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A City of Johannesburg Media Advisory

07 February 2019

Release: Immediate

This week, the City of Joburg is throwing its weight behind the Flufftail Festival, taking place on February 8 and 9, with plans to take hundreds of scholars to the Johannesburg Zoo to learn more about conservation.

The White-winged Flufftail bird is one of the rarest and most threatened wetland birds on the continent, with a fast dwindling population that is facing a significant risk of extinction.

The trip comes after World Wetlands Day, which is an important global environmental day that is celebrated on February 2 annually, and is heralded as an educational awareness vehicle in the conservation and restoration efforts of wetlands.

With temperatures soaring unbearably over the years, wetlands are being sucked dry, resulting in the unnatural evaporation of moisture and diminishing water levels which adversely affects birdlife, plants and the overall biodiversity found in wetlands. This has direct implications on the health, economy and social wellbeing of communities and residents.

Conservation of wetlands through intensified, interactive educational exhibitions programmes to mark World Wetlands Day is therefore critical in demonstrating the need to protect these vital ecosystems.

Therefore, the Flufftail festival is aimed at nurturing responsible green conscious children by educating them in using water sparingly. Grade 6 pupils from across Johannesburg will be hosted by the City as part of the programme.

Learners will be exploring and gaining much-needed information about the importance of wetlands, including hands-on water testing activities, interactive games and quizzes.

There are many ways in which residents, too, can play their part – like collecting rain water for gardens and avoiding contaminating or polluting grey water with chemicals, oil or litter.

Johannesburg boasts a number of wetlands around the City, attracting tourists and natural activities associated with wetlands. These marshy and lush wetlands not only bring a sense of calm to the hustle and bustle of Joburg, but add beauty and play a vital role in filtrating and sustaining, habitats and the environment to increase the rich diversity of the ecology within the City.

Wetlands play a significant role in urban areas as they reduce flooding by absorbing excessive water during stormy rainfall. They reduce the severity of droughts by regulating stream flows and provides shelter for many aquatic animals and birds.

The abundant vegetation found in wetlands, acts as a filter for domestic and industrial waste and this contributes to improving water quality.

“As we continue with efforts to combat the negative effects of climate change, we are mindful that it will only take a collective effort to preserve these precious water bodies. Residents are urged to refrain from dumping illegally, limit the use of plastic, repair equipment instead of disposing items and become part of the A Re Sebetseng campaign to keep our water bodies pollution-free,” stated the Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Community Development in the City of Joburg, Councillor Nonhlanhla Sifumba.

For media queries, please contact:

Noeleen Mattera
Stakeholder & PR / Media Relations - Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo
Call: 011 712 6600