Eco-Warriors – campaigning for a better world

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Sodastream logoFrom elephants to turtles, carbon footprinting to climate change and marine conservation, these Eco-Warriors have one thing in common –  their actions have ‘defended, protected or prevented damage to the Earth’s life forms, eco-systems, or natural resources’

ECO-WARRIOR AWARD SPONSORED BY SODASTREAM

 

 

 

 

Imagine a world where pollution reduction equals profit. This is the world that Dr Marco Lotz specializes in.

Dr Marco Lotz

Dr Marco Lotz is a peer-reviewed international author and researcher, specialising in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction quantification and profit driven pollution reduction initiatives.  

As Nedbank’s Sustainability Carbon Specialist Marco drives the company’s greenhouse gas and water reduction targets. He also has a strong external focus as he assists the client base with their own sustainability journey. As a qualified engineer, Marco also works on innovative designs for real world solutions in this capacity.

Marco co-authored the free e-book, The Carbon Footprinting Guide, which was downloaded 53 000 times within the first six months after it was launched. This Guide is used as textbook at the University of Pretoria and at the University of Stellenbosch.

He assists postgraduate students to become fully-fledged sustainability practitioners, is frequently quoted in the media as a thought leader and is a popular public speaker.  

Marco has received several awards for his work, including the South African National Energy Association’s (SANEA) Education Award in 2014, the South African Energy Efficiency Convention (SAEEC) Energy Patron of the Year Award and the Nedbank Top Achiever award in 2015.

Carbon Footprinting Guide

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Dr Marco Lotz specialises in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction quantification and profit driven pollution reduction initiatives.

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He is frequently quoted in the media as a thought leader and is a popular public speaker.

 

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“Is your investment manager putting your pension money in a dying technology – fossil fuels? Divest now.”

David le Page

Fossil Free SA

In November 2013, David Le Page, together with students and staff at UCT, launched Africa’s Fossil Free SA, the country’s first fossil fuel divestment campaign. This initiative, inspired by the international movement led by 350.org, encourages the University of Cape Town (UCT) and other organisations to divest their funds held in fossil fuel companies, and to instead use these funds to accelerate the renewable energy revolution.

David has constructively engaged with UCT administrators and built an on-campus student and staff community around divestment. As a result, the Vice-Chancellor has invited him to sit on a task team that is developing an ethical investment policy for the university, and which may include divestment/reinvestment.

David has, with support from others, also undertaken a country-wide road show to expand the FFSA campaign, resulting in wide media coverage and catalysing other campaigns. He has encouraged other universities and organisations to divest and has met with financial institutions to encourage the development of ethical investment funds. Fossil Free SA’s campaigns have been endorsed by Archbishop Tutu, Pregs Govender, Ronnie Kasrils and others.

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The Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs today concluded a two-day public hearings process on climate change. The Committee received more than 30 submissions from interested parties and stakeholders on South Africa’s position. The majority of submissions also recognised that the best way to decrease greenhouse gas emissions in South Africa was by stopping dependence of the country’s energy generation on coal resources. There was also a unanimous call for the country to move away from fossil fuel as a source of energy to renewables. Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs, Mr Jackson Mthembu said, “We are confident that the report that will be produced will form an important part of our parliamentary debate on climate change”.

David addresses the Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs during a two-day public hearings process on climate change.

 

Addressing students at UCT

Addressing students at UCT

 

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Despite limited funds, David campaigns for a Fossil Free South Africa

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“Our team collaborates with rural society; that wildlife provides an opportunity to earn a living by being part of conservation.”

Digs Pascoe

Space for Elephants Foundation

Digs’ passion for the environment was sparked when, aged 9, he sat transfixed around a campfire listening to African tales of how the minutest creatures all had a role in our survival.

“My working for mines in Zambia opened my eyes to their brutal environmental destruction and encouraged me to actively protect nature,” he says.

When he discovered the world’s biggest Emerald Mine, he used its income to invest in nature and conserve wildlife. He went on to work in partnership with well-known conservationists to establish conservation forums, including the SA Council, Conservation and Anti-Pollution with Tim Condon, the Luano Valley Community Conservancy in the Zambezi Valley,  and he is Chairman of the Southern Zululand Ezemvelo Honorary Officers. Digs also assisted his sister, legendary Namibian conservationist Blythe Loutit, with Save the Rhino Trust Namibia to save desert-dwelling black rhino.

His Space for Elephants Foundation seeks to obviate the need to cull the African Elephant through the creation of biodiversity corridors and linkages in accordance with IUCN.

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Digs with rhino

Digs in the field with an immobilised rhino

Digs in Landy

The Space for Elephants Foundation seeks to obviate the need to cull the African Elephant through the creation of biodiversity corridors and linkages in accordance with IUCN.

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Kevin Cole takes up the challenge to ensure that the priceless green areas in and around East London are protected.

Kevin Cole

Nahoon Point Nature Reserve

Kevin is the visionary and a founder member of the Nahoon Point Nature Reserve (East London). He has dedicated hundreds of voluntary hours over the past decade to the proclamation, environmental management and coastal education outputs of this reserve. Included was the collation of resources to build the Mercedes-Benz Coastal Education and Visitor Centre and the training of coastal rangers two of whom are presently permanently employed at the reserve.

He also initiated the establishment of the Beaconhurst School Nature Reserve and champions the protection of this and other reserves and open spaces in and around East London.

With a special focus on coastal conservation, he has given more than 250 talks and lectures on a wide variety of topics promoting biodiversity conservation.

Kevin is well-known as an eco-warrior in East London and continually takes up environmental concerns of the public by working with relevant environmental authorities.

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Kevin keeps an eye out for unusual coastal activities

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Kevin has given more than 250 lectures and is passionate about environmental education

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Kevin at the Nahoon Point Nature Reserve (East London)

MAP LOGO-saving our oceans

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From turtle butcher to turtle protector, Makotikoti Zikhali makes unique turtle sculptures in aid of marine conservation and education.

Makotikoti Zikhali

The Makotikoti Arts Project (The MAP)

From turtle butcher to turtle sculptor, this entry is all about sculptured art that gives life.

Sentenced to five years in jail in 2011 for killing an endangered loggerhead turtle in the iSimangaliso World Heritage Site,  58-year-old Makotikoti Zikhali now makes unique turtle sculptures in aid of marine conservation and environmental education.

Sales to date have topped R180,000 giving rise to an environmental journalism training programme convened by Roving Reporters in association with the Human Elephant Foundation, Wildlands and  the Wilderness Leadership School.

Makotikoti’s story has also inspired growing numbers of children to paint turtle motifs for sale in aid of environmental education at schools, including KwaHlomula Senior Primary in Kosi Bay. This is the school Makotikoti attended but abandoned at a young age to help his family survive through fishing.

This is just the start of an incredible story of rebirth and redemption, and renewed hope for a better future for people and for nature.

Facebook: Friends-of-the-Makotikoti-Art-Project

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Sentenced to five years imprisonment for killing a turtle, Makotikoti Zikhali now raises awareness about the need to conserve these animals

 

Mokotikoti holds one of the turtles he sculpts to raise awareness about marine conservation

Mokotikoti holds one of the turtles he sculpts

 

Helping us save the oceans

Makotikoti and MAP work with schools to raise awareness about oceans