The Big Biodiversity Challenge – The Western Cape Environmental Education Friends Launches Competition for Grade 6 – 9 Students to Protect Biodiversity.

The Big Biodiversity Challenge  

The Western Cape Environmental Education Friends (WCEEF), together with members CapeNature, SANBI, Nature Connect, SANParks and the Two Oceans Aquarium, is thrilled to announce a new competition for children in grades 6 – 9.

The Big Biodiversity Challenge launched officially on International Day for Biological Diversity, which falls on 22 May annually. The competition aligns with the annual theme for 2024, “Be Part of the Plan”, which highlights a call to action for all stakeholders to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by supporting the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, also referred to as the “The Biodiversity Plan”. The aim of the competition is to inspire and empower the next generation of environmental leaders to protect biodiversity.

The competition calls on students to submit projects that offer solutions to any of the many threats facing biodiversity. These solutions can take the form of a scientific project, creative arts project, or social project. The goal is to encourage critical thinking and creativity in addressing issues such as the unsustainable use of natural resources, habitat destruction, uncontrolled fires, and climate change, which all contribute to the decline of biodiversity.

“We believe that by engaging children at a young age, we can foster a love and appreciation for nature and inspire them to take action to protect it,” says Suanne Rampou from the Western Cape Education Department. “This competition is an opportunity for students to use their skills and creativity to come up with innovative solutions that can make a real impact in preserving biodiversity”.

The competition is open to all schools in the Western Cape and submissions can be made individually or in pairs. Participants will have the chance to win exciting prizes.

“As the implementing agent of the WCEEF, we are excited to join forces with a variety of this forum’s members including CapeNature, SANBI, Nature Connect, SANParks and the Two Oceans Aquarium, to launch this competition,” says, Khuthala Swanepoel, Chairperson for WCEEF and Manager for Sustainable Awareness & Education (Western Cape Government), “Together we can make a much bigger impact in protecting biodiversity and ensuring a sustainable future for our planet.”

All students in grade 6 – 9 are encouraged to participate, and it is recommended that teachers motivate their students to enter this competition and become part of the movement to protect biodiversity. For more information email

 ABOUT Western Cape Environmental Education Forum (WCEEF)

The WCEEF is a platform for environmental education practitioners in the Western Cape who share the vision of providing education and resources on a wide range of subjects relating to nature conservation, the protection of the environment and sustainable development practices. It is also responsible for the overall co-ordination and optimisation of the environmental education activities in the Western Cape. The platform advocates for, and is informed by, the United Nations Global Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) 2030 Roadmap & 2030 Agenda.

ABOUT Western Cape Government (WCG)

The WCG through the Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning (DEA&DP), aims to preserve the environment for current and future generations by preventing environmental harm. This is achieved by making informed decisions (based on South African environmental legislation) and understanding how other legislation impacts these decisions to enabling a Resilient, Sustainable, Quality and Inclusive Living Environment.


South African National Parks (SANParks) is the custodian of twenty-one national parks located in diverse vegetation types. Established in 1926, the park system spans seven of South Africa’s provinces, consists of over 4 million hectares (40,000 km2), and makes up approximately 67% of the land under formal conservation in the country. Through environmental education & awareness programmes, SANParks promotes environmental ethics whilst facilitating understanding and appreciation of the SANParks mandate.

ABOUT Nature Connect

Nature Connects mission is to support South Africa in achieving its sustainability goals by building an environmentally empowered citizenry. Through Nature Connects Crèche-to-Career Model, a variety of programmes have been initiated to serve this mission and to build resilience within our communities and natural areas. The Crèche-to-Career Model addresses both the social and environmental challenges and is built across three phases: Education, Training and Employment.


The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) contributes to South Africa’s sustainable development by facilitating access to biodiversity data, generating information and knowledge, building capacity, providing policy advice, as well as showcasing and conserving biodiversity in its national botanical and zoological gardens.

ABOUT Two Oceans Aquarium

The southern tip of the African continent is the meeting place of two mighty and bountiful oceans, the Indian and the Atlantic. The Two Oceans Aquarium, situated in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, is ideally positioned to showcase the incredible diversity of marine life found in these two oceans.

ABOUT CapeNature

CapeNature is a public institution mandated to promote and ensure biodiversity conservation within the Western Cape. The entity manages most of the mountain catchments and reserves that supply ecosystem services to the citizens of the Western Cape. This requires good scientific data, a sound understanding of fynbos ecology and commitment to the principles of integrated biodiversity management and planning. Most of this work is in remote areas out of the public eye but has a direct bearing on the quality of life of millions of people in the province.

Click here for more information: The Big Biodiversity Challenge- TC’s 


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