In June 2017, devastating wildfires wreaked havoc on large areas of the Eden District along South Africa’s beautiful Garden Route, particularly near Knysna.
There were Gale force winds exceeding 90km/h, which made it incredibly difficult for firefighters to bring the blaze under control. Over 10 000 people had to be evacuated from their homes at night, some by boat. More than 28 fires were reported in the area on a single day.
The extremity of the fires was exacerbated by the uncontrolled spread of alien plant species in the area. The impact of these fires has been immense on a social and environmental level.
The general consensus is that, alongside immediate rebuilding efforts, long-term efforts need to be focussed on regeneration through introducing ecosystem services, removing alien vegetation, planting indigenous vegetation and catchment management.
Greenpop is bringing the Festival of Action to the Eden District as a way to launch their ongoing environmental work in the area. There are many local environmental and social initiatives starting up to protect against another disaster and Greenpop aims to contribute and be part of the solution, while also teaching skills and lessons that are relevant to everyone across the globe – sharing and learning in a place that highlights some of the challenges that our planet faces on a whole.
For the past 6 years, this festival has taken place in Livingstone, Zambia and for the first time in 2018, the Festival of Action is being hosted in the Eden District, South Africa. Over three weeks people from all over will join to plant trees, rehabilitate ecosystems, clear alien vegetation, build using eco-methods, set up recycling systems, paint eco murals, attend sustainability workshops, celebrate with live music and more. It’s an adventure for active citizens who want to change their world.
The festival programme will run over three weeks:
Saturday 23-30 June 2018 Schools Programme (13-19 Years Old)
Saturday 01-08 July 2018 Schools Programme (13-19 Years Old)
Saturday 08-15 July 2018 All Ages Programme
Expect to get active for the environment and have fun at the same time by joining any of these activities…
You can take part in urban greening activations at local Garden Route schools and community centres. There will be urban greening activations at approximately 10 schools or community centres to re-green areas in need.
You’ll get your hands dirty planting trees, turning soil, and digging. Many spaces in the area need regeneration. The aim is to plant between 5000 and 10 000 indigenous trees in areas needing regeneration.
There will be a much-needed activation to help stop the further spread of alien vegetation after more seeds germinated in the fires. There will be 3 days of intensive mass alien vegetation clearing in areas where it is growing back rapidly after the fire.
Help build at under-resourced sites from bottle-bricks to uplift spaces and spread awareness about waste management. The aim is to build 2 benches at under-resourced sites out of eco-bricks.
You can join these interactive, environmental mural painting projects at local schools or community centres. There will be 2 to 6 environmental art murals painted to brighten up spaces and spread valuable environmental messages.