Climate change takes root in Kouga

Delegates at the first-ever international climate change workshop to be hosted in Koua, left a little piece of themselves in Jeffreys Bay.

The delegates last week each planted a tree along the Aston Bay road.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the trees would serve as a “working and living reminder” of what the participating municipalities had set out to achieve.

“Trees are one of our planet’s first lines of defence against climate change,” he explained.

“It is estimated that they absorb almost a quarter of man-made carbon emissions each year. It is these carbon emissions that have been accelerating climate change.”

He said the trees, including spekboom, yellowwood and cheesewood trees, had been planted along the Aston Bay road in one of the areas where a play area is to be developed.

“We are very grateful to the delegates for being so willing to get their hands dirty and assist with the planting of the trees,” he said. “It will be the perfect backdrop for the playpark that is being planned for the area.”

Hendricks said the international workshop had been a great success.

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“The 24 municipalities that participated come from three very different continents, yet our regions have all been experiencing similar climate-related challenges such as longer droughts, extreme floods and storms, rising sea levels or melting glaciers.

“It was inspiring to hear what programmes other municipalities have introduced to combat the potentially devastating impact of climate change and an honour to be able to share what we have been working on as well.”

The workshop brought to an end phase six of Global Engagement’s Municipal Climate Partnerships programme, which aims at connecting German municipalities with their counterparts in Africa and South America.

The Jeffreys Bay workshop was attended by municipalities from nine countries – Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Germany, Namibia, Nicaragua, Peru, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Kouga and their partner, Ilsfeld, were among the delegates and both recommitted to maintaining and strengthening their partnership in the interest of both communities.

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