Friends Groups & Affiliates
Benefits and principles of WESSA
Friends Groups and Affiliates WESSA Friends Groups and
Affiliates application form
Care for the Earth in your community
For 90 years WESSA has played a key role in the conservation of our country, helping to ensure sustainability for present and future generations through: environmental action; education programmes; and human capacity development to empower individuals and communities to make sustainable choices. Friends Groups and affiliate members make a valuable contribution to the work WESSA does in the areas of conservation and education as well as strengthening the environmental movement by networking and actively working in communities at a grass roots level.
About Friends Groups
Friends Groups encourage communities to become more involved with their local environment and take responsibility for its continued well-being. The Friends Groups concept is a WESSA initiative which began in the Western Cape in the early 1980s. In 1985, the ‘Friends of Nature Areas’ project was established with the objective of involving the public in safeguarding natural resources and working with the owners or managing authorities towards this end. At first, the scheme focussed only on nature reserves but later became a widely used model applied to any area that needed protection and support, including historical heritage sites.
Who are WESSA Friends?
Friends Groups affiliated to WESSA encourage public participation in caring for the Earth. They are volunteers who band together to conserve, rehabilitate or prevent inappropriate developments in natural or semi-natural areas or places of special interest. These areas can be large formalised nature areas or small informal pockets of terrestrial and/or aquatic environments in various states of conservation worthiness.
Why affiliate to WESSA?
WESSA has years of environmental experience and can help provide networking opportunities plus exposure through channels such as: newsletters; national publications; the WESSA website; Facebook pages and other social media channels. Affiliation allows an affiliated Friends Group or organisation to use WESSA’s name and logo on signboards, websites and other materials such as letterheads and brochures. This can help raise the profile and credentials of the group, which assists with fundraising efforts. A comprehensive Friends Groups Handbook is available to help in the setting up of new groups and provide guidance for existing ones.
Friends Groups receive e-mail newsflashes providing environmental updates and notification of events and activities. Individual Friends Group members are automatically considered to be WESSA supporters and can sign up with WESSA to personally receive free newsflashes about events and activities. They also qualify for a special reduced rate should they wish to become full WESSA Members.
If you would like to know how to set up a new Friends Group in your area please contact:
Marion Mengell, WESSA Friends Group Advisor
Tel/Fax 012 667 2183
Cell 083 455 1736
Affiliation to WESSA of independent environmental groups or organisations
Independent, environment-based, non-profit organisations with the same or similar aims as those of Friends Groups may become affiliate members of WESSA, thus strengthening the conservation movement. Groups caring for monuments, sites of historical, archaeological or cultural importance, and other similar, community-based initiatives may also apply to become affiliate members.
Affiliate Membership rates 1 April 2015 – 31 March 2016
The fee per annum is R 525.00. This includes WESSA membership plus: use of the WESSA Affiliate Member Logo; quarterly editions of Environment: People & Conservation in Africa and EnviroKids magazines; e-communications WESSA LIFE, the quarterly National Newsletter and activity newsflashes. See also ‘Benefits & Basic Principles of becoming a WESSA Friends Group or Affiliate’.
If you would like to apply to become a WESSA-affiliated Friends Group or WESSA-affiliated independent environmental group/organisation member please contact:
The WESSA Membership Office
Tel: 031 201 3126