By Saya Pierce-Jones for EWN
On Tuesday – World Water Day – Cape Town-based conservationists welcomed a court interdict against developers of Amazon’s planned new headquarters.
Back in 2015, more than 14 hectares of state-owned land in the Two Rivers Urban Park was sold to developers for a mere R12 million.
Despite protests from environmental and Khoi heritage groups, they were later given the green light and have since begun construction along the area’s river banks.
But last week, a ruling by Western Cape Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath brought construction to a holt.
International organisation Extinction Rebellion’s Jackie Tooke said they’re now wondering how much of the rivers can be still saved.
“I would look to other experts to comment on what restoration could be possible, but I would hope that we would all work towards that because the wetlands, we’ve come to understand, are not just pretty. They offer so much to us as humans from buffering against flooding, the multitude of ecosystems and animals that we as humans need.”
Sand and cement have been used to fill parts of the embankment.
In the face of climate change, 15-year-old John Esau, a youth leader for the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute, wants the developers held responsible for biodiversity his generation will no longer be able to inherit.
“I find it important to look back at what we have either gained or lost. I feel that it’s important for us to try and remember all the great things that we used to have. Because through the loss of this area, it’s painful to just look at that and what they have done and the destruction they have caused. Global warming isn’t a natural cause, that’s humans,” said Esau.