The environmental and conservation industry came together this weekend to celebrate the outstanding work being done by individuals and groups in the sector.
The 2017 WESSA Awards proved to be exciting with the addition of a new category to recognise and honour individuals and groups making a significant contribution to the conservation and environmental education sector in South Africa.
In keeping with the organisation’s ongoing investment in developing an empowered and enthused youth sector, the new category was dedicated to the youth and the first ever winner of the Youth Category was Ayanda Lipheyane from Pietermaritzburg.
Lipheyane received the award for his actions as a key initiator responsible for the upscaling of community-based resource monitoring through the Enviro-Champs movement.
The WESSA Gold Medal was awarded to Dr Graham Avery from Cape Town for his extensive and ongoing contribution to WESSA for over 30 years, while the 2017 Group Award was presented to Friends of the Liesbeek in Cape Town for their progressive, community-managed local stream rehabilitation initiative.
Caring for the Earth
Individual Awards for 2017 were awarded to Jacques Tredoux from Kimberley in recognition of his progressive and sustained environmental action through his career in teaching and as headmaster at St. Patrick’s CBC, Kimberley in the Northern Cape.
“WESSA salutes his dedicated support for environmental education and the Eco-Schools programme. We commend him for creating awareness and action around environmental sustainability in schools and their surrounding communities and we acknowledge his Water Saving Project and his perseverance in ‘Caring for the Earth’,” the organisation said.
Sandy Camminga from Richards Bay also received an individual award (in absentia) in recognition of her tenacity and committed environmental lobbying as the founder of the Richards Bay Clean Air Association.
The three winners of the 2017 WESSA Corporate Award were Ford Wildlife Foundation, Eskom and Bridgestone South Africa.