RU Environmental Award Winners 2009
Environmental Award winners 2009
Congratulations to the 2009 Environmental Award winners. They are Dan Wylie (individual category), Grounds and Gardens (section within division category), and Galela Amanzi (student society / residence category). Their efforts to implement environmentally sound practices and promote sustainability were honoured at a celebratory function on Friday 30 October, hosted by the RU Environmental Committee. The Vice Chancellor Dr Saleem Badat commended the winners after handing out framed certificates and unique and beautiful floating trophies - designed and created by sculptor Genevieve Chorn. Their names will also appear in the Rhodes University graduation booklet, and be placed on an Environmental Awards Honours Roll - to be housed in the new Environmental Centre. More about the winners:
Dr Saleem Badat congratulating Dr Dan Wylie
DAN WYLIE is a leading figure in the field of Literature and Ecology, which focuses on critically examining ecological concerns and the treatment of the natural world by literary authors. He founded the Literature and Ecology Colloquium, which has led to three Special Issues of journals devoted to the subject, and a book, Toxic Belonging? Identity and Ecology in Southern Africa. His most recent book is Elephant, in the London-based Reaktion Books’ well-known Animals series. For some years he has presented courses on environmental ideas through the Department of English, at all undergraduate levels. In addition, he has supervised and examined a number of theses with environmental and eco-critical dimensions. These substantive contributions have helped raised awareness and promote an ethos of environmental learning.
As a committee member of the Grahamstown Branch of the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa, Dan has played a significant role in promoting good environmental practices in the community, including recycling, awareness raising and supporting environmental projects.
Dan Wylie has a deep understanding of and empathy with the natural world and has worked in a cohesive manner towards promoting understanding of ecological concerns in literature. Through his interactions with peers and student learners, there can be little doubt that he is contributing to environmental sustainability for the common good.
GROUNDS AND GARDENS does all that it can to promote sound environmental practice at Rhodes University. The section plays a large role in implementing the University’s environmental policy, for example, through its emphasis on indigenous plants and on being “water wise”, promoting the use of energy-efficient and energy-saving devices, waste reduction, re-use and recycling – including the revolutionary use of biofuel to run its lawnmowers.
Its leadership is also actively involved in the Rhodes University Environmental Committee and on the Joint Physical Planning Committee. This helps promote environmental projects that link university, community and municipality.
Grounds and Gardens champions environmental best practice and sustainability in all capital development projects. The section oversees the Botanical Gardens on behalf of Rhodes University, as well as the Pedestrianisation and Campus Spatial Development Plans. In both of these projects it has embraced “environment” in the broadest possible way by integrating biophysical, social and economic dimensions in shaping the future of the University at a time when the University is being challenged with respect to pressure to grow student numbers and expand.
Grounds and Gardens has made ongoing efforts to see Rhodes University develop into a premier institution that is committed to environmental sustainability in the broadest sense. Their long-term commitment to promoting environmental sustainability for the common good has raised environmental awareness and helped foster an ethos of environmental learning.
GALELA AMANZI is a student-run project that was launched in 2007. Voted as the campus-wide community engagement project, they raise funds to set up rainwater tanks at key locations in the disadvantaged quarters of Grahamstown, including schools, community centres and clinics. The rainwater is used for drinking, food gardening and sanitation.
Galela Amanzi is dedicated to raising awareness of water issues and educating both the wealthy and disadvantaged community and students on the importance of water saving practices and clean and sustainable water supplies, to help create communities that are more healthy, stable and able to contribute to the local economy. By collaborating with groups such as the IWR, KCC, GRASS, Umthathi Project and Makana Municipality, they have created links between University, community and Municipality.
In 2009 alone, Galela Amanzi has installed six tanks at 3 different sites, including a children’s shelter, schools and a church community centre, and has secured funding for a further two tanks. They were shortlisted for the 2009 Bayer Young Environmental Envoy for South Africa. And they are in the process of negotiating with Shoprite Checkers to become one of their Corporate Social Investments. This will ensure that the project continues into 2010 and beyond.
Galela Amanzi - which is isiXhosa for “Pour the Water” - is to be congratulated on their sustained efforts to create access to clean water and promote a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
More info on the RU Environmental Awards.
Go to the Rhodes University ENVIRONMENT front page. Suggestions/Questions? Contact environment(at)ru.ac.za