In the past few months, the Springbok office of Conservation South Africa (CSA) has expanded, marked by the recent staff appointments of Reginald Christiaan, Amanda Bourne and Rufus Hein to CSA’s Namaqualand Green Economy Demonstration (NGED) Team.
Christiaan hails from the Namaqualand Coastal village of Soebatsfontein. At CSA Christiaan has been appointed as an intern and his work will involve doing research about the vulnerability of the Namakwa District to the impending impacts of climate change. He will also be responsible for the coordination and the installation of weather stations in the SKEPPIES (SKEP Partnering in your Environment) program. In addition to these tasks, Christiaan will investigate the relationship between communal lands and their vulnerability to climate change.
Christiaan is a qualified para-ecologist and was previously employed for six and a half years by BIOTA Southern Africa, where his work entailed dealing with such issues as vegetation ecology. He also completed an internship as a Curator Assistant at the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History in Pretoria where he worked with lower vertebrates. Scorpions are an interest of Christiaan, as he further enjoys studying their habitat requirements and identifying the different scorpion species.
Bourne, who has recently relocated from CSA’s Cape Town office to join the NGED Team, has been appointed as the Coordinator for Climate Change and Ecosystem-based Adaptation. She will be responsible for integrating climate change and ecosystem-based adaptation into the NGED projects and programmes, and will coordinate activities across these programmes. Her work will involve building and maintaining working relationships with research institutions, consultants, government, local NGOs, and local community groups. Bourne will also oversee the implementation of the expansion of the Biodiversity and Red Meat Initiative (BRI).
Bourne graduated with a Masters in Social Anthropology from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2007, in which her Masters research focused on local food systems and urban agriculture in the Cape Flats. She has also worked extensively on local food production and urban greening in both South Africa and the United Kingdom. It was in this context that her interest in climate change adaptation developed. Bourne has a particular interest in society’s relationship with the natural environment and on investigating ways to ensure that this is a mutually beneficial and sustainable relationship.
Prior to joining the NGED team, Bourne was the Project Officer at the Climate Action Partnership (CAP) and also worked at UCT and at the Water Research Commission, focusing on water and sanitation service delivery in informal settlements. Bourne volunteers extensively with SANParks and is a keen birder.
Hein is all the way from the Richtersveld and is the Extension Officer for the BRI. In this position, Hein will work closely with both private and communal farmers to implement the BRI Conservation Stewardship Program which is aimed at implementing sustainable farming practices in the biodiverse Kamiesberg Uplands.
Hein completed his high school career at Steinkopf High School, after which he obtained a certificate as an Adult Educator at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). He has had a rich and fulfilling career of close to 12 years at the AI/Ais Richtersveld National Park. At the park Hein gained valuable experience in roles such as a gatekeeper, a field ranger and at the Working for Water project. He has also worked at the Richtersveld Local Municipality as project coordinator.
During Hein’s time at the park he received training as Basic Field Ranger, Field Guide, Peer Educator and Environmental Management and Health and Safety Officer.
Reginald Christiaan, Amanda Bourne and Rufus Hein are contactable on 027 718 1565