Environmental education and sustainability

Intaka Island, once a degraded wetlands area known as Sewe Pannetjies, has transformed into a thriving ecosystem and educational hub, thanks to the efforts of its developers and the support of organizations like the Century City Property Owners’ Association and CapeNature.

Before the development of Century City began in 1997, an Environmental Impact Assessment was commissioned, resulting in the retention of a 16ha portion of the site as a wetlands nature reserve, now known as Intaka Island.

Half of the site was preserved as seasonal pans, while the other 8ha was transformed into a manmade wetland, serving as a natural purification system for Century City’s waterways.

In 2006, CapeNature granted Intaka Island Voluntary Conservation Status, acknowledging its importance as a protected area. Additionally, Intaka Island received the Wetland Education and Skills Development award from The South African Wetland Society in 2020, further validating its impact in environmental education.

Central to Intaka Island’s success is its commitment to education. The establishment of the Intaka Island Environmental Trust paved the way for the construction of the Environmental Education Centre (Eco-Centre), funded through innovative partnerships with corporate businesses in Century City. The Eco-Centre serves as a hub for educational programs, welcoming approximately 33,000 visitors annually.

The Eco-Centre offers a range of educational programs tailored to various age groups and curriculums, focusing on sustainability and environmental conservation. Exhibits within the Eco-Centre showcase sustainable practices, including greywater systems, rainwater harvesting tanks, and aquaponics systems.

In 2023, Intaka Island launched the Rangers on the Road campaign, aiming to make environmental education more accessible to schools from disadvantaged areas. Through partnerships with corporates and the private sector, Intaka Island seeks to expand its educational outreach and promote sustainable practices in communities beyond Century City.

The success of Intaka Island extends beyond environmental education; it’s also a testament to job creation and skills development. The Eco-Centre employs a team of dedicated staff who have undergone extensive training to run educational programs and activities, empowering them to make a positive impact in their communities.

The Intaka Island Environmental Trust plays a vital role in uplifting communities through education and social development while ensuring the protection of the environment remains a top priority.

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