Studies: 1996. Univ. of Stellenbosch (Masters in Env. Sciences).

Work experience:10 year as environmental researcher in Biodiversity Research Group with CSIR, in the fields of biodiversity research, conservation planning and environmental management. Then joined conservation NGO, WWF-SA as Biodiversity and Wine Initiative Coordinator, a conservation partnership with the wine industry for 5 years, moving to Senior Programme Manager of WWF’s Sustainable Agriculture Programme, 2011-present


The agriculture sector is often overlooked in terms of the strategic role it plays in our country. Now is the time to celebrate and support the role of the farmer in South Africa. Our farmers are the key custodians of our natural systems and freshwater resources, as 80% of South Africa’s land surface in situated in our rural farmlands. In addition to this an estimated 50% of all our water produced in the less than 8% of this land surface situated in the headwaters of our catchments. These areas are home to our biodiversity and ecosystems and the many free services they provide us, including the foundation of soil and water resources that are the very source of our food. The challenges of feeding South Africa’s growing population in a climate-altered, resource-constrained future are significant. Yet, we do not have to be victims of an inevitable crisis. This presentation will focuses on the increasingly constrained natural resource base and challenges and opportunities posed by a rapidly changing climate, including the current state and future of our natural resource base – the soil, land, biodiversity, water and energy sources – the foundation to a productive agricultural sector.

Paul Barker

PAUL BARKER received his foundation in farming and love for quality food from Weston Agricultural College in Kzn, which become a passion of Regenerative Agroecology. Paul is a social development worker with extensive experience in community market gardening and helping people grow.



CONSTANSIA MUSVOTO is researcher in the Natural Resources and the Environment Unit of the CSIR. Her research focuses on the sustainable management of the interface between agricultural systems and the natural environment. She currently leads a programme which is assessing prospects for crop-based agriculture to contribute to green economic growth in South Africa.


The world currently faces financial, social, and environmental problems (rooted in sustainable development), including crises relating to food, water and energy security. South Africa also faces these general problems, and specific issues, including chronic high unemployment, poverty and inequality; and is also grappling with environmental degradation and climate change. However, these challenges can also be perceived as presenting opportunities for change. The concept of a green economy has emerged as a way of conceptualising the potential opportunities that arise from these challenges. A green economy results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing risks to the environment. It is based on principles which integrate social, economic and environmental considerations. South Africa has adopted the principle of green economic growth, and agriculture has been identified as one of the sectors that will drive the green economy. In addition, the green economy strategies of Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Gauteng Provinces and the City of Tshwane all list agriculture/food production as one of the drivers of a green economy. Agriculture is well placed to contribute to a green economy, but there are challenges related to resource availability, environmental impacts of agriculture and climate change. Furthermore, the information base and policies required to support a green economy in general, and/or an agricultural green economy have not yet been developed, as the green economy is an emerging concept in South Africa as well as globally. For agriculture to support a green economy it has to be productive, contribute to economic growth and not undermine the environment, social and cultural systems. This requires the integration of complicated relationships between environmental, social and economic considerations. This presentation unpacks key issues for agriculture to contribute to a green economy and the defining aspects of an agricultural green economy.

Leo-4-medium180LEONIE JOUBERT is a science writer and journalist whose books include ScorchedBoiling Point and Invaded. Her latest book is The Hungry Season: Feeding Southern Africa’s Cities. She contributed to Max du Preez’ Opinion Pieces by South African Thought Leaders.

She was the 2007 Ruth First Fellow, was listed in the Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans You Must Take To Lunch (2008), and was named the 2009 SAB Environmental Journalist of the Year




Senior Agricultural Stewardship Officer & Project Manager SAB & WWF – SA

Assistant Manager (Consultant) – Parks & Reserves Smart Environmental – Thames New Zealand

Greater Gouritz Biodiversity Corridor Manager CapeNature

Conservation Manager – Swartberg Nature Reserve – CapeNature

Extension Officer – CapeNature

Manager Sanbona South (Wildlife Department) – Sanbona Wildlife Reserve (Western Cape


Better Barley Better Beer, in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature of South Africa (WWF-SA), is in its pilot phase in the dryland area of the Southern Cape and in the irrigated barley areas in the Northern Cape, and will run for approximately 2 years.

The programme involves a total of 26 Barley Producers– 15 in the dryland area and 11 in irrigation, who have either voluntarily opted to participate or hold important conservation assets on their properties.These assets include endangered veld, important water catchment areas and critical species .

Through structured engagement and advisory support,Better Barley Better Beer is aimed at empowering barley farmers to understand and implement sustainable farming practices.

Farmers with critical conservation assets will be supported in engaging on biodiversity stewardship to protect and restore ecosystems. The stewardship concept is a new way of achieving conservation protection by creating positive, proactive partnerships with private landowners and conservation bodies such as WWF-SA..


SHELLEY LIZZIO (nee Currin) manages the National Biodiversity and Business Network at the Endangered Wildlife Trust where she strives to mainstream biodiversity into businesses across various sectors in South Africa. Shelley previously worked at Anglo American where she facilitated the mainstreaming of biodiversity into the Group’s strategies and activities. Shelley completed her Masters in Zoology at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.


Business and biodiversity are inextricably linked. All businesses affect biodiversity and rely on the critical ecosystem services it provides. Business success is therefore inextricably linked to the sustainable use of biodiversity. Incontrovertible evidence exists, however, of a global decline in the state of biodiversity, increases in pressures on biodiversity and an increase in the rate of biodiversity loss. This poses significant risks and opportunities to business which need to be identified and managed appropriately if businesses are to continue to survive and thrive. In 2013 the Endangered Wildlife Trust spearheaded the development of the National Biodiversity and Business Network (NBBN) in partnership with the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and a number of businesses with the aim of facilitating the mainstreaming of biodiversity into business in South Africa. In this talk we will discuss the business case for biodiversity in the agricultural sector and the role that the NBBN can play in facilitating the mainstreaming of biodiversity into this sector thereby contributing to national food security.