Two Grade 6 students were interviewed this term by Lance du Plessis of Algoa FM, along with two other students from Stepping Stones. The topic was on Knysna being made one of the World’s Hope Spots. Oakhill and the greater Knysna community are very excited and proud that Knysna will officially be launched as an internationally recognised Hope Spot next week Saturday, 7 December.
Hope Spots as special conservation areas that are critical to the health of the ocean — Earth’s blue heart. Some of these Hope Spots are already formally protected, while others still need protection. About 12 % of the land around the world is now under some form of protection (as national parks, world heritage sites, monuments, etc.), while less than three percent of the ocean is protected in any way.
Knysna is one of first FIVE Hope Spots identified for South Africa. Dr Tony Ribbink, CEO of the Sustainable Seas Trust, the organization facilitating the roll-out of Hope Spots in South Africa, emphasized the fact that Knysna may well be the only international Hope Spot focused around an estuary. Quoting Dr Sylvia Earle, the architect of the Hope Spot initiative and founder of the Mission Blue organization, Dr Ribbink added that even a person in Johannesburg needs to realize that “with every breath you take you are connected to the ocean” and to realize that the “future is in our hands and that establishing a Hope Spot is an opportunity to harness the power of people in this sweet spot in time”.