WHY we do what we do
We all depend on the earth’s ecosystems. They provide vital services such as water, clean air, food and shelter. Stable, robust ecosystems also help people to mitigate the impacts of natural disasters, and to adapt to the changes in our atmosphere brought on by climate change. People are placing an increasing demand on earth’s ecosystems as our numbers increase and we reach unprecedented levels of development at a global scale. When the tipping point is reached, people will no longer be able to depend on the support of these systems and disaster will loom.
Within this context South Africa is interestingly placed. It is a land of contrasts. Renowned internationally for its spectacular natural beauty and biodiversity, it is also renowned for having one of the highest number of citizens affected by HIV / AIDS, high levels of poverty, poor education standards and a disproportionally high per capita carbon footprint. The starkest contrast is represented by the significant difference in quality of life and basic services that characterize South Africa’s middle and upper class communities, versus those that characterize South Africa’s peri-urban, squatter and rural communities. On the positive side, South Africa is blessed with relatively intact ecosystems. Government, Corporate and Civil Society leadership have also recognized and acknowledged the looming threat of Climate Change and the importance of nurturing and restoring the health of our ecosystems, as a buffer to possible changes. They have also recognized the unique opportunity that this presents in the form of the ’Green Economy,’ and the associated ‘Green Jobs’ that can be stimulated through the process of harnessing the Green Economy opportunity.
As one of South Africa’s leading environmental organizations, the Wildlands Conservation Trust are committed to supporting the building of a Green Economy. We are striving to attain our vision of a “Sustainable Future for All”