The Big Biodiversity Challenge

22 May 2024

The Western Cape Environmental Education Friends (WCEEF), together with members CapeNature, SANBI, Nature Connect, SANParks and the Two Oceans Aquarium, is thrilled to announce a new competition for children in grades 6 – 9.

The Big Biodiversity Challenge is launched today, on International Day for Biological Diversity, which falls on 22 May annually. The competition aligns with the annual theme for 2024, “Be Part of the Plan”. This theme highlights a call to action for all stakeholders to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity by supporting the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, also referred to as the “The Biodiversity Plan”.

According to Dr Ashley Naidoo, CEO of CapeNature, “The competition aims to inspire and empower the next generation of environmental leaders. We hope to learn from the enthusiasm and optimism of our youth. The competition will act as a platform for learning and also ignite a sense of responsibility towards their environment, both in their communities and the broader context.”

The competition calls on students to submit projects that offer solutions to any of the many threats facing biodiversity. These solutions can take the form of a scientific project, creative arts project, or social project. The goal is to encourage critical thinking and creativity in addressing issues such as the unsustainable use of natural resources, habitat destruction, uncontrolled fires, and climate change, which all contribute to the decline of biodiversity.

“We believe that by engaging children at a young age, we can foster a love and appreciation for nature and inspire them to take action to protect it,” says Suanne Rampou from the Western Cape Education Department. “This competition is an opportunity for students to use their skills and creativity to come up with innovative solutions that can make a real impact in preserving biodiversity.”

The competition is open to all schools in the Western Cape and submissions can be made individually or in pairs. Participants will have the chance to win exciting prizes.

“As the implementing agent of the WCEEF, we are excited to join forces with a variety of this forum’s members including CapeNature, SANBI, Nature Connect, SANParks and the Two Oceans Aquarium, to launch this competition,” says, Khuthala Swanepoel, Chairperson for WCEEF & Manager for Sustainable Awareness & Education (Western Cape Government), “Together we can make a much bigger impact in protecting biodiversity and ensuring a sustainable future for our planet.”

All students in grade 6 – 9 are encouraged to participate and it is recommended that teachers motivate their students to enter in this competition and become part of the movement to protect biodiversity. For more information email

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