WESSA (the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) is a South African environmental organisation which aims to initiate and support high impact environmental and conservation projects to promote public participation in caring for the Earth. For 90 years we have proactively engaged with the challenges and opportunities presented by South Africa’s unique natural heritage and the social and economic systems that depend on it.
The environmental crisis that we face is directly the result of how humans live on this planet and this human centred crisis requires a human centred response. We believe that working towards meaningful and sustainable capacity building solutions together is the most effective and inclusive way of bringing about the social change required to enable individuals, communities and government to make more sustainable lifestyle and environmental management choices.
WESSA has become a leading implementer of environmental initiatives in southern Africa. These include the Eco‐Schools programme involving more than 500 000 learners across nine South African provinces; the Blue Flag programme which focuses on the environmental management of beaches and coastal waters; environmental education and training to address South Africa's skills shortage; the conservation of life-supporting biodiversity and water resources; climate change mitigation and adaptation; and the WESSA Rhino and Elephant initiatives.
We are also an integral part of the international environmental community. We have been entrusted with running two international Foundation for Environmental Education programmes in South Africa, we are a founder member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), we work with UNESCO towards strengthening their Global Action Programme for Sustainable Development, and we have also implemented the SADC Regional Environmental Education Project (SADC-REEP) in southern Africa for over 20 years. We are gratified to have earned significant international recognition for our efforts over the years.
Throughout our 90 year history we have been a motivating force behind many of South Africa's most significant environmental decisions. We proactively strive to shape environmental policy, and to ensure compliance by keeping a watchful eye on the South African environment through our extensive network of offices, members, branches and Friends Groups.
WESSA is a Section 21 company registered as an Incorporated Association not for gain.