We are deeply grateful to be the 2022 recipient of the SANParks’ prestigious Kudu award for the Non-governmental Organisation Contribution to Conservation. This recognition, in the face of all the other organisations doing such brilliant work for conservation in this country, makes us so incredibly proud.

“This award is given to an organisation that has made significant contributions to conservation in South Africa, whether through the awarding of land, funds, human resources or any contributions in-kind or goodwill and practical assistance to active conservation projects / research bearing scale in mind”.

– Reynold Thakhuli, SANParks General Manager: Media, PR & Stakeholder Relations

Despite Nature Connect having previously won five other kudu awards between 2015 and 2019, not to mention two for staff on our projects for “Women in Conservation”, this award after a tough two years brought about by the pandemic was joyously celebrated – and illustrates our resilience as an organisation.

Our belief that the strongest way for us to conserve our environment is to reconnect people to it and, through this, empower them with the knowledge, understanding and confidence to speak up against environmental injustices. Furthermore, by creating multiple points of engagement and opening up of learning and employment opportunities we help our youth to build values based on healthy, clean and functioning ecological systems. Our approach is exemplified through this award that recognises our:

“…ongoing work in the field of conservation and most importantly in educating youth and communities to understand, nurture and appreciate the diversity within their communities”

As our CEO, Dr Anthony Roberts, states, “if we are to ensure a just transition we need to make sure that the societal and governmental changes required to protect our environment and reduce the impacts of climate change are known and felt by people across society”.

We cannot do this in isolation and if we are to succeed as a nation in driving change it can only be achieved through partnerships. Beyond the receipt of this wonderful award, we look forward to partnering with SANParks and working together to bring about this change.

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