This year marks the 50th edition of World Environment Day celebrations. A day dedicated to recognising the impact of environmental damages sustained over the years; not only that but finding sustainable ways of reversing the damages caused on the environment. The North-West University actively educates and inspires stakeholders to become environmental stewards and contribute to a sustainable future.
The celebration of the day is led by the United Nations (UN) Environment Programme. 143 countries across the world will celebrate this day following the theme: Plastic Pollution Matters. This theme encourages us to look into cutting on using plastic (wastefully) and realising its impact on environmental degradation.
A number of initiatives aimed at promoting sustainability and reducing environmental footprint have already been taken by the NWU in this area. These initiatives include the Value your environment campaign which was aimed at creating awareness on various environmental issues that have an impact on society. The NWU has also hosted world environment week to highlight and address environmental issues.
In recent years, the environment has been dishonoured heavily. Typically, environmental change and degradation stand on a large plateau with various issues playing their part. To narrow the scale, the objective of the day is summed up as raising awareness of environmental degradation.
The NWU) has been ranked as one of the Top 7 Universities in South Africa with a commitment to social and environmental change. This ranking was based on research in sustainability and strategies for climate change. The ranking also observed how students were committed to a sustainable existence on a social and environmental scale. NWU also ranked on the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University in 2 subject areas – medicine and agriculture/forestry. Ranking on Agriculture and Forestry has become more prestigious as it is the first time the University ranks in the subject area; it is also important as it indicates that research conducted in the NWU works towards reversing the harsh impacts of environmental degradation.
‘…[the rankings] highlights where we can focus on as we work towards targets set by the United Nations Sustainability Goals.’ –Vice-Chancellor, Dr, Bismark Tyobeka on QS rankings.
Watch NWU principal and vice-chancellor Prof Bismark Tyobeka’s #BeatPlasticPollution challenge to staff and students.
In support of sustainability and a sustainable environment, the NWU also engages in numerous research projects. One such is led by Prof Lebo Seru, under the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. This research and experimental project, carried out by a team of NWU staff and scholars, looks at using nanotechnology for food security and environmental protection. In a nutshell, the research focuses on ways to bend the food insecurity curve while protecting the environment.
The NWU encourages all stakeholders to participate on this day and make a difference in their local communities. By volunteering their time and skills to restoration activities, they can help to protect and preserve our environment for future generations. Staff and students stand the chance to win great prizes by entering the NWU World Environmental Day competitions: https://www.nwu.ac.za/sites/www.nwu.ac.za/files/files/i-news/electronic_newsletters/Take-note/2023/WED%20Competition_NWU_Schools_Departments.pdf
On this World Environment Day, let us recommit ourselves to working towards a sustainable future!
#MyNWU #BeatPlasticPollution #NWUCares #NWUNatural