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at various schools in the Cape Town

area. I grew extensively through this

programme and made the most of the

learning opportunities I received in

different environmental sectors. I also

facilitated comprehensive awareness

and educational programmes at

various schools. These programmes

were comprised of shark conservation,

as well as marine and environmental


This experience, coupled with my

enthusiasm for education, landed me

with a permanent position with CTEET

as an Environmental Educator working

primarily with WESSA Eco-Schools.

The programmes have made a huge

impact on my life and I believe there

should be more training programmes

such as the WESSA DEA YES


Taryn Van Neel

The training, offered at numerous

skill levels, is tailored to the specific

needs of clients and is adapted to

different regions and ecosystems. The

training is often delivered in partnership

with a corporate, as a CSI initiative for

the benefit of both the environment

and indigenous species, and about

effective control methods. The

enforcement of the National

Environmental Management:

Biodiversity Act 2004 (NEMBA) in

October 2014 has seen our training

expand to include special NEMBA

information workshops, as well as

practical training on IAP compliance,

control and management. Every

South African landowner is now

required to take action to control

invasive alien plants (IAPs) on their

property, and to provide a list of IAPs

to the purchaser before selling.

This training is aimed at educating

consultants to assist landowners in

producing an IAP site audit.

The USAID story in southern Africa

For the past four years, we’ve successfully

implemented the USAID-funded

Stepping Up to Sustainability Project in

South Africa. This project is an

education-driven response to climate

change, grounded in alternative

livelihood practices and the

implementation of supporting

technologies with a reduced

environmental impact.

In 2015 the project extended to

include work in Zambia, Botswana,

Swaziland, Namibia, Lesotho and South

Africa. The project is addressing the

need to develop environmental skills in

the region and to strengthen education

and previously disadvantaged


Training methodologies take

cognisance of international best

practices and are aligned with the

training standards of the Department

of Water Affairs.

Since 2014 we’ve been the national

implementing agent for all of the

training within the DEA’s Natural

Resource Management Programme.

Our Ecosystem Services training is

also suitable for people who want to

learn more about identifying invasive

Level 5. These courses are specifically

aimed at empowering individuals

working in environmental education,

training or ‘green’ occupations.

All our training programmes

encourage people to address

environmental issues and risks by

developing the essential skills needed

for building a sustainable society.

Building capacity for ecosystem


Our Ecosystem Services unit works to

secure and restore South Africa’s

valuable ecosystems through the

delivery of courses and skills training

focusing on invasive alien plant

identification, control methods and

legislation for teams working on

ecosystem rehabilitation, and restoration

projects across the country.