Born in 1973 in Johannesburg, South Africa. As a young man, Werner was already active as an enthusiast of anything to do with nature and conservation. He enrolled for B.Sc. Hon. in Ecology in 1991 and every holiday volunteered in Kruger National Park. In 1996, he took a gap year and travelled through southern Africa whereafter he took up an assignment in 1998 with the newly created Peace Parks Foundation.
He served in various capacities at the Foundation before being appointed as Chief Executive Officer in 2008. The Foundation and its subsidiaries has 151 full time staff members and an annual average budget of $30 million whilst keeping the average annual running costs of the Foundation at below 14% of total budget for the past five years. He has been involved in the execution of more than 500 different development projects within Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs) throughout southern Africa and was part of the team responsible for facilitating the establishment of the Kgalagadi, Great Limpopo, /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld, Kavango-Zambezi and Malawi-Zambia transfrontier conservation areas, as well as development of the Greater Mapungubwe and Maloti-Drakensberg TFCAs. Collectively these areas span over one million square kilometers of conservation estate that arguably now have become the largest terrestrial conservation movement in the world.
Werner is a Board and Executive Committee Member of Peace Parks Foundation and also serves on the Boards of the SA College for Tourism, Southern African Wildlife College (both Peace Parks Foundation subsidiaries), Southern African Wildlife College Trust; and is a Member of the Steering Committees of the Limpopo National Park, the Maputo Special Reserve and the Zinave National Park. He also serves on two of the five Boards of Charitable Entities of Peace Parks Foundation, namely Germany and the USA. The other three being in Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Most recently he was appointed to the Board of the newly created Tourism Conservation Fund, which draws together the conservation and tourism sectors to invest in the communities living adjacent to South Africa’s national parks, private and community conservancies.