RCE KwaZulu Natal-2017

1. Project Title: 
WESSA Eco-Schools in KZN
2. Thematic area/s addressed by the project
Select your options: 
3. Project partner contact information : 
WESSA (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa)
Project Manager: WESSA Schools Programme
Nomfundo Ndlovu
Project Manager for KZN
Alternative project contact: 
Christine Hugo
Project Coordinator in KZN
4. Project type
5. Project description
Provide a short description of the project including strategies, regional challenges, aims and specific project activities.: 

Eco-Schools is one of five international programmes run by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). WESSA started facilitating the Eco-Schools Programme in South Africa in 2003. Nationally, over 800 schools registered with the programme this year. In KwaZulu-Natal, 85 schools were registered and active Eco-Schools in 2017. Most of the schools are urban or peri-urban, though some are found in rural settings. Many of the schools are under-resourced and face many challenges ranging from high litter loads, food security to water scarcity. Eco‐Schools South Africa supports the National Curriculum (CAPS) for Grades R‐12. Pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools can sign up for the programme as well as schools for learners with special needs, home schools, early childhood development centres and environmental clubs.


Each school follows a 7-step change process to empower young people to lead actions into a sustainable future. Consequently, each school focuses on different themes to implement various action projects which embed transformative thinking into everyday life and the greater school community. Action projects range from recycling and upcycling, to food gardens, various water saving initiatives, as far as ecosystem monitoring, conservation and rehabilitation.

6. Project status
On Going
Ongoing drought conditions during the past 2 years have impacted on many schools directly by inhibiting school gardens, and food gardens in particular. Learning how to work wisely with our natural resources is a valuable concrete lesson for Eco-School learners and educators. For example, using grey water in school gardens and mulching garden beds is a practical way for schools to address the drought conditions. This enables learners and communities to form solutions oriented to positive change project outcomes. For other schools, the positive impact has come from learners gaining knowledge about their local ecology and how nature works. Some schools in the KZN Midlands tackled wetlands, researching wetland ecosystems, their benefits and importance, and then undertook wetland rehabilitation projects on their school grounds. In the long term, this contributes to the SDGs of (3) good health, (6) clean water, (13) climate action, and (15) life on land.
8. Tagging