By Linda Dyani
Albany Museum staff attended and presented papers at the South African Museums Association (SAMA) Conference (26th to 29th October in Durban). The Conference was hosted by SAMA KZN.
Ms Nozipho Madinda and Mr Phumlani Viwe Cimi presented papers entitled “Mobile museum educators and outreach officers as critical links for museum contributions in communities and vice versa and “Investigation of the species diversity, density, abundance and distribution of street trees in the Grahamstown area” respectively. The theme of the conference was “Museums for a sustainable society”. The event was attended by 350 delegates across the country.
The South African Museums Association says that museums can play a vital role in educating communities to create a sustainable ecological, economical and social environment.
The theme highlights the role of museums in raising public awareness about the need for a society that is less wasteful, more cooperative and that uses resources in a way that respects living systems.
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) President, Prof Dr. Hans-Martin Hinz says, ”Museums, as educators and cultural mediators, are adopting an increasingly vital role in contributing to the definition and implementation of sustainable development and practices. “Museums must be able to guarantee their role in safeguarding cultural heritage, given the increasing precariousness of ecosystems, the situation of political instability, and the associated natural and man-made challenges that may arise.
Museum work, through education and exhibitions, for example, should strive to create a sustainable society.
We must do everything we can to ensure that museums are part of the cultural driving force for the sustainable development of the world”