World Environment Day on the 5th June 2008 was the launch of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) Go Green campaign, which aims to creatively and visibly communicate municipal initiatives that help to conserve the environment for tomorrow. These initiatives, projects and actions of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality are aimed at ensuring the effective and responsible use and management of our natural resources and to encourage thinking that promotes sustainable development.
The Go Green campaign also highlights choices and actions that the residents of Nelson Mandela Bay can take to ‘go green’ at home, at work and in everyday life.
Small changes can have huge impacts.
To help you understand the motivation for the Go Green campaign, here are a few basic explanations:
a) SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Development that takes into account the economic, social, and environmental aspects of the impacts is seen as sustainable because the current and future impacts are considered. If our environment is to benefit present and future generations, we must become more sustainable in our thinking.
b) CLIMATE CHANGE
A change in weather patterns over a period of 20 to 30 years, but also over thousands of years. Climate is not weather (weather is what the conditions are like on a daily basis).
c) GLOBAL WARMING
The gradual rise in the Earth’s temperature over the past 100 years, with a sharp increase since the start of industrialization. Global warming is more often used to refer to the warming of the earth’s atmosphere by certain gases (called ‘greenhouse gases’), and this warming effect has influenced global and local climate change.
d) THE ENVIRONMENT
Our environment can be the green plants, animals, air, water and even buildings around us. The right to a clean and healthy environment for all people is protected by law.
WHY GO GREEN?
Recently there has been an increase in events directly related to the availability of natural resources, such as energy shortages that resulted in load shedding, drastic changes in weather patterns and water shortages. Climate change will affect the long term sustainable development of Nelson Mandela Bay. Without addressing the issues of unsustainable resource depletion, we as a society are less able to cope with the consequences. The NMBM, citizens and civil society are recognizing the need to manage our natural resources more effectively and responsibly. In doing so, we can ensure positive effects on our health, quality of life and even the cost of living.
The NMBM were declared the overall winners in the metropolitan municipality category for 2009/2010 Greenest Municipality competition which is run by the Department of Environmental Affairs. The city has consistently competed in the Greenest Municipality Competition.
Awards and Significant Achievements:
- Mail & Guardian Greening the Future Award for the Environmental best practise in not-for-profit category in 2011 (for the All Hands on Waste Programme)
- Access to Electricity Award for High Mast LED Township Lighting in Walmer Location in 2014
- Eco-Logic Award for the Community Partnership Programme Category in 2015/2016 (shared with Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa.