Presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs
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Presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs Albi Modise Chief Director: Communications. INTRODUCTION.

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Presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs Albi Modise

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Presentation to the portfolio committee on water and environmental affairs albi modise

Presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs

Albi Modise

Chief Director: Communications


Introduction

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”.


Introduction1

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.


Introduction continues

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.


Strategic objectives

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 Africa’s 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 .


Understanding the context of

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


Key priority areas

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.


Communications vehicles

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.


Why should we care

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.


Communications champions

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 Africa’s 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.


Media profile

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.

  • Vuk’uzenzele has a print order of 1,6 million copies which are circulated in all the nine provinces.


Communications approach

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 department’s 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.


Presentation to the portfolio committee on water and environmental affairs albi modise

END !

THANKS


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