Caroline Mfopa | WWF South Africa

Caroline Mfopa



Posted on 25 August 2017
Caroline Mfopa has secured an internship with the Endangered Wildlife Trust through the WWF-SA Internship Programme.
© Zethu Sibiya
Having spent her young adult life charting her way through scientific and geographical data and research, WWF-SA intern Caroline Mfopa has begun mapping her own path as a GIS Technician.

This 25-year-old is qualified in Geography and Geographical Information Systems and has more recently secured an internship with the Endangered Wildlife Trust through the WWF-SA Internship Programme.

This could be the first phase of her long and prosperous career, and we had to find out more:

What inspired this path for you?
From a very young age I was interested in nature documentaries and National Geographic channels. I would ask myself countless questions like “who are we? Where do we come from? Has the earth always been like this?”

After matriculating I didn’t know what I wanted to study at university. I knew I wanted to become an environmentalist, but I didn’t enjoy fieldwork as much as I thought I would.

At the same time, I realised that the work that comes prior to field data collection, that is analysing and drawing conclusions using the computer aided software, was my strength. Since I discovered my strengths in GIS and data analytics, I have since flourished in every GIS related course I’ve enrolled in.

What will you take from your experience as a WWF intern?
To learn about the application of GIS in nature conservation and environmental impact assessments, most importantly GIS techniques applied to analyse and solve these issues. And, to become a seasoned professional, learn how to work with a variety of individuals from different study backgrounds and the ability to lend a hand in saving animal species.

Who do you most admire and why?
Nelson Mandela for his patience, wisdom and willingness to sacrifice for others.

What is the most important issue that you would like to be a part of solving?
I have always been passionate about the environmental impact of mining on ecosystems and nearby communities. My initial concerns have always been around the types of mining processes used for extraction, the rehabilitation of closed mines, which leads to various environmental complications such as: acid mine drainage, underground coalfield fires; and whether these mines comply to the relevant environmental legislation of South Africa.

The impact of mining ranges far from just being environmental concerns to being a threat to human health.

If you could change one thing in this world, what would it be?
I would enforce environmental tax on every company in South Africa.

What role does your generation play in creating a better world?
We could use our social media to educate others about nature conservation and in the same sense share ideas on such platforms that can bring about sustainable global development.

What makes our future so bright?
The ability to innovate and think beyond our mental/communal restrictions and to bring about environmental ideas and solutions that can be applicable on a global scale.
Caroline Mfopa has secured an internship with the Endangered Wildlife Trust through the WWF-SA Internship Programme.
© Zethu Sibiya Enlarge