East London schools join protest to protect Wild Coast
Separate clips of pupils from Selborne Primary, Stirling and Clarendon were online showing schoolchildren making up the campaign slogan in the sand, in a quad and on a field.
As lawyers worked feverishly to draw up papers to launch an application in court to prevent Shell and its partners from blasting the Wild Coast with seismic sound from Wednesday, and for four months from there on, WhatsApp groups around SA kept a close eye on online marine tracking apps as the Amazon Warrior sailed past East London and Morgan Bay on its way to lay out its array of air guns.
There was frantic activity along the SA coastline as environmental aviation group Bateleurs prepared at least seven planes to film protests called across the entire coast on Sunday from 9am to midday.
On Monday, Grade 3 Selborne primary children were addressed at Nahoon Beach by coastal waterman and Jonginenge Eco-Adventure teacher Dean Knox on why it was vital to have the Wild Coast declared a World Heritage Site.
Selborne foundation phase head Lisa Calver said her pupils’ interest in climate and environment issues arose from lessons this term on natural disasters.
Calver said: “When the boys realised that the seismic survey would have an effect on the environment, they decided they needed to take action.
“As their curiosity about the environment grew, many boys voiced that they needed to do more. The school was concerned about this [need for action], but realised one of the lessons we needed to teach children is to advocate for themselves.
“Teachers considered their age but we feel the educational value of reinforcing the lesson of standing up for what you believe in should not be ignored.
“The school requested permission from parents and caregivers to allow the pupils to stage a silent protest at Nahoon Beach and to save the Wild Coast.”
Daron Mann speaks to Gary Koekemoer from the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa, which has called on the government to immediately halt all seismic exploration off the nation's coastline citing recent research that shows the incredible ecological devastation it could cause.
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