96th WESSA AGM
96th WESSA AGM
The intentions of the WESSA Awards is to give appropriate, high-level recognition to individuals, corporates/organisations, community groups, educational groups, conservation or environmental groups who have achieved exceptional and sustained work of national significance for the benefit of environmental conservation and/or education in South Africa.
WESSA AWARD FOR INDIVIDUALS
This is awarded to an individual who is considered to have made an outstanding contribution to environmental conservation and/or education in South Africa over a sustained period of time and at a national or international level.
Awardee: Dr Dave Cooper
Presented in recognition of his outstanding contribution over 27 years to wildlife veterinary medicine and international conservation range expansion; in particular for his world-leading rhino capture, translocation and care across Africa. WESSA salutes Dave’s dedication and significant contributions to the International Black Rhino Range Expansion Project, and his training of new generations of conservationists and wildlife veterinarians.
Commendation: Mr John Wesson
Presented in recognition of his outstanding contributions to WESSA, the production of the African Wildlife magazine and the National Association of Conservancies and Stewardship, as well as for his passion and dedication towards advancing the conservation goals of the many other organisations that John supports and leads. WESSA salutes him for being a true Champion of the environment, dedicated to ‘Caring for the Earth’.
WESSA AWARD FOR YOUTH
Youth are increasingly taking on environmental issues and making them their life’s work. In the Youth Award category WESSA acknowledges a young person, under the age of 35 years, who has outstanding contribution to environmental conservation and/or education. Awardee: Ms Ashleigh Dore, Endangered Wildlife Trust Presented in recognition of her passion for conservation and outstanding contributions at the national level in environmental justice, law and governance, and environmental legal education and skills development. She is an inspiration to South African youth and WESSA is proud to associate ourselves with her as an environmental leader in restorative justice; and genuine commitment to protecting species and together ‘Caring for the Earth’.
Commendation: Mr Kulani Nyakane, Endangered Wildlife Trust
Presented in recognition of his outstanding contribution, passion and dedication towards carnivore conservation in Southern Africa. WESSA salutes his training of hundreds of rangers in responding to wildlife poisonings; and raising conservation awareness and responses amongst communities experiencing human-carnivore conflict.
WESSA AWARD FOR CORPORATES
This award is made to corporations or institutions for outstanding contributions to environmental conservation and/or education in South Africa over a sustained period of time and at a national level. It was not awarded in 2022.
WESSA AWARD FOR GROUPS
This award is made to any group of volunteers (e.g. community, educational, environmental) who have done outstanding work for the benefit of environmental conservation and/or education over a sustained period of time. Such contribution could be in their local area but should be of a national significance or be able to be replicated nationally.
Awardee: Black Girls Rising (accepted by their CEO Ms Xoli Fuyani)
Presented in recognition of their passion and dedication in inspiring and empowering young girl activists from marginalised communities, to be at the forefront of international youth climate activism. Black Girls Rising is an inspiration to South African youth and WESSA is proud to associate ourselves with this climate action group showing leadership in ‘Caring for the Earth’.
WESSA AWARD FOR TEACHER OF THE YEAR
This award celebrates the unique contribution of teachers that are a part of the Eco-Schools Programme and honours their commitment to improving the quality of environmental education in the South African school curriculum and enriching the lives of their students.
Awardee: Mrs Nirvana Munsamy, Hillgrove Primary School
Presented in recognition of her passion and dedication to environmental education at Hillgrove Primary School and in your community. WESSA acknowledges her commitment to education of youth around climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental sustainability.
WESSA LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The Lifetime Achievement Award honours a person who has made an outstanding contribution to environmental conservation and/or education in South Africa, over their lifetime and at a national or international level.
Awardee: Professor Robert J Scholes
Presented in recognition of his outstanding lifetime contributions to and distinguished scientific leadership in national and global ecological issues. This includes his international award-winning contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Intergovernmental Science- Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. WESSA salutes his achievements as one of the World’s preeminent environmental scientists that deepened our understanding for the need for ‘Caring for the Earth’. This was a posthumous award.
Awardee: Dr Roberta Griffiths
Presented in recognition of an outstanding lifetime contribution in making science and environmental concepts accessible, exciting and engaging for our youth. In particular, we acknowledge her incredible efforts over more than 36 years in producing the award-winning Enviro- Kids magazine. WESSA salutes her significant and long-lasting contribution to environmental education and ‘Caring for the Earth’. This was a posthumous award.
Commendation: Dr Jenny Gonn
Presented in recognition of her outstanding lifetime contribution to supporting WESSA in our Mission of “People Caring for the Earth”! WESSA commends the many years of voluntary service that Jenny have dedicated towards the WESSA Grahamstown/Makhanda Branch, the Eastern Cape Regional Committee and her highly appreciated contributions to the WESSA national membership structures.
WESSA GOLD AWARD
WESSA’s premier Award, The Gold Award honours a person, group or institution that has made an exceptional contribution to environmental conservation and/or education in South Africa, of significant impact over a sustained period of many years and at a national or international level.
Awardee: Mr Sinegugu Zukulu, Sustaining the Wild Coast
Presented in recognition of his outstanding lifetime contributions as a leader within the Amadiba community and founding director of Sustaining the Wild Coast; in drawing attention to the need to protect the Pondoland Wild Coast from destruction, and promoting development that is led by, and that will truly benefit the Amadiba people. WESSA salutes Sinegugu’s bold leadership and brave perseverance in the contestations of the proposed Xolobeni mine, the N2 Highway and the recent success against seismic testing off the Wild Coast. His admirable actions in ‘Caring for the Earth’ are deeply inspiring for environmental advocates for indigenous peoples’ rights.