Kruger National Park (KNP) in partnership with Total South Africa (Total SA) hosted the “Keep Kruger Clean” (KKC) campaign at Luphisi, a village outside Nelspruit on July 04, 2018. The aim of this campaign is to educate and create awareness about the dangers of spoiling the environment such as the national parks and other habitats. The campaign is a continuation of the World Environmental Day (WED) commemoration which takes place on 5 June every year.
“This year’s WED theme “beat plastic pollution – if you can’t reuse it, refuse it”, urges people to explore sustainable alternatives meant to reduce the production and excessive use of single use plastic products. South African government introduced the pricing of plastic a few years ago to beat pollution; and continues to raise the price to encourage recycling”, said the KNP’s GM: Communications and Marketing, William Mabasa on behalf of the KNP Management.
Mabasa also emphasised to stakeholders the issue of taking care of nature, including all things that live in it. Biodiversity is important, our plants and animals can be negatively influenced by habitat loss and degradation due to human activities such as pollution and poaching.
“This brings me to touch on poaching as we must realize that the extinction of species can also have a negative economic effect on a local community’s tourism industry. Communities that rely on their wildlife for employment and to attract tourists are at great risk for economic hardship if the prevalence of poaching continues. This is a socio-economic issue as tourists could stay away if poaching is a real threat and could have a detrimental effect on a community’s economy since local business structures would suffer. I encourage everybody to speak up. Whenever we have gatherings in our communities, let us encourage each other to always ask questions and get the facts before accepting any wildlife or plant product offered to us”, concluded Mabasa.
The KKC campaign has allowed stakeholders including school kids from the neighbouring communities to take part by collecting litter in areas where they live. With Total SA as a dedicated sponsor since the inception of the KKC campaign, the partnership has brought positive impact as awareness building materials such as brochures and rubbish bags with litter messages continue to be handed out to guests on daily basis upon entry to the park. SANParks is also celebrating the 60 year partnership with Total SA this year; various activities and competitions are in place to encourage everybody to take a minute out of their day to do something good for the environment.