Noordhoek places spotlight on climate strike

The Noordhoek community arranged themselves to spell CLIMATE STRIKE on Noordhoek beach.

An event, inspired by Greta Thunberg’s Global Climate Strike, was held on Noordhoek Beach by children and adults where it was filmed by a Danish TV crew and ended up on the Swedish teen activist’s Facebook page.

More than 300 people gathered for the event which was organised by Louis Liebenberg, co-founder and executive director of CyberTracker Conservation, a non-profit company, and associate of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University.

“The event exceeded my expectations,” Mr Liebenberg said.

Suzie J’Kul, of ToadNuts – a lobby group to save endangered Western leopard toads – helped organise the event and shot a YouTube video of it while Rob Mousley took photographs.

“If it causes people to think and to discuss climate change, it’ll have been worthwhile,” Mr Mousley said.

Mr Liebenberg thanked resident Andrea Marais-Potgieter for helping to get word of the event out on social media.

“To our surprise, a camera team from a TV broadcaster from Denmark arrived and televised our event live on Danish TV,” Mr Liebenberg said. “I was also very pleased to see our event posted onto Greta’s Facebook page. Just imagine – more than four million people participated worldwide, and our small group from Noordhoek and Kommetjie made it onto her page.

“I hope this will motivate our local community to get more involved in the next event. September 20 will probably become a yearly Global Climate Strike event, until we have solved the problems we face with climate change,” he said.

Ms J’kul, who has been fighting to protect the Western leopard toads for 15 years, said ToadNuts kids were raising funds for legal costs to protect the toads, which she said, were threatened with extinction in the Milkwood Park area where the City of Cape Town is planning to run a road through the wetlands.

She was referring to the Houmoed Extension phase 1 for which the City has submitted its final environmental impact assessment study without, Ms J’kul claimed, expert testimony from an amphibian specialist.

“Houmoed Extension is a local example of Greta’s campaign, where children are appealing and taking action to preserve their future environment and have their voices heard by our country’s leaders.”

She said it was time for even the alternatives to things causing immediate harm to be well researched before being implemented to pre-empt unforeseen disasters.

“For instance, even though we need new energy sources, I am hearing now that the wind farms are detrimental to birds like vultures and eagles,” she said.

For more information about ToadNuts visit: www.thenoordhoekhub.com/groups/toadnuts/ For more information on the world-wide conservation projects Mr Liebenberg leads, visit: www.cybertracker.org