The Southern African Wildlife College Board of Directors is proud to announce the appointment of Fundisile Mketeni as the new chair taking over from Dr. Bartholomeu Soto from May 2019.
Mketeni, Chief Executive Officer of South African National Parks, holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Management with 30 years of experience in the field of Environmental Management and Biodiversity and Conservation. He brings a wealth of experience in the development and management of protected areas, tourism development and management, conservation of biodiversity and public sector management to the table.
In addition to Mketeni’s appointment, the Board welcomes Andrew Parker, Senior Director of Conservation for Africa at Conservation International, Shonisani Munzhedzi, Deputy Director General: Biodiversity and Conservation in the Department of Environmental Affairs in the Republic of South Africa and Christoph Weber, Head of Private Banking and Member of Executive Board, Deputy CEO Zürcher Kantonalbank (Zurich Cantonal Bank), and President / Founder of Friends of African Wildlife, Zürich.
The new incumbents are filling the four seats that became available following the untimely death of Ernest Mokganedi (Department of Environmental Affairs) and the resignations of Sefiso Keswa (Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife), Countess Sylvia Labia (Founder Trustee Southern African Wildlife College Trust), and Dr. Bartholomeu Soto, the outgoing Chairperson.
The new Board composition has been evaluated against competencies required to drive strategy and ensure good governance of the SAWC into the future, particularly given the SAWC’s new mission which talks to inclusive conservation, along with climate smart adaptation for our environment.
“There is no doubt that adequate and innovative training beyond boundaries is vital if protected areas are to be sustained. A high priority is placed on community-based natural resource management and biodiversity economy strategies to contribute to conservation, socio-economic and tourism development in the southern African sub-region,” said Mrs. Theresa Sowry CEO of the Southern African Wildlife College and member of the Board.
In addition to the four newly elected members, Peace Parks Foundation (PPF) and the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa (WWF-SA) will be filling the three seats available to them as founder members, as WWF-SA currently occupies two seats and a PPF seat may become vacant. A SADC representative also has a standing invitation to the SAWC’s Board meetings.
Thanking the outgoing Board members for their immense contribution to the growth and good governance of the College, Sowry noted that the new Board members have a solid foundation on which to build and are well positioned to help guide the College as it continues to play a pivotal role in equipping conservation managers throughout southern Africa and beyond, with the necessary skills to deal with key challenges facing conservation today.
“We would sincerely like to thank Dr Bartholomeu Soto, previous Director General of the National Administration of Conservation Areas (Administracao Nacional de Areas de Conservacao – ANAC) in Mozambique, for his significant contribution as Chairperson of the College Board, along with our other outgoing members,” said Sowry.
Dr. Soto was Director of the Board since the College’s inception in 1996 and conservation training and education have benefited immensely from his wealth of experience and historical knowledge.
“We are confident that, with the ongoing support of our Board of Directors, the College will continue to deliver on its mandate, to equip conservation managers and practitioners with the necessary knowledge and skills so that they can effectively apply this in the workplace. Over the years, the College has been able to expand its relevance and reach across borders, greatly impacting on the training of conservationists in Africa, which is further impacted by our applied learning approach. The College also plays a significant role in developing youth access to the sector as well as in assisting on the counter-poaching front by way of its well-established field ranger training unit which is further supported by the College’s aerial and K9 units,” she added.
The Board now comprises the four new members plus:
Mr W Myburgh Peace Parks Foundation (Tbc by TS)
Prof B Reilley Tshwane University of Technology
Mrs T Sowry Southern African Wildlife College
Dr G Raven World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa
Mrs LM Lynch Peace Parks Foundation
Mr S Abrahams World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa
Mr P Bewsher Peace Parks Foundation
Vacant World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa
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