SANBI is about to embark on an exciting opportunity to strengthen it’s legally mandated role in building capacity and addressing the issues of scarce skills and transformation in the biodiversity conservation sector. Due to SANBI’s successful application to the Government Jobs Fund during July 2011, SANBI will now manage the process of placing a maximum of 800 unemployed matriculants and graduates in biodiversity ‘placements’ for a period of two and a half years.
The submitted proposal entailed building human capacity, empowering young graduates and matriculants with biodiversity skills and expertise as a means to ensure their future employability. Project allocation of the Fund was based on an open, competitive process with the aim of operating as a catalyst for innovation and investment in activities which contribute to long-term employment creation.
The overall value of the project is R300 million which will be disbursed during a three year period under SANBI’s management.
SANBI will also assist in ensuring that the successful candidates are mentored, that they receive the requisite skills and gain experience to find permanent jobs in the biodiversity sector with confidence and competence. Preference will be given to candidates from rural communities.
Twenty-one partners from the public sector and from various NGOs have already committed to ‘hosting’ a number of these matriculants and graduates within their institutions and organizations. SANBI is anticipating that more public and private sector entities will express interest in participating in this exciting process. An initiation team has been formed to further refine the project. Subsequent to the initiation stage, SANBI will begin with recruitment and placement of the successful applicants.
“I would like to congratulate the team from SANBI and the Human Capital Development Programme” says SANBI CEO Dr Tanya Abrahamse. “I look forward to working with the team who will be taking this extremely exciting project forward”.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) defines the green economy as “one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.” With this injection into the sector, SANBI and participating partners from the public and private sector are well placed to create meaningful green jobs, stimulate the green economy and able to demonstrate that the wealth of the economy is built on biodiversity.