How important is skills development around biodiversity conservation in the good anthropocene?
Greenmatter is an initiative aiming to drive transformation in graduate level skills for biodiversity conservation in South Africa. In 2010, the South African government’s Economic Cluster convened the first Green Economy Summit, to map out a green growth pathway that creates jobs while reducing pollution and using South Africa’s natural resources wisely. There was growing recognition that economic growth cannot be at the expense of ecosystems, and so to deliver on policy imperatives, it was recognised that the country needs biodiversity skills and that historically, skills development in this area excluded the majority of the population. Consequently, the Biodiversity Human Capital Development Strategy (BHCDS) was born to support the development of a robust green economy. It has a strong focus on broad-based transformation in the sector through a shared network cause now referred to as GreenMatter. GreenMatter is the implementing programme and puts the BHCDS into action. Through developing graduate skills and leaders for biodiversity, the GreenMatter network of partners aspire towards unlocking the environmental, social and economic potential of South Africa. The project engages cross-sectorally, bringing together networks of organisations, institutions and agencies to implement solutions that address the challenges around developing relevant and quality biodiversity skills. For example, their Enviropreneurs section is a collaborative effort with Awethu and Green Talent to run a bootcamp for aspiring young innovators and their vision for a more sustainable planet.
The Greenmatter site has a lot of exciting projects and opportunities for getting involved through mentoring and the fellowship programme, so please check it out for more information.