MUT takes part in G20 Beach Clean-up organised by the Indian Consulate

Keeping the beaches spotless! Some the people that took part in the cleaning of the beach

On 21 May 2023, the University staff from the Faculty of Natural Sciences, together with the Indian Consulate General, and the USA Consulate General in Durban, and the eThekwini Municipality, took part in a G20 Beach Clean-up event at the Beachwood Mangrove Nature Reserve in Durban. The event was organised by the Indian Consulate General.

During the event, MUT scientist, Professor Akash Anandraj, Director of the Centre of Algal Biotechnology, and staff member at the Department of Nature Conservation at MUT, and former Lecturer in the department, Trevor Govender, shared their research on mangroves and marine microplastics. Professor Anandraj shed light on the detrimental effects of microplastics on marine life and human health, emphasizing the urgent need to protect the oceans from plastic pollution. Additionally, Professor Anandraj emphasized the vital role of the Mangosuthu University of Technology in training graduates in coastal and marine biology, thus fulfilling the mandate of coastal and marine protection.

Govender highlighted the significance of the oceans and coastlines, noting that oceans contain 90% of the world’s biomass, with microalgae serving as the primary producers of oxygen. Govender further stressed the importance of mangroves in climate change mitigation through effective CO2 sequestration.

Professor Anandraj said that during the event, the Consulate General of India, Dr Thelma John David, emphasized the theme of India’s G20 Presidency, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (One Earth, One Family, One Future). Dr David underscored the importance of adopting sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyles, highlighting the concept of Mission Life (Lifestyle for Environment). Similarly, the Consul General of the USA, Anne Linnee, highlighted how every action taken by humans impacts nature and the oceans. She emphasized the estimated value of the “Blue Economy” to be $3 trillion by 2030.

Professor Anandraj, said India, as the current G-20 presidency holder in 2023, “has placed particular emphasis on ocean protection due to the considerable number of livelihoods reliant on the blue economy.