CLIMATE CHANGE: Dr Kumi Naidoo delivers the Julius Nyerere memorial lecture. Picture: RUSANA PHILANDER
Dr Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International, says that lifelong learning can help in finding solutions to climate change.
He made his remarks while delivering the Julius Nyerere memorial lecture at the University of the Western Cape.
Naidoo spoke to a packed auditorium, which was organised by the Centre for Life-long Learning.
Nyerere was affectionately known as Mwalimu which means teacher in Swahili.
He is described as someone who saw adult education as a way in which to inspire a desire for change and a means of advancing the collective good of society.
Naidoo, whose main message in his lecture was how to mobilise Africa for a sustainable future, said: “Julius Nyerere was a great believer in lifelong learning.
“The role of lifelong learning is also to unlearn a lot of things. Like proverbs that say that if you teach a man to fish, he will always have fish.
“But I contest this proverb. What if the man does not have access to a fishing rod or the water is not clean?”
Returning to the subject that is closest his heart – climate change – Naidoo said that South Africa needed to provide thinking from an African perspective to create sustainable solutions pertaining to climate change.
“We are running out of time to avert catastrophic climate change. I agree with the CIA and Pentagon when they said that the biggest threats are not terrorism, but climate change.
And the people who are going to be affected the most by climate change are poor and rural people.
“We need an education intervention to solve this problem. South Africa has a vibrant intellectual culture. And promoting learning throughout life will play an integral part in doing this,” Naidoo said.