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Thursday, 01 December 2016

SAIIA 2016 Young Researchers Symposium on Climate Change and Sustainable Development


An extraordinary group of high-school learners from across the country presented their research findings and recommendations on topics such as water scarcity, food security and natural disaster preparedness. These presentations drew connections between local problems, South African policies and international plans such as the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Follow the discussion on #SAIIAsymposium

Below are examples of some of the young experts who presented:   

  • High-school learners from Sobantu Secondary School in Pietermaritzburg (Mongezi Zondi, Thobeka Shange and Sinethemba Mncwabe) have done extensive research on the New England Landfill site and its effects on water and air quality in their area. They have linked their work to the sustainable development goals and have studied the Deonar Landfill Site in Mumbai, India for comparative research.
  • Learners from Randfontein High School (Temaswati Dlamini, Nkaynyezi Sikhakane  and Thapelo Malatse) have looked at acid mine drainage in their area and what could be learned from Queensland, Australia. This group are already working with their local government to address water quality.

SAIIA equips South African youth with an understanding of issues related to sustainable development, climate change and biodiversity so that they can propose their ideas for tackling the major challenges facing our world today. This programme supports teams of learners (Grade 10-12) to research case examples, and to consider what possible recommendations or solutions they would propose at a local and international level. This year’s participants started the programme in February, and have attended workshops, site visits and tutoring sessions. Each team has drafted a research paper and received feedback to improve on their work. Top papers from across the country were selected, and ten teams from five provinces were invited to come to Gauteng for the national research symposium.

For more information on SAIIA’s youth programmes click here

Event details:

Date: 1 December 2016
Venue: Maropeng Cradle of Humankind