Today marks the 53rd anniversary of Earth Day, a global event celebrated on April 22 to raise awareness about ecological issues and the importance of environmental protection. The North-West University (NWU) encourages all stakeholders to participate and take action in paving a better environment for the upcoming generations. The Earth Day’s theme for 2023 is “Invest in Our Planet,” which is a call for action to everyone to develop a lifestyle that protects the planet from environmental challenges such as climate change, pollution, water scarcity, deforestation, and more.
Honouring the environment we live in is the best way to give an ‘ear’ to Earth’s calling. Restoring our Earth should be an everyday affair, not only limited to Earth Day. Taking a step towards sustainable living starts with ourselves, and we need to change our lifestyles. Let us celebrate Earth Day every day!
The NWU’s Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management takes pride in conducting research in sub-programmes such as climate change, aquatic ecosystem health biodiversity and conservation ecology, air quality and impacts, disaster risk sciences, ecological interactions and ecosystem resilience, environmental management, integrated pest management, spatial planning, development and implementation. The NWU strives to demonstrate this excellence nationally and internationally.
Professor Carlos Bezuidenhout, Director of the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, emphasises that the unit undertakes research that investigates how the climate on Earth has evolved over time while projecting how current events could impact these changes. He also asserts that the main goal of these programmes is to build knowledge in order to provide a full understanding of our complex environment.
Biodiversity refers to the variety of life in our environment, and it is critical for the health of our world. Biodiversity maintains the balance of nature and provides humans with food, clean air, and medicines. The NWU recognizes the relevance of socio-ecological systems and resilience, focusing on disaster risk reduction techniques and capacity-building support to the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
To protect our environment, we can help by minimising our usage of single-use plastics and other non-biodegradable materials. We can also donate to organisations that are actively trying to maintain and restore our planet’s biodiversity. Lastly, reducing our carbon footprint is one of the most effective ways we can protect our planet’s biodiversity. This entails using fewer fossil fuels and shifting to clean energy sources.
“If everyone does their part to protect the environment, then together we have saved our planet.” – Mhleli Vezi (Environmental Specialist, North-West University)
Earth Day gives an opportunity to people worldwide to take action in protecting our beautiful planet. If everyone does their part to protect the environment, then together, we have saved our planet. Earth enlightens us on the effectiveness of science and the knowledge we can gain by making better choices. The NWU’s Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences encompasses fields of study that effectively contribute to the implementation of taking care of our planet such as Agricultural Economics and Extension, Crop Sciences, Botany, and Soil Science and Agronomy, which expand more on nature and science. The faculty excels in research and innovation and has 95 NRF-rated scientists. The staff from the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management are world-leading researchers in their fields, with some 27 organisms named after them.
Earth Day is dedicated to restoring and protecting the biodiversity of our world, and the NWU strives to actively partake in research that identifies what affects our environment while coming up with solutions to combat ecological issues. It is our responsibility to develop a lifestyle that protects the planet from environmental challenges, and it is imperative to take a moment to inspect our planet so that we can work together and restore it.
Let us invest in our planet and make a difference that will benefit the generations to come.
Our future depends on it!
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