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SAEON donates indigenous trees to primary school in Himeville

Jabulani Mazibuko (left) delivers the trees to the school principal, Mr Zuma (centre) and teachers of Goxhill Primary School (Picture: Danne Joubert)
The trees were labelled for identification and education purposes (Picture: Danne Joubert)
Jabulani addresses the learners on the impacts of climate change (Picture: Danne Joubert)
Jabulani demonstrates how to plant a tree (Picture: Danne Joubert)
The children learn to plant the trees themselves (Picture: Danne Joubert)
- Danne Joubert, Field Technician, SAEON Grasslands, Wetlands and Forests Node


One of SAEON’s main objectives is to encourage and support science-based education for learners.

To celebrate Arbor Week and emphasise the importance of preserving and planting indigenous trees, SAEON donated 20 indigenous trees to Goxhill Primary School in Himeville near Underberg. The initiative was championed by Danne Joubert, Field Technician at SAEON’s Grasslands, Wetlands and Forests Node with the aim of promoting awareness about the importance of trees as well as highlighting some of the global change challenges we are facing.

As SAEON’s Grasslands, Wetlands and Forests Node is hosted by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and based at their headquarters in Pietermaritzburg, Danne joined forces with the organisation’s Community Officer, Jabulani Mazibuko. Ezemvelo runs projects at various schools and communities in the area, among others delivering trees to be planted at selected local schools during Arbor Week.

Danne and Jabulani selected three species for Goxhill Primary School based on the fact that they occur naturally in the Underberg district where the school is situated -- Forest Bush-willow (Combretum kraussii), Sagewood (Buddleia salvifolia) and Pompom Tree (Dais cotinifolia). SAEON also supplied species labels for each tree to aid the learners and the community in the area to identify the trees.

Highlighting the importance of trees

After presenting the trees to the school principal, Mr Zuma, in the presence of four teachers and all the learners, Jabulani gave a talk on climate change and the importance of trees to people and the environment, while Danne distributed climate change brochures and stickers.

A brief discussion followed on the effects of climate change and ways to minimise its impacts. In order to stimulate discussion and ensure active participation, Jabulani asked questions about the impacts of climate change on the environment. Each correct answer was rewarded with a green Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife cap. The teachers and other staff each received a T-shirt decorated with a climate change logo.

SAEON was proud to be able to contribute to, and participate in this important initiative in collaboration with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

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