“The internship was a highly structured and intense programme that aimed to bridge the gap between academia and the work environment. The mentorship element was central to ensuring a smooth transition into a professional position.”
Justin was born in the small town of Taung, situated in the North West Province of South Africa. He describes himself as a ‘born naturalist’. As a child he used to read the encyclopedia after school to learn more about plants, animals and landscapes. His eccentric, extroverted family encouraged him to turn his passion for natural science into a career. Justin currently works as a Programme Officer in the Land Programme at WWF-SA.
Justin completed his Bachelor of Technology degree in Nature Conservation at the Tshwane University of Technology in 2008. He recently attained his M-Tech degree in Nature Conservation. His research was mainly focused on the conservation of threatened plant species. This work has encouraged him to further understand innovative ways of securing important areas for biodiversity within rapidly developing landscapes.
Justin’s internship in the WWF-SA Land Programme concentrated on the expansion of protected areas. In particular he was involved in land acquisition for conservation through land purchase and biodiversity stewardship. The mentorship element of the internship was central to ensuring a smooth transition into his current position within the organisation. Justin’s advice for young people entering into the environmental sector is to find a niche that they feel excited about and to work patiently towards being the best person to fill that gap.
In his current position at WWF-SA, Justin is developing a new project within the Land Programme, linking protected area expansion work with the South African Land Reform programme, with the aim of supporting social development projects. Justin intends to develop a career in ensuring the effective management of conservation areas and also in promoting equity in resource governance.