On Friday 9 February 2018, the KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden (KZN NBG) hosted a biodiversity crimes fun run at the garden’s natural forest trails. The fun run was attended by more than 150 primary school learners from previously disadvantaged schools in Pietermaritzburg. The schools that attended the event were:
- Mbanjwa Primary School
- Fezokuhle primary school
- Nobanda Lower Primary school
- Bhekizizwe Primary School
- Inzuzwenhle Primary school
- Willowfountain combined school
The campaign was aimed at educating the learners about illegal wildlife and plant trade and how best to prevent it. Biodiversity crimes such as cycad poaching, illegal entry into reserves and illegal trade are being committed, and learners were made aware of the criminality of some of the activities that they may be involved in and their consequences.
The biodiversity crimes fun run focused on cycad poaching. Cycad specialist, Mrs Avis Nel, of the Midlands Cycad Centre gave a talk on the importance of conserving cycads, their worth and consequences one can face if found in illegal possession of a cycad.
After the talk, Mrs Nel took the school children on a tour around KZN NBG’s cycad themed garden, educating them on the different cycad species.
After the informative tour, the pupils took part in a fun run in the garden’s natural forest trail, complete with cycad conservation signage. After the run, the educational day was capped off with some refreshments thanks to our sponsors, Bluff Meat supply (PMB) and aquelle.