Reveal the State of Cape Town's Environment to the World

African Carbon Trust and Two Oceans Aquarium want you to speak for the environment


The African Carbon Trust
(ACT) and the Two Oceans Aquarium announced the launch of the ‘State of Our Environment Competition’ on 3 September 2009. Members of the public are invited to submit photographs, videos, art or any other medium to highlight their personal experiences of environmental degradation and loss.

ACT Managing Director
, Nils Flaatten, said “The aim of this competition is to give ordinary citizens an opportunity to show how their environment is being threatened or destroyed. Every year the government brings out a very important State of the Environment Report that highlights the pressures being placed on our natural ecosystems, but most people don't get to see this report and are therefore unaware of how their livelihoods are being compromised.”

“Together with the Aquarium
, we decided to ask citizens to help compile a visual report of these pressures. We hope that this grassroots effort will improve awareness among people and send a message that they too can play a role in the protection of our natural heritage" Flaatten continued.

The competition seeks
to draw out incidences of environmental damage that often lie buried from public attention and make them available to the public by means of an exhibition which will be hosted in the Aquarium.

The point of the competition
is to get people to think about what they value about their environment, to have a platform from which to voice these concerns and to ultimately document the extent of the damage which human activities are having on the environment. The competition will create a hard-hitting, sensory impact, which will drive home the urgency of why we need to address environmental threats.

"For too long we have tended to think about the environment as being something 'out there' and that environmental issues are someone else's problem. We hope that this competition will make people realise that the environment is actually on their front doorstep and that it belongs to them," said Helen Lockhart, Communications and Sustainability Manager for the Aquarium. "The environment is integral to our survival - what we do to our environment, we do to ourselves".

Lockhart said, “Although the subject matter is of a serious nature we also hope to generate excitement among people, especially among school learners. These children are inheriting a degraded environment and we need to empower them so that they feel they can do something to make a difference".

The competition closes on 15 October 2009, and the winners will be announced at a prize evening and exhibition launch at the Two Oceans Aquarium in November.

Main prizes include a
luxury weekend for two at environmentally sustainable Spier Wine Estate, and a dive with the sharks in the Aquarium’s I&J Predator Exhibit. Other prizes feature sustainable products from ‘green’ companies – Hemporium, Wild cards from SANparks, The Green Shop, Backsberg Wines, Penguin Books, Kyoto Clothing, Enchantrix and others.

For more information about the prizes, rules and terms and conditions visit africancarbontrust.org or by email competition@africancarbontrust.org.

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