The Importance Of Advocacy In The Face Of Intensifying Climate Change And The Battle To Transition To Renewable Energy

Since February 2022, Wongeka Xatasi, a 2022 Green Connection Legacy Programme participant, started turning over a new leaf for Duncan Village in East London, by raising awareness about the importance of a united advocacy voice in the community’s fight for environmental and social justice. The public outcry regarding the oil and gas exploration seismic activities conducted by Shell in the Wild Coast as well as the Searcher court case launched to oppose these extractive activities. The activities highlight a severe lack of public participation in the planned oil and gas mining activities in these regions. Moreover, they are evidence of how important it is to consult the affected members of the public decision-making processes about the environment.

Wongeka Xatasi (left) raised awareness about advocating for social and environmental justice, in community meetings in Duncan Village

Xatasi says, “I want to ensure that people know about their environmental rights and how important this is for protecting their livelihoods and cultural heritage. To achieve this, I will raise awareness through locally based environmental summits and community dialogues, which highlight our right to a clean and safe environment.

“South Africa must make the transition to renewable energy now, if we have any hope of effectively addressing the intensifying climate crisis, which will likely affect women from impoverished communities the most. Coastal communities continue advocating for clean energy and oceans free from oil and gas exploration. The research proves that continuing to drill for oil and gas is in contradiction with reaching net-zero emissions by 2050,” she adds,

Xatasi applauds The Green Connection’s Legacy Programme for providing her with advocacy skills that have already been “useful and effective in educating communities about the environmental issues that affect them and for providing the tools to show how they can defend their rights.”

Community meeting held in Duncan Village

Written By: Lisa Makaula and Natasha Adonis

The Green Connection Legacy Programme equips the Green Connectors with advocacy skills to fight against environmental and socio-economic injustices through workshops and mentoring. 

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