Greg Martindale is a registered professional natural scientist with a MSc in conservation biology from the University of Witwatersrand and a Masters of Environmental Law degree from the University of Sydney, in Australia. He was the Biodiversity Stewardship Programme Manager at Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife from September 2011 to April 2015. He managed and coordinated the KZN Biodiversity Stewardship Programme, which involved Ezemvelo and a number of NGO partners, working with private and communal landowners. During his time at the programme, approximately 100,000 ha of land were declared as protected areas in terms of the Protected Areas Act. Greg also developed the format and norms and standards for all protected area management plans within Ezemvelo. Prior to working for Ezemvelo, he worked as a consultant, both as a sole proprietor and as a partner in a Johannesburg-based environmental consultancy. The projects he focussed on were primarily biodiversity conservation and natural resource management projects and included work for the SANBI Grasslands Programme, Department of Water Affairs, SANParks and WWF-SA, as well as a number of private corporate clients. Included in these projects was the development of a protected areas expansion strategy for Gauteng, the development of a wetland management strategy for the Upper Olifants River Catchment and the development of the management plan for the KwaMandlangampisi site in Mpumalanga, South Africa’s first proclaimed Protected Environment.
Prior to 2003 Greg was employed abroad, for two years as the conservation manager of Gunung Mulu National Park, Malaysia’s first Natural World Heritage Site, to implement the initial stages of the park’s management plan that he had prepared as a consultant in Sydney. Prior to that, in Australia, he was employed as a consultant and for a two-year period, he was employed at Homebush Bay, the site of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, where he focussed on the conservation of the park’s mangrove wetlands and the remediation of historic industrial pollution at the site.
Kevin McCann is an experienced environmental manager, holding a MSc degree in Zoology and Ecology from the University of Witwatersrand (completed 1993). He was Deputy Director with the Wildlands Conservation Trust between April 2011 and July 2016, coordinating their Conservation SPACE (Species, People And Conservation of the Environment) programme, focusing on the establishment of and support to community conservation areas within KwaZulu-Natal. He was responsible for supporting the management of 80,000 ha of community conservation areas, ensuring local community employment, training and capacity building, and the development of viable conservation orientated businesses for these communities. He was also responsible for Wildlands’ various species conservation programmes, including Rhino conservation interventions, Wild Dog conservation programmes in Zululand and the Bearded Vulture work in the Maloti-Drakensberg Park. He also managed the implementation of a number of grant funds (collectively to the value of R10 million per annum), including the CEPF funded Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Hotspot fund, the Capital Conservation Fund and the Wild Series funds, which provided grant funding to civil society organisations for conservation projects.
Prior to working for Wildlands Conservation Trust, Kevin was employed within Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife to establish the KZN Biodiversity Stewardship Programme. His role was to develop a structured Biodiversity Stewardship programme for the province, which resulted in the first Biodiversity Stewardship protected areas being proclaimed in 2009, three years after the initiation of the programme. Kevin’s passion in developing a viable Biodiversity Stewardship programme for KwaZulu-Natal emanated from his 12 years in working with private landowners while employed by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (July 1994 – March 2006), where his focus was in securing threatened species by working with private landowners. This led to his extensive experience in working with a variety of landowners, and dealing with the challenges of biodiversity conservation in production landscapes.
Chris Galliers has cumulatively been working in conservation for over a decade, with a tertiary qualification in the Natural Sciences. He was with WESSA (the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa), one of South Africa’s largest and oldest environmental NGOs, between 2008 and 2017, where he was a senior manager, overseeing the organisations Wildlife and Conservation Initiatives. Some of the work at WESSA included developing an Environmental Impact Assessment course and running thirty-four courses for over 1000 participants; developing the Biodiversity Strategy for WESSA; being part of the organising committee for the International Wildlife Management Congress (Durban ICC, 2012); representing WESSA on number of forums (Department of Environmental Affairs National Elephant Management and Research Steering Committee), Forestry Stewardship Councils standards generating group for South Africa and initiating the Greater uMngeni Biosphere Reserve Initiative (which, will be the first UNESCO MAB Biosphere Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal once registered). He also established and ran WESSAs Elephant Initiative and associated projects and is a trustee of the Elephant Specialist Advisory Group of South Africa. Prior to being at WESSA, Chris worked in a number of conservation and broader environmental positions, including managing a game ranch, involvement in large mammal game capture, lecturing game ranch management, eco-tourism, specific conservation project management and working on environmental governance issues and education.
Chris has been deeply involved in the prevention of rhino poaching since initiating the WESSA Rhino Initiative in 2010. This has involved assisting with the formalisation of landscape focused rhino programmes such as Project Rhino KZN and Game Reserves United, as well as rhino poaching awareness and education projects, media liaison, lobbying, fundraising, project development and implementation. He has also been host to the annual Rhino Conservation Awards which gives recognition to all who are tackling the current crisis on the continent. Chris is in his second term as the Chairman of the Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA) and is the elected Africa Representative for the International Ranger Federation (IRF) (since 2012). He has also recently become a director of the Thin Green Line Foundation (based in Australia), which is the Not-for-Profit fundraising arm of the International Ranger Federation. With the GRAA he has also been involved in managing and growing the organisation and developing and implementing projects.
Wentzel Coetzer is a registered professional natural scientist (Pr.Sci.Nat.) with a Doctorate degree (DTech) in Nature Conservation from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. He mainly conducted research in the discipline of Human Dimensions of Wildlife.
His research contributed significantly towards the formulation of strategies to improve the social acceptability of wildlife management practices (e.g., hunting) that are of key importance to the development of South Africa’s green economy.
In 2016, Wentzel received an international research award from the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation for his research contribution to wildlife conservation. Wentzel worked as a contract lecturer at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) from 2011 to 2015, during which he lectured 7 subjects relating to the discipline of Game Management. During this time, Wentzel was also involved in a number of wildlife management operations that were conducted by the Department of Agriculture and Game Management of NMMU (e.g., wildlife censusing, population management, veld management, etc.).
Furthermore, Wentzel was also previously the Reserve Manager of a 12 000 ha Private Game Reserve in Namibia (2006 – 2008) and of a 16 500 ha Private Game Reserve in Botswana (2015). Since November 2015, Wentzel has been working for Conservation Outcomes and he is currently the Biodiversity Stewardship Facilitator for the Greater Kromme Stewardship project in the Kouga and Koukamma area of the Eastern Cape.
Nelisa Mpama is holding a MSc degree in Environmental Science from Rhodes University (completed 2016). Her research focused on assessing the role of microorganisms in producing seedlings for restoring the Albany Thicket biome in the Eastern Cape Province.
During her MSc studies, she was involved in community engagement with the local communities in Grahamstown. Her duties were to assist the communities with seedling preparation and production. Since August 2017, she has been working for Conservation Outcomes as a Conservation Facilitator intern. Her duties are to, facilitate biodiversity conservation on private land and state-owned land with important biodiversity or critical ecological infrastructure. Nelisa is also working with conservation entities to improve and enhance biodiversity conservation and assist Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism Agency (ECPTA) in declaring new Protected Areas among the Kouga and Kou-Kamma region of the Eastern Cape.
Steve McKean is a registered professional natural scientist with an MSc in Ecology from the
University of the Witwatersrand. He has over 26 years’ experience as an ecologist specialising
mainly in sustainable resource use and natural resource management. He was the Vegetation
Ecologist for the Maloti Drakensberg World Heritage Site until the end of 2014 where he focussed on
developing and implementing appropriate monitoring and assessment programmes to track the
influence of various management actions on vegetation. Steve has a strong interest and expertise in
vegetation ecology, resource economics, water resource and catchment management, and in
developing and implementing market based mechanisms and incentives to address conservation
challenges. His passion is in developing and implementing incentive based solutions to conservation
challenges. He was one of the initiators of the KZN Biodiversity Stewardship Programme in 2005/6,
is an active member of the programme’s provincial steering committee and managed the
programme during 2011. Steve’s work has involved working with a large variety of people including
scientists, policy makers, conservation managers, farmers and communal land owners in developing
sustainable solutions to complex conservation issues. He has a wide network of professional
contacts and provides professional advice on sustainable resource use and management issues
locally, nationally and internationally.
Steve has focused more recently on developing and facilitating mechanisms for rural people to
benefit from sustainable natural resource management with a particular focus on land rehabilitation
for improved catchment management. This included identification, researching and implementation
of water and carbon related “Payment for Ecosystem Services” programmes. He was largely
responsible for drafting the funding proposal and securing significant funding from the Natural
Resource Management Programmes for land rehabilitation and management in the upper uThukela
area of the Drakensberg mountains. He has written over 58 scientific reports, policy documents,
papers, book chapters and articles and presented more than 38 papers at national and international
conferences on various aspects of sustainable natural resource use and management.
Cilla Pickering completed her studies at Rhodes University, where she finished with an Honours in Environmental Economics. She has over 7 years field experience in conservation research and GIS applications. Cilla was with Phinda Private Game Reserve between 2013 and 2017; where she managed the ecological research for the reserve. She facilitated research projects with universities
around the world and managed the day-to-day field research happening on the reserve, including
the database management and analysis. These data were used to optimise the conservation
management at Phinda; one of South Africa’s leading private game reserves in conservation
Prior to her work at Phinda, Cilla was with Wildlife ACT as one of the Priority Species Monitors.
Wildlife ACT provides valuable research resources to reserves and plays an important role in
conservation in the Zululand area. Her work with Wildlife ACT included the field monitoring of
various priority species (wild dog, cheetah, lion, elephant, black and white rhino), and, in conjunction
with Panthera, the implementation of leopard camera trap surveys.
Cilla is currently completing her Masters in Conservation Biology at the University of Witwatersrand.