Valli Moosa elected as chairperson of WWF South Africa board
Moosa, who has served on the board since late 2008, has a long-standing relationship with WWF-SA and replaces Mark Read as outgoing chair of the board. WWF South Africa CEO, Dr Morné du Plessis, said that “Valli Moosa has been a great champion of the environment in South Africa and has already greatly benefited WWF through his enthusiasm, strategic insight and intimate understanding of environmental issues. We look forward to drawing even deeper on his extensive experience in the years ahead.”
Valli Moosa is perhaps nationally best known for his spell as Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism between 1999 and 2004 and was also a member of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment as well as a member of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Global Environment Ministers Forum.
While at the helm of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Moosa implemented a series of key environmental initiatives, including:
- The implementation of much needed fisheries policies to prevent the collapse of abalone stocks and curb poaching;
- Launching of Africa’s first environmental court;
- Establishment of five new Marine Protected Areas
- Playing a key role in the establishment of the first transfrontier park in Southern Africa;
- Banning of 4 X 4 driving on our beaches and;
- Placing a tariff on plastic bags.
Globally, Moosa represented South Africa at various sessions of the UN Convention on Climate Change and was appointed as the global facilitator for the final negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol in Morocco in 2001. Between 2004 and 2008 he also served as president of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Immediately before he joined the board, WWF-SA awarded Moosa its Lonmin Conservation Award, in recognition of the invaluable contributions he made to conservation in South Africa. Since then, he has played a pivotal role within the organisation and was elected deputy-chair in 2009.
Moosa succeeds Mark Read, who has been with WWF-SA since 1995 when he was first appointed a Trustee. In 1999 he was elected on to the board and became chairperson of WWF-SA in August 2004. A year later he also took on the role of board director of WWF International.
“It is with great thanks and a degree of sadness that we bid farewell to Mark Read who has served WWF with great passion and dedication for several years. We deeply value Mark Read’s contribution and everyone knows that his heart beats warmly for WWF and our vision to inspire people to live in harmony with nature,” said Du Plessis. Mark Read also served on the International Board of WWF for a number of years.
Throughout his life, Read has been involved in several conservation-related activities in southern Africa and is the founding Trustee of the Rhino and Elephant Foundation, a co-founder of the Paleontological Science Trust (PAST) and a founding partner of the Great Plains Conservation Tourism Company. He is also the owner of the Everard Read Gallery and the associated Circa-on-Jellicoe.