
“We have many threatened species that our children won’t be able to see but, if we contain them and conserve them they will be able to see them and experience the kind of pleasure we had,” Kamnqa said.
She said the initiative will also benefit society in the long term. Visitors on the island could now also benefit from the eco friendly ceremony.
Morongoa Ramaboa, island spokes. person, said: “Robben Island Museum is an attraction so, as an attraction, we feed into the tourism demand. We also feed into the environmental and cultural preservation area, which mean there are so many interested stakeholders. This will activate our economy, in the sense that the environment of the island will continue to be sustainable and that is what our country needs, in the long term.”
JADE VAN DER VENTEL
Cape Times (First Edition)
Thursday, September 19, 2019
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