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Presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs

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Title: Presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs


1
  • Presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Water
    and Environmental Affairs
  • Albi Modise
  • Chief Director Communications

2
INTRODUCTION
  • Environmental education and awareness is
    increasingly being promoted as a tool in managing
    our environment and create a sense of ownership
    and heighten awareness.
  • In the 20th century serious environmental
    concerns like pollution, climate change,
    biodiversity, etc have triggered great concern
    about the relationship between humanity and the
    environment.
  • In 1978 UNESCO Tbilisi Declaration, mentioned the
    need for environmental education.
  • This Declaration Convention defined environmental
    education as a process of developing a world
    population that is aware of and concerned about
    the total environment and its associated
    problems, and which has the knowledge, skills,
    attitudes, motivation and commitment to work
    individually and collectively towards solution of
    current problems and the prevention of new ones.

3
INTRODUCTION
  • Parties to the UNFCCC have accepted certain
    commitments, taking into account their common but
    differentiated responsibilities and specific
    regional and national priorities.
  • At national and regional level, the
  • Development and implementation of public
    awareness programme on climate change and its
    effects
  • Public access to information on climate change
    and its effects
  • Adopting a participatory process for addressing
    climate change and its effects.

4
INTRODUCTION(continues)
  • There is need to continuously heighten awareness
    of Climate Change while also seeking to promote
    actions that seek to minimise damage on the
    environment is vital.
  • Public education and awareness is critical to
    attain environmental and ethical awareness,
    values and attitudes, skills and behaviour
    consistent with sustainable development and
    effective empowerment of the general public in
    decision making.
  • With the debate on Climate Change accelerating at
    multilateral level, this is an opportune moment
    to address public awareness. With South Africa
    preparing to host the COP 17, there will
    inevitably be a lot of interest on the process,
    whilst also affording us an opportunity to raise
    the debate on climate change as a threat to human
    development.
  • Notwithstanding international efforts, South
    Africa has just finished road-shows on National
    Climate Change Response Strategy Green Paper
    process.

5
STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES
  • To educate the general public and other relevant
    stakeholders of the unique South African
    environment and its importance. For example South
    Africa is the third mega diverse country.
  • To heighten public awareness on how behavioral
    and consumption patterns change could have a
    negative effect on our quest to protect the
    environment in our own simple way, each of us
    have a role to play, not just government.
  • To simplify the various themes and issue of
    climate change with targeted and outreach driven
    tactics employed to influence this change.
  • To support the conservation and sustainable
    management of South Africas resources . Our
    lifestyle is placing a strain on our environment.
  • To urge South Africans to report environmental
    crimes to the authority.
  • To ultimately improve the quality of life of
    South Africans .

6
UNDERSTANDING THE CONTEXT OF
  • Government work is a public activity, hence we
    must engage communities pro-actively in the
    attainment of a citizenry that is conscious of
    environment (and its goods and services).
  • Despite this being a cross-cutting and concurrent
    function, DEA as the national department is
    expected to provide sector leadership.
  • DEA to work with other departments (Health,
    Education, GCIS, Water Affairs, Agriculture,
    Energy, COGTA, etc)
  • Government has a constitutional obligation to
    inform the public, since an informed citizen is
    able to take informed decisions.
  • Development communications demands active citizen
    involvement in government programs Development
    is about people.
  • Active engagement with citizenship ensures
    empowerment

7
KEY PRIORITY AREAS
  • Enhancement of the understanding of the science
    of Climate Change to ensure all levels of
    participation nationally.
  • Strengthen collaboration with the National
    Disaster Management Centres in ensuring Early
    Warning signals reach communities to be affected.
    Collaboration with community structures like
    religious, women, youth formations and community
    media structures.
  • Participation by disadvantaged and vulnerable
    groups to be encouraged to ensure informed
    citizenry.
  • Climate Change, its effects and how ordinary
    South Africans can make a difference
  • Collaboration with SAWS on the patterns that have
    been observed over the past years. This will
    paint a picture of how the temperatures have been
    observed overtime.
  • Get provincial and local government to actively
    drive the message aimed at creating awareness and
    arm communities with information.

8
COMMUNICATIONS VEHICLES
  • Launch of coordinated multimedia and outreach
    driven Public Education and Awareness Campaign
    employing wide range of social marketing tactics
    and platforms
  • Television, Radio, Print, On-line (New Media)
  • The Green Line TV programme on SABC 3,
    co-sponsored by DEA
  • Dedicated Radio Talk shows discussing Climate
    Change and its Impact (Public , Commercial and
    Community Radio Stations). Engage communities.
  • Partner with print media to have a series of
    focused pages on Climate Change that would unpack
    the phenomenon and need for behavioral change(
    for e.g. use renewable energy, water saving tips,
    energy saving tips, etc)
  • Industrial Theatre, Outreach programmes aimed at
    allowing direct engagement and unpacking of
    messages in relevant language.
  • Engage Basic Education. School visits
    demonstrations and wall charts demystifying
    Climate Change
  • At Stakeholder Engagement level, partner with
    private sector to close other possible gaps.

9
WHY SHOULD WE CARE?
  • Severe flooding and drought could worsen.
  • Our behavioral change is key in the reduction of
    carbon emissions.
  • Carbon creates a blanket in the upper atmosphere
    that traps heat. This in turn is directed back
    onto the earth and results in what is called
    global warming.
  • Worldwide we begin to realize an increase in
    global temperatures
  • Our own country has also been affected by this
    increase. For e.g. changes in ocean temperatures
    and currents affected our marine resources and
    there has been a southwards shift in some of our
    fish stocks. This will impact negatively on food
    security.
  • Affect our quest to build a healthy South Africa,
    with a risk that malaria and other water borne
    diseases could spread to new areas and put many
    more people at risk.

10
COMMUNICATIONS CHAMPIONS
  • Members of Parliament as public representatives
    of various constituencies are at the grassroots
    level of engagement.
  • Minister and Deputy Minister who as part of their
    Public Participation Programmes should use these
    platforms to heighten awareness
  • Media houses to be enlisted as possible Champions
    (SABC, National Community Radio Forum, Media
    Development and Diversity Agency, Avusa,
    Independent, Primedia, Kagiso, Media 24, etc).
  • Enlist the services of well known South African
    personalities to drive the message of Climate
    Change as posing threat to development and
    Africas ability to feed itself, etc.
  • Some communities in South Africa cannot receive a
    basic radio and or television signal. If you
    employ traditional media, these communities are
    left out. Hence a multimedia approach, i.e.
    Outreach efforts using industrial theatre to
    transmit the messages.

11
MEDIA PROFILE
  • SA has over 561 magazines read by just over 12
    million people that should be looked at as
    platforms of engagement.
  • Over 15 million South Africans read newspapers,
    with over 29 million of them listening to the
    radio (community, commercial and public service
    stations)
  • SABC is the biggest media house in the country
    with 15 Public Broadcasting Service radio
    stations and 3 Public Commercial Broadcasting
    Services reaching over 90 of South Africans in
    all official languages.
  • Over 26 million South Africans watch TV in South
    Africa. Evidently, collaborating with SABC and
    eTV is central to reaching these households.
  • Vukuzenzele has a print order of 1,6 million
    copies which are circulated in all the nine
    provinces.

12
COMMUNICATIONS APPROACH
  • Given the interrelationships in the issues of
    Climate Change, more co ordinate communications
    and awareness approach is central.
  • This must be driven at inter-departmental level
    for the attainment of our strategic objectives.
    Co ordination with the GCIS for integrated
    messaging that recognises each departments role
  • Role of COGTA key in light of the role played by
    the National Disaster Management Centre. Solicit
    the response of ordinary people on the ground in
    case of an impending natural disaster.

13
END !
  • THANKS
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