The WESSA Awards was presented at the organisation’s 92nd annual general meeting, which was hosted by WESSA’s Eastern Cape membership branch at Cape Recife near Port Elizabeth on Saturday, 15 September.

The WESSA Awards, which has been presented since 1974, aims to recognise and honour those who have made a significant contribution to the environmental conservation or environmental education sector in South Africa over the past year, in an exceptional and sustained manner.

The WESSA Individual Award was presented to Duncan Paul, the WESSA Group Award recipient was the Friends of Blaauwberg Conservancy Area and the WESSA Award for Corporates was awarded to eThekwini Municipality and Nampak Plc.

WESSA also played tribute to Mavuso Msimang, who was awarded the WESSA Gold Award for his contribution to the transformation of the environmental and conservation sector over the past 30 years.

Dikgang Atlegang, a grade 10 learner at Lebone II College of the Royal Bafokeng in Rustenburg, was awarded the WESSA Youth Award.

In addition to the Awards ceremony, the programme at the event was structured around the theme of Local Initiatives for the Environment. Dr Andrew Muir, chief executive officer of the Wilderness Foundation delivered the keynote address.

He spoke about the biodiversity characteristics of the Algoa Bay area and, in particular, noted that the Eastern Cape is the top region in the world for its biodiversity. The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality holds the accolade of being the only city in Africa with five biomes.

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