World Wetlands Day celebrated

A two-day competition taught learners about the importance of wetlands.

11 February 2019 | Environment

Leandrea Louw - Walvis Bay Private High School was crowned the winner of the World Wetlands annual quiz competition at the coast.

This year’s theme was “Wetlands as a Natural Solution to Climate Change”. EYE-Namibia, in collaboration with Namport, Moonlight resort, the American corner, Walvis Bay municipality and Guans Packaging, hosted the competition.

Teams competed for the Keith Wearne Floating Trophy. Wearne was the chairperson of the Coastal Environmental Trust of Namibia (CETN) until his death in 2008. He was an environmental activist. Last year was the tenth anniversary of his death and the organisers of the competition decided to name the rotating trophy after him. He was the brainchild of the wetlands day competition in Walvis Bay.

Eleven schools participated in the quiz namely !Nara Primary School, Flamingo Primary School, Immanuel Ruiters Primary School, Tutaleni Primary School, Pro-Ed Academy, Walvis Bay Private High School, Walvis Bay Primary School, Alexander Private School, Riverside Private School, Kuisebmond Primary School and International School of Walvis Bay.

Learners had the opportunity to visit Namport and the Walvis Bay Salt Works as part of the competition this year. They also participated in a robotics competition, in which Riverside Private School (Cian Lindsay-Payne and Asser Isalla) received third place. Second place was awarded to Kuisebmond Primary School (Leckinat Mulundileni and Presliene Dausas) and the International School of Walvis Bay (Cesar Fernandes and Nelao Hangula) received first place.

During the wetlands quiz competition the learners were shown pictures and had to identify the different species of birds, and answer multiple questions on their trips to the salt works and Namport. During the third round learners received questions with descriptions and had to identify the different species of birds.

In the final round of the competition the team which responded the fastest,,by pressing a buzzer, and answered correctly received points.

The Walvis Bay Private High School team, Philip du Plessis and Anke Rudolph, walked away as the winners. Second place was awarded to !Nara Primary School (Alina Elifas and Leon Liyebelo) and third place was awarded to Walvis Bay Primary School (Stacey Damster and Danelle Welgemoed).

Worlds Wetlands Day is celebrated on 2 February worldwide and marks the adoption of the Ramsar Convention in Iran in 1971. The Walvis Bay Lagoon is one of five Ramsar sites in Namibia. According to the Global Wetland Outlook, wetlands are disappearing three times faster than forests.

“Losses have been driven by megatrends such as climate change, population increase, urbanisation, particularly of coastal zones and river deltas, and changing consumption patterns that have all fueled changes to land and water use and to agriculture. Wetlands are currently estimated to cover more than 12,1 million km², an area greater than Greenland. Between 13 to 8 per cent of them (2 300 sites) are on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance, which are protected sites.”

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