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EU celebrates World Environment Day in style


Mohloai Mpesi

The European Union (EU) gathered 180 primary school children from Leribe, Matsieng to experience a photographic exhibition and learn about climate change as part of celebrating the 2022 World Environment Day last week. 

The EU delegation which was headed by EU Ambassador Paola Amadei, hosted learners from three primary schools in grades 5 to 7 learners from Matsieng Primary School, Mahlonyeng Primary School and St. Louis Primary School on an educational tour that ran from June 1 to 3, 2022.

The pupils were granted an opportunity to gain visual understanding of environmental degradation, climate change and likelihoods that could transpire without collective effort to protect the environment.

The world assembled in one accord last Sunday in commemoration of the World Environment Day under the theme ‘Only One Erath’ calling for collective, transformative action on a global scale to celebrate, protect and restore the planet in Sweden as the host country.

It was during the exposition that the pupils viewed a collection of photographs taken during a Photography Workshop held at The Hub in October 2019 which was supported by the European Union, whose theme was climate change and the harm caused to the environment, notably, by the improper disposal of plastic products.

“The EU Green Week has become a tradition, one that we are proud to celebrate in Lesotho by involving children in this event themed around the protection of the environment. The whole team of the Delegation, as part of these celebrations, also visited past and on-going water projects funded by Team Europe and continue learning about how to better protect the one planet we have inherited,” said Amadei.

She said the protection of the environment and the fight against climate change is not just a one-day celebration but a commitment for the whole year.

She said the event was held in Morija because it is one of Lesotho’s most important historical and cultural sites.

“It is also home to a creative technology lab providing affordable training on digital skills for the youth. We hope that this exhibition educates the learners and encourages them to become advocates for environmental issues to prevent climate change, as we only have one earth,” she said.

Amadei continued, “Young people are crucial in formulating and implementing solutions to safeguard the environment. By focusing on the sustainable management of natural resources, we can ensure that future generations inherit a country that has not depleted its natural resources. Educating children about climate change is the first step to keeping young people engaged in protecting the environment.”

For his part, Malefetsane Lebakeng, a teacher from Matsieng Primary School, stressed the importance of educating children about climate change “… so they can come up with solutions that will address the challenges our planet faces.”

It is nearly 75% of the resources available under the EU’s new cooperation strategy with Lesotho aimed at tackling climate change and environmental degradation.

ReNOKA, an Integrated Catchment Management movement that is aimed at the sustainable management of natural resources mainly, land and water resources, is one of the key projects in this area. The project calls on all who live in the Orange-Senqu River Basin to take action to protect the natural resources.

World Environment Day is the biggest international day for the environment. It has been held annually on 5 June since 1973. Led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and has become the largest global platform for environmental outreach.

2022 marks 50 years since the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment as well. The conference is widely seen as the first international meeting on the environment.

The 1972 Stockholm Conference spurred the formation of environment ministries and agencies around the world and kick-started a host of new global agreements to collectively protect the environment.

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