Eco-Schools Limpopo Province Green-Flag Award Ceremony

Eco-Schools Limpopo Province Green-Flag Award Ceremony

Nakedi Maputla
AWF was once again invited to the WESSA/WWF Eco-Schools Limpopo Province Green Flag Award Ceremony held in Polokwane on Friday January 22nd. Just like last year it was a great honour for me to have been part of such a great event. This also means that I must have behaved very well to be given another opportunity to attend the ceremony. It is inspiring to see that there are so many people out there who take conservation to the little ones who would hopefully take the knowledge gained back to their families and who knows, perhaps they can grow up with respect for nature, which they will hopefully pass on to their children...fingers crossed!


Kids were performing poems that showed that they understood the importance of conservation and how people should play their part. Teachers brought their portfolio files and some of the posters that the students had made. Cathy Dzerefos, the Eco-Schools Limpopo Province Coordinator funded by De Beers was at her best form, beaming with pride and her eyes were twinkling with hope that all this work will not amount to nothing.


The Department of Education (Mr N. Kgophong), the Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (Mr P. Tsheola), the Department of Water Affairs and Environment (Ms M. Molapisane), the Polokwane Municipality (Mr W. Mathumba), Lapalala Wilderness Node (Mr L. Ngobeni) and Birdlife SA (Mr J. Peu) all contributed towards making the day a special one for their schools. Awards were given to schools that had successfully integrated environment into the curriculum and had undertaken an eco-action project. Most impressive were the five schools that have been with the programme for five years and tackled the five Eco-School themes of Resource use, Local and Global Issues, Nature and Biodiversity, Community and Heritage and Healthy Living. They were presented with the International Green Flag:
Chuchekani Primary
Mosesane Baloyi Primary
Rethu?it?we Primary
St Patrick Mathibela? Primary
White Family Home School
A year behind with four themes were the schools awarded Gold namely:
Kgomoshiakwena Primary
Leboho? Intermediate
Leganabatho Primary
Malenkwana Primary
Marken? Primary
Mashamba Presidential Primary
Matlou Memorial Primary
Mmbara Senior Primary
Mopane Intermediate
Motholo Lower Primary
Mpepule Primary
Nkidikitlana Primary
Phalaborwa Primary
Phulanibyihola Primary
Samson Shiviti Primary
Sekanekamoyi Primary
Seripe Primary
Titirheleni Primary
In addition 19 schools received the national Green flag for completing three themes in three years, 22 silver awards for two themes in two years and 28 bronze awards for one year and one theme.


This time Ms. Earth-SA was not there, so I sat next to Mr. Joe Peu of Birdlife South Africa; on the day that I left my leopard perfume. Representatives from the Limpopo Government were there and they delivered good speeches relating to the importance of environmental education in schools. Mr. Peu also gave a speech relating to the importance of green living and he was one of the dignitaries along with the government officials handing out awards to the best performing schools.


All in all, Eco-Schools is a wonderful initiative and I hope that it will keep on growing to involve all the schools in the province.

About the Author

Nakedi Maputla is African Wildlife Foundation’s Senior Conservation Scientist. He joined AWF in 2007, working in South Africa's Limpopo region, where he comes from. Nakedi's initial work was focused on studying the great African cats to shape conservation strategies to benefit communities that he has known all his life. In 2014, Nakedi moved on from the Limpopo region, becoming AWF’s Landscape Ecologist in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was based in Djolu up to 2016, when he returned to South Africa. Until late 2018, Nakedi served as AWF’s Senior Partnership Manager, Southern Africa, representing the organization in South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Botswana, and Namibia. He attained a Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology/Animal Biology from the University of Pretoria in 2014 and a Postgraduate Diploma in International Wildlife Conservation Practice from the University of Oxford in 2009. In addition to his BSc in Zoology/Botany, Nakedi also holds a Higher Diploma in Education and taught at a high school in Pretoria before joining AWF.