Biodiversity Expo 2009
Once again the Biodiversity Expo 2009 at Kirstenbosch NBG was a great success! The Biodiversity Expo 2009 was perfectly timed with the end of the successful Concert season where we had environmental exhibitors presenting at each concert but also the International Earth Hour initiative by Worldwide Fund for Nature on Saturday 28 March 2009.
The exhibitors were phenomenal this year demonstrating the lessons learnt from the Expo 2008 and really beefing up their exhibits to make them more lively and engaging. We had a few new entrants this year in the form of the Greater Cedarberg biodiversity Corridor Project, the Nature Conservation Corporation, UWC, Biota SA and the University of Stellenbosch who were absolutely amazing.
We had a host of speakers ranging from Prof Brian Huntley speaking on "SANBI's Angola Expedition" in January 2009 to Dr Tony Rebelo speaking on "Fire, Frankenflora and Follies". Those attending were thoroughly amazed by the wealth of knowledge of the high-ranking speakers.
This year, the Kirstenbosch Branch of the Botanical Society sponsored R 20 000 to transport Grade 12 learners identified in the Kirstenbosch Environmental Education Programme resulting in the attendance of 25 schools each sending 20 learners (500 learners).
On Saturday evening the Expo 2009 hosted a VIP event, which was well attended and enjoyed by all. Mr. Saliem Fakir (Head of the WWF-SA Living Planet Unit and ex NBI Board Chairperson) and Mr. Tami Sokutu, SANBI Board Chairperson addressed a 58 person audience consisting of conservation officials and celebrities. At this event, all the Conservation heroes, who work in the background to conserve SA's natural beauty were recognised.
In 2010, we will be inviting celebrities once again to show their support for Biodiversity Conservation by attending a similar event especially since 2010 is not only the year of the World Cup, but also the International Year of Biodiversity.