Caption: Another stellar line-up of conferences, seminars and public lectures took place at this year’s Sustainability Week (17 to 19 June 2014), at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria. The Tshwane Green Outreach Programme was launched on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 as Councillor Kgosientso Ramokgopa (left), Executive Mayor of Tshwane, explained the city’s vision for 2055. Strategic Executive Director and Head of the Mayoral Sustainability Office, Dorah Nteo, (right) introduced TUKI, the programme’s mascot, at the Youth and Green Economy event held on Friday, 20 June 2014 at the Community Centre in Ga-Rankuwa.

The City of Tshwane was this year’s host city for Sustainability Week and on Tuesday, 17 June 2014, the city launched Tshwane’s Green Outreach Programme which forms part of the greater Tshwane Green Economy Strategic Framework. This hard hitting campaign is a two year awareness and educational programme aimed towards city residents. Councillor Ramokgopa introduced the city’s vision to be a low carbon, resource efficient and climate resilient city as well as the game-changing plans that are being put in place to realise this.

The City of Tshwane’s Green Economy Strategic Framework was approved by a Mayoral Committee in September 2013. The City Sustainability Unit realised the need for an awareness programme to communicate the framework to the community in a captivating way, so the Tshwane Green Outreach Programme was developed. The programme’s aim is to encourage residents to change their behaviours and lead sustainable lives. TUKI (short for ‘toekoms’, the Afrikaans word for future) was introduced as the official mascot for this awareness programme at the Mayoral Event and made a special surprise appearance at the Youth and Green Economy event at the end of the week.

“Green is the new gold”, said Dorah Nteo, Strategic Executive Director at the City of Tshwane, when introducing TUKI. “The flower that TUKI holds has different colour petals, each representing an aspect of our outreach and educational programme. The dark green petal stands for service delivery by the government to help make Tshwane a green city. The red petal represents communities; the light green, homes; the dark blue, business; the light blue, schools and the yellow represents ‘soul’ or individual actions that can be taken to help make the city of Tshwane sustainable. We aim to reach out to each petal to ensure that our city is well aware and equipped with the knowledge and information needed to make green decisions.”

The youth event welcomed speakers from the South African Weather Services, Green Talent, Green Peace and many others. Audience members were made aware of the causes and effects of global warming as well as what careers can now be pursued in green industries.

Speaking about the highlights of Sustainability Week, conference organiser and director at alive2green, Gordon Brown, comments, “This year’s Sustainability Week proved to be a wonderful platform for debate and sharing of new concepts and innovation. The calibre of speakers and exhibitors attested the high level of political will, expertise, technologies, products, and funding available for the advancement of the green economy in South Africa.”

For more information about the speakers at Sustainability Week please visit: http://sustainabilityweek.co.za/sustainability-week-2014-presentations/ or contact e-mail: info@alive2green.com  Tel: 021 447 4733