A Primastar was handed over to the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) today, underscoring the automotive manufacturer’s commitment to skills development in nature conservation and environmental conservation. The nine-seater minibus, valued at over R300 000, will assist the EWT with its many projects supporting skills development and conservation field work.
HL Setlalentoa Secondary School is one of nine schools in Ga-Rankuwa where the EWT is actively promoting conservation and environmental careers. Much success has been achieved in instilling an environmental awareness culture in this school through cleaning campaigns, recycling initiatives, special environmental awareness days and the promotion of vegetable gardens and career guidance for aspiring conservationists is offered to inspire this career choice from an early age.
Nissan SA’s Director of Corporate and General Affairs, Wonga Mesatywa, said that the environment was a key pillar of the company’s corporate social responsibility programme. “As a leader in cleaner emissions technology we support initiatives that speak to our philosophy, encapsulated in the phrase ‘symbiosis of people, vehicles and nature’,” said Mesatywa. “We are proud to offer the low-emission, fuel efficient Nissan Primastar to assist the transport needs of an organisation that is devoted to preserving South Africa’s rich natural heritage.”
In accepting the vehicle, the EWT’s Chief Executive Officer Yolan Friedmann said the organisation was delighted to partner with Nissan SA. “We all have a duty to protect the environment and we are pleased to be associated with a company that is working so hard to reduce its environmental impact and carbon emissions.”
The eco-friendly Nissan Primastar will complement the work of the EWT, much of which is aimed at addressing the serious skills shortages within the environmental sector, and especially within the biodiversity conservation sub-sector – critical given the sector’s expansion and increasing complexity, with new focus areas – such as climate change and the emerging green economy – requiring additional and highly specialised skills.
The EWT is addressing gaps in specific skills – chief of which are research, leadership and management – by providing focused and skills-specific training and development and through national awareness and capacity building initiatives for learners in various schools, as well as for career conservationists in the work place.
Further enabling the EWT’s social equity progamme is that the organisation recently obtained full accreditation as a registered training service provider under the Sector Authority responsible for maintaining the standards for all Nature Conservation qualifications, namely the Tourism, Hospitality, Sport Education and Training Authority (THETA).