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environmental sustainability career development

DESTEA’s Commitment to Environmental Sustainability: Career Expo and Flagship Programs

The Department of Economic Small Business Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA) organized an Environment Career Expo on June 2, 2023, at the Willem Pretorius Nature Reserve to celebrate Environment Month. The expo aimed to educate learners about the opportunities available in the environmental sector and to encourage the pursuit of careers in this field. The theme for World Environment Day was #BeatPlasticPollution, which stressed the importance of reducing plastic pollution.

Plastic Pollution Statistics

Plastic pollution is a significant environmental challenge. Each person consumes an average of 50,000 micro-particles of plastic annually, and 21 million tons of plastic are dumped into water bodies every year, exacerbating greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts.

Career Expo

Approximately 400 Grade 9 learners across the province attended the Career Expo, where various stakeholders in the environmental sector exhibited their work. A Natural Science teacher from Kananelo Secondary School praised the initiative, stating that the expo was informative and would provide learners with more knowledge about the environment sector. He also emphasized the value of such expos for students who have yet to decide on their career paths.

Flagship Programs

DESTEA planned a series of flagship programs throughout June 2023 to mark Environment Month. These included Environment Stakeholder Engagement on June 13, DESTEA Environmental Week from June 19-23, and the Closing of Environment Month on June 30. These programs aimed to promote environmental sustainability and encourage public engagement.

Waste Management Ecosystem

In his 2023/24 Budget Vote speech, MEC Thabo Meeko committed R4 million to support small, medium, and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) participating in the Waste Economy. This initiative was carried out in collaboration with the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment through their Recycling Enterprise Support Programme (RESP). In the previous financial year, five Free State-based enterprises received R25 million worth of support from the RESP.

Promoting Environmental Sustainability

The Free State Province promotes environmental sustainability by focusing on key areas such as environmental quality and protection, environmental education and awareness, waste and air quality management, environmental impact assessments, and promoting the circular economy. These initiatives align with Section 24 of the South African Constitution, which promotes environmental rights and sustainable development.

Through the Career Expo and flagship programs, DESTEA is raising awareness about environmental issues, promoting sustainable development, and inspiring the next generation to #BeatPlasticPollution. The department’s commitment to environmental sustainability and waste management will contribute to a healthier planet and foster economic growth.

A Russian-Spanish journalist and Cape Town native, channels his lifelong passion for South Africa into captivating stories for his local blog. With a diverse background and 50 years of rich experiences, Serjio's unique voice resonates with readers seeking to explore Cape Town's vibrant culture. His love for the city shines through in every piece, making Serjio the go-to source for the latest in South African adventures.

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