RCE KwaZulu Natal - 2023

Palmiet Enviro Champs
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Palmiet Enviro Champs
Submitting RCE: 
RCE KwaZulu Natal
Contributing organization(s) : 
GroundTruth (http://www.groundtruth.co.za), Duzi-Umngeni Conservation Trust, eThekwini Metropolitan Municipalit (https://www.durban.gov.za)
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Ayand Lepheana
Organizational Affiliation: 
Format of project: 
Date of submission:
Geographical & Education Information
Africa and Middle East
South Africa
KwaZulu Natal
Address of focal point institution for project: 
9a Quarry Rd
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
The Palmiet catchment of Durban is an iconic biophysical, commercial and human living space. In places, the Palmiet River, which is a large perennial stream, is highly degraded by so-called human development processes while at others it is surprisingly pristine. However, the Palmiet catchment is under severe pressure from various sources of impact. These include the accumulation of domestic waste, raw sewage spill discharge, industrial. There is severe infestation of alien vegetation alongside the river channel compromising the integrity of the ecological infrastructure.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The primary focusses the project is on building capacity of historically disadvantaged individuals) in the fields of water resource and environmental management, through skills training (life skills, vocational, basic communication and questionnaire development , basic plumping , training in alien plant removal, river monitoring skills, solid waste clearing and recycling plans, basic first aid and water safety). In addition, the aim is to connect stakeholders from a broad spectrum of groups within the region and nourish the developing relationship between stakeholders in this region, thereby encouraging a community of practice .
June, 2019
There is clearly a need for the following:
• Empowering water users to protect their water resources and participate in water resources management as captured in Key Focus Area, 9.5 of the DWAF Strategic Plan.

• Facilitating the involvement of patrons and sponsors (influential individuals) in stakeholder empowerment and resource management strategies.
• Developing and making available the necessary tools for training and empowering local implementing agents and other role-players.
• Ensuring optimum effectiveness, through involvement and linkages with other existing programmes and initiatives aimed at water resource protection and management.
• Promoting a volunteerism ethic in South Africa to benefit all levels of society.
• Trained and provided sustainable employment to at least fifteen members of the informal settlement communities.
• Enviro-Champs will be offered various accredited environmental training courses and nonaccredited courses.
• River tools will be workshopped, and tangible education and awareness materials such as river tool posters, and pamphlets will be disseminated to individuals during the World River lean up event, and also placed in active municipal halls, schools, and community meeting areas. Enviro-Champs, community members and stakeholders will be shown how to access the miniSASS database from their cellular phones, and input their data
• Door to Door Dialogue and Community Learning will be establish the way in which communities are willing to be involved.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
• Measure, Audit and Clean-Up of Illegal Dump Sites
• Potable Water Leaks (“War on Leaks”)
• War on Spill (Sewer infrastructure monitoring)
• Industrial effluent monitoring
• River health monitoring’
• Community engagement (environmental education)
• Trainings (accredited and non-accredited)
Size of academic audience: 
6000 people
Enviro-Champs have enrolled in the First Aid and Brush Cutter course. Enviro-Champs enrolled in the Herbicide Application Training. Some Enviro-Champs enrolled in the Domestic Plumbing Course. The Enviro-Champs attended 170 days of trainings.
These trainings are examples of green skills development, which build capacity of communities in plumbing industry, aquatic monitoring, waste management, alien invasive control and community education to empower them to take charge and build resilience in their natural environment.
A total of 5 750 home visits were recorded during door-to-door engagements and educational visits, where the Enviro-Champs shared the knowledge, they gained form accredited and non-accredited trainings.

Lessons learned: 
The Enviro-Champs listed the following lesson learnt:
• Support your team: Delegate tasks appropriately and enforce ...
• Communicate clearly: Check in often with the team and keep communication lines open.
• A powerful commitment to the common-good.
• Learning is key.
• Coping in the new-normal world of COVID 19.
• Indigenous knowledge practices and mobilising prior knowledge.
• Let team know when they have done something
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
RCE Lesotho
RCE eSwatini
RCE Makana
References and reference materials: 
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
I acknowledge the above: