1) WHAT ARE ENVIRO FACTS
The Enviro Facts have been developed in response to a growing
need amongst South Africans for information about their
environment. The Enviro Facts are 60 information, or fact, sheets
covering a range of environmental issues (see list on back page).
The fact sheets provide an overview, or orienting framework, for
each topic or issue. They aim to be concise, up-to-date, and
easy-to-understand, with a South African perspective. In
addition, ideas for individual or group action towards solving
a particular problem are suggested.
HOW ENVIRO FACTS ARE WRITTEN
The fact sheets have been developed in close collaboration with
environmental specialists throughout South Africa. Input from
educators, journalists and education resource developers, amongst
others, was made possible by an initial survey to identify
topics, followed by a series of workshops run across the country.
ENVIRO FACTS TO MOTIVATE AND SUPPORT
The Enviro Facts attempt to describe environmental issues in a
simple way. Careful attention is given to ensuring that the
information is accurate, and easy-to-understand, so as to
motivate, and support, action around environmental issues.
"Further Reading." The fact sheets are short, and you will
probably want to get more information on a particular topic. A
list of "Further Reading" will guide you to other resources
available in South Africa.
"Useful Contacts" provides addresses and telephone numbers of
organisations active in each field. Some may be able to send you
information brochures, or make specialist scientists available
for a brief discussion, others may refer you to a local branch
for assistance. Whereas many organisations are geared for
supporting the public on environmental issues, some are not, so
persevere until you find what, or who, you need.
"Topics for debate." Many environmental issues are contentious,
and people frequently disagree with one another. Differing
viewpoints, or contentious issues are often included in a fact
sheet as "Topics for Debate". Sometimes the best way to come to
grips with an environmental issue is through discussion and
debate, and the Enviro Facts aim to support this. You might find
that some fact sheets raise doubts and uncertainties, rather than
providing clear cut answers - this is because clear cut answers
are few and far between!
USING ENVIRO FACTS
A good way to start using Enviro Facts is to become familiar with
the fact sheets "Conservation" and "Sustainable development".
These provide a framework within which the issues raised in other
fact sheets can be better understood. Likewise, the fact sheets
"Environmental projects" and "Environmental auditing" provide
useful reference points to guide action in your local
People are using Enviro Facts in a variety of ways:
* They are useful for supporting pupils and students in project
work - the list of Enviro Facts topics alone, provides a wealth
of ideas for projects. The fact sheet "Environmental projects"
suggests guidelines for teachers on setting environmental
* Enviro Facts can form the basis for articles in newsletters,
magazines and newspapers, or for a speech you need to present.
* Parents, teachers and youth group leaders read fact sheets to
younger children, explaining tricky concepts or words as they go
* They can be used as part of a comprehension exercise.
* Enviro Facts are used together with other environmental
education resource materials, e.g. Enviro Picture Building,
(available from the Shell Education Service) Project
Water, and the Hands-On booklets (available from Share-Net,
Enviro Facts are copyright free - and are thus easily localised
by changing the material for your particular needs, for example,
you might want to simplify the information, or adapt it for
teaching literacy programmes. Some people use the information for
newspaper or magazine articles. Teachers may modify the fact
sheets to provide notes for their pupils. People in other African
countries are adapting the material to make it directly relevant
to their country by including local examples and contact
LET'S HEAR FROM YOU
During the development of the Enviro Facts, we have tried to
respond to the needs of South Africans - so let's hear from you.
Write and tell us how you are using the material, what aspects
of the project you have found most useful, or problematic. Ideas
for the "What you can do", "Further reading" and "Useful
contacts" are particulary valuable. Suggestions as to how the
project could be improved are always welcome.
Enviro Facts are available free from Pick 'n Pay stores, or are
also available from Share-Net (PO Box 394, Howick, 3290. Tel.
0332-303931) either as pamphlets or on disc, on a cost recovery
basis. Share-Net also supply a range of environmental education
resource materials, so it is worth asking for their catalogue
which details the latest prices.
The Enviro Facts Project is funded by the Southern African Nature
Foundation and Pick 'n Pay. Six conservation organisations
endorse the project, and have supported it in various ways:
Botanical Society, Wildlife Society of Southern Africa, Natal
Parks Board, National Parks Board, Endangered Wildlife Trust, and
the Oceanographic Research Institute.
The artwork is by Peter Stuart, and invaluable editorial support
is provided by Dr. Rowe-Rowe, both of Natal Parks Board.
Translation and typesetting is by Celia Mendelsohn. The project
steering committee comprises Jim Taylor (Wildlife Society), Rob
O'Donoghue (Natal Parks Board), Alex Craib (SA Nature Foundation)
and Ann Seba (Pick 'n Pay). Over one hundred people have given,
at no charge, specialist advice on the 60 topics covered.
Development and production of Enviro Facts is carried out by