We are one of South Africa's oldest and largest independent non-government environmental organisations and our many achievements over the years have been well documented:
The book "The Conservationists and the Killers”, first published in 1982, covers WESSA’s history for the period 1926 to 1980. A special "Diamond Jubilee” issue of WESSA’s then magazine, African Wildlife, was published in 1986. To mark WESSA’s 85th birthday in 2011, "A celebration of 85 years of Caring for the Earth", was compiled, and a new publication celebrating WESSA's 90th birthday was produced in September 2016.
Whilst we can trace our roots back to 1883, our organisation officially formed in 1926 as The Wildlife Protection Society of South Africa, when a group of passionate individuals got together to campaign for the creation a National Parks Board (now known as SANParks), to ensure the proclamation of the Kruger National Park, and to advocate the formation of other national parks in South Africa.
Over the years we have continued to play a strong role in shaping conservation practices throughout South Africa, proactively engaging with the challenges and opportunities presented by our country’s unique natural heritage and the social and economic systems that depend on it. Whilst our organisation has changed its name and its focus several times over the years, one very important aspect of WESSA’s mission that has remained unchanged throughout our history is articulated in our logo: “People Caring for the Earth”.
At 90, we are proud of our history. We are also excited about what we are achieving through our current projects and partnerships and – in spite of the significant challenges facing our environment – we look forward to the future and to all the opportunities it will present, in our ongoing quest to be champions of the environment.