We are hugely grateful to the Ford Wildlife Foundation, who are enabling us to advance our coastal education initiatives for schools and youth by supplying two brand new Ford Rangers for our work in Port Elizabeth and East London. By providing these vehicles, the Ford Wildlife Foundation is improving the effectiveness of our environmental education work by enabling ease of access to project sites – especially in rural areas – as well as helping us to deliver functional project support.
We value our ongoing relationship with the Foundation, which has supported conservation and environmental education programmes over the past 26 years. Through their support we have been able to strengthen the impact of our coastal educational work aimed at the preservation of our rich and irreplaceable heritage as people caring for the earth.
WESSA Work Skills is offering a qualification in Tourism Guiding. The first of four modules that comprise this Level 2 qualification will be facilitated in February 2018 at uMngeni Valley Nature Reserve Education Centre in Howick, KZN.
This summer the newly launched Tourism Blue Flag project will see the deployment of 200 beach stewards at Blue Flag sites around the country, with the aim of improving the experience of both local visitors and domestic and international tourists at our beaches.
The Tourism Blue Flag project will benefit fifty beaches along the South African coastline by providing improved tourism facilities and services, while the beach stewards themselves will receive accredited training in environmental education with the ultimate goal of developing them for further employment in the coastal tourism sector.
This exciting new three year coastal tourism and youth development project is being implemented by WESSA (the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) in partnership with the National Department of Tourism.
The beach stewards are being hosted by local coastal municipalities and will be easily recognisable to beach-goers in their project-branded apparel. They have completed their induction training and are looking forward to interacting with visitors to our Blue Flag beaches over the coming months.
Activities you can expect to see them rolling out at participating Blue Flag beaches include fun and interactive environmental education activities for school-going children; monitoring of beach activities; conducting of visitor surveys as well as other data gathering; providing updates on weather and general beach-conditions via Twitter; assisting lifeguards by helping to improve water safety at the beach; and helping beach managers to maintain the high Blue Flag standards relating to safety, environmental management, water quality and environmental education at their beaches.
For a list of all the beaches where the Tourism Blue Flag Beach Stewards will be active along our coastline from November onwards visit www.wessa.org.za/TBF