Iala is an International Academy for Leadership through Adventure.
The academy is run as a one year course aimed at bridging the gap from high school to varsity. It is based in Stillbaai but the “classes” travel through South Africa. The outdoor adventure is aimed at developing leadership, transferring life-long skills and empowering the students with practical knowledge, and through the travel experiences, new values are instilled. The program is environmentally conscious.
This year a Leopard and predator awareness program was introduced as it has become more defined. Landmark Foundation brings to the gap year program the value of Leopard conservation and its critical place in the preservation of biodiversity.
We introduced the students to the environmental program by giving a broad overview on “THE STATE OF THE PLANET”, this talk brings global environmental issues home as it un-packs the most important threats that contribute to the destruction of our planet. These are:
Loss of biodiversity; Destruction of the environment; Climate change.
Population growth; Economic growth and Development; Energy; Waste.
WATER – SPECIES EXTINCTION
FOOD – ECOLOGICAL DEGRADATION OF THE PLANET
AIR QUALITY – Loss of Environmental Ecological Services
We arrived at a very remote farm on the Gouritz River called Oudewagensdrift, this farm has cattle and goats. The farmer Andre Britz has reported a zero stock loss for as long as he can remember. He makes use of Anatolian dogs and shepherds; this in itself is of great educational value to the learners.
Students were given a talk on Leopard population, habitat, movement, territorial boundaries, corridors, biodiversity etc. The three groups were given trap cameras and were sent off into the field to find a suitable placement for the camera.
6 cameras were placed and we will have the results shortly.
An old deactivated gin trap was found on the farm by the students and this was too a very interesting point for conversation.
We are happy with the outcomes and the student’s positive attitude toward the awareness program. We hope that in their journey through life that they are more conscious of the decisions they take and how those actions have direct consequence on our environment.
We would like to thank Andre Britz (GCBR) for involving LMF and connecting us to the program, and to iALA for their continuous commitment to the environment and our planet and for the opportunity to engage with these young adults and influence their decisions.
Landmark Foundation: Education Program
Please follow the link below to see the album:
IALA students visiting Oudewagensdrift near Vanwyksdorp
(Photo: Monica Vaccaro)