Wilderness Foundation Africa
The vision for Wilderness Foundation Africa (WFA) was conceived in the wilderness area of Imfolozi in the late 1960’s by participants of Wilderness Leadership School trails.
Being moved by the transformative experience of a wilderness trail, they convinced Dr Ian Player to establish an organisation that would champion both the protection and creation of wilderness areas. An organisation was needed to create public awareness of the importance of wilderness and to advocate against ongoing threats to protected areas from issues such as de-proclamation and coal mining.
WFA was officially registered as a non-profit organisation in late 1972. Dr Andrew Muir took over the organisation from Ian Player in 2000. WFA has become a recognised African-based conservation organisation that protects and sustains landscapes through its agile and innovative approach to conservation, with the work receiving a Rolex Laureate award for enterprise in 2008. Whether it is landscape wilderness management, developing young leaders from disadvantaged communities, direct action anti-poaching, advocacy at a government level or the incubation of emerging non-profit organisations, Wilderness Foundation Africa focuses its sustainable fifty year experience on lasting impacts.
In 2015 WFA co-founded Wilderness Foundation Global (WFG), an international alliance of action-oriented, like-minded organisations who understand that wilderness areas have local meaning and global significance, with direct importance to human well-being and inspiration.
Todani Moyo (Chairperson)
Todani Moyo is the Chairman and CEO of Yokoyo Investments (Pty) Ltd. He is a professional accountant, with experience as an investment banker in the United States of America and was Chairman and CEO of Msinsi Holdings (Pty) Ltd in South Africa.
He sits on a number of Boards in South Africa, bringing expertise in corporate governance and enterprise risk management.
Dr Don Pinnock
Dr Don Pinnock is an investigative journalist, photographer and travel writer who, some time back, realised he knew little about the natural world. So he set out to discover it. This took him to five continents – including Antarctica – and resulted in six books on natural history and hundreds of articles. He has degrees in criminology, political science and African history. He is a former editor of Getaway travel magazine and is part of Daily Maverick’s Our Burning Planet team. Don was one of the primary drafters of the White Paper that became the Child Justice Act, a Trustee of the Chrysalis Academy for high-risk youths, a board member of the Wilderness Foundation, a consultant to the Conservation Action Trust and was the facilitator of the Western Cape Government’s gang strategy roadmap.
Prof Nicholas King
Nick is a researcher and consultant in futures thinking and strategic planning, working with governments, business, NGOs and local communities, and across planning sectors. His experience includes assessment of environment and development policy and management in numerous countries, and participation on both governmental and non-governmental delegations to MEA negotiations, including the UNFCCC and CBD. He was a Review Editor for the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, served as Co-Chair of the Science & Policy Advisory Panel for UNEP’s 6th Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-6) from 2015 – 2019, and served on the Science Advisory Board of UNEP’s Global Synthesis Report launched by the UN Secretary General in February 2021 under the title Making Peace with Nature. Nick has played lead roles in several global IPBES assessments, most recently as an invited expert in scoping the new Transformative Change Assessment, as well as a Review Editor for the Africa Regional Assessment.
Simpiwe Somdyala is the former CEO of the Old Mutual Masisizane Fund. He worked as capacity development manager at AMSCO BV, a project established by the United Nations Development Programme and the International Finance Corporation. He also worked as the Eastern Cape Development Corporation’s regional manager (ECDC) in its Mthatha office before being seconded by the ECDC to the Presidential Project Team, where he served as economic development co-ordinator and team leader from 1995 to 1999. He was Chairperson of Eastern Cape Parks Board between 2006 -2010.
Zanele Mbeki established the Women’s Development Banking – Microfinance programme in 1992, of which she was first a Director and is now Chairperson. She has emerged as a leading figure in pro-poor microfinance for rural women in South Africa. She chairs the WBD Trust Fund for SA Women’s Economic Empowerment and is a Trustee or Director of several national and international boards which promote social and economic development. She was First Lady of South Africa from June 1999 to September 2008.
Israel is the Founder & CEO of NPI Governance Consulting (a leading BEE Advisory & ISO9001 accredited company). He is passionate about the intentions behind Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (“BEE”), including the economic transformation of South Africa. Israel’s experience has focused on developing and executing strategies which would enable companies to better position themselves in the market, and develop partnerships with companies and organizations that want to implement “business-sense” transformational strategies. With a proven track record of transformation in a variety of industries, in April 2018, NPI Governance Consulting was nominated at the Top Empowerment Awards as the “Fastest Growth SME of the Year”. Israel is also the founder of NPI Capital Partners, a private equity fund manager which manages a R1 billion fund in partnership with RMB Corvest. Furthermore, Israel also served on the Boards of a variety of different organisations/ companies and provides management with strategic input on compliance, risk management and corporate governance. In March 2018, national Minister of Higher Education & Training, Naledi Pandor appointed Israel to the Board of the BankSETA. With over 10 years of relationship management experience within the Public sector in South Africa and aboard, Israel has worked at the United Nations Environmental Program, the Canadian High Commission Trade Office (as Trade Commissioner) in South Africa, the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (as B-BBEE Advisor) bring a wealth of knowledge around government operations and programmes.
Dr Andrew Muir
Andrew is one of South Africa’s most influential conservationists and social entrepreneurs, having run conservation and developmental NGOs for over 30 years. He is a specialist in the fields of protected area expansion and management; sustainable and eco-tourism; advocacy and environmental policy and youth and community development. He is a Rolex Award for Enterprise Laurette and a Fellow of the Schwab Foundation (World Economic Forum).
Matthew is a conservation project and protected area planning and management specialist with more than 30 years’ experience in both state and private owned protected areas across Southern Africa. He has been involved in the establishment and expansion of a number of prominent conservation areas in South Africa including the Namaqua National Park (Founding Park Manager), Baviaanskloof Mega-reserve, Plains of Camdeboo Private Reserve, Mountain Zebra/Camdeboo Corridor and the Tanqua/Cederberg Wilderness Corridor.
Pinky has dedicated more than 12 years of her working career to Social Entrepreneurship causes with her work focusing primarily on delivering successful and sustainable youth empowerment and development models and projects.