Environmental Leaders Programme | WWF South Africa

	© Natasha Prince/WWF-SA

Environmental Leaders

The Environmental Leaders Programme aims to support the development of current and future leaders for the environment. This is in line with WWF-SA’s vision of inspiring people to live in harmony with nature for the well-being of all and the sustainable development of our country.
The programme works towards supporting the career growth and development of new entrants into the environment sector as well as current professionals to strengthen the work they do in securing our ecological assets.

A key principle underpinning the programme is transformation of the sector. This includes addressing demographic representivity of all South Africans in ecosystem management - a movement away from traditional protectionist to more inclusive approaches to securing our ecological assets and ecosystems.

The programme has been developed in line with the environmental and socio-economic policy framework of South Africa in moving towards a more people-centred approach to environmental management, conservation and equitable as well as sustainable resource use and management. This is to ensure sustainable livelihoods and development that benefits all people.

We support emerging environmental leaders to develop the technical, relational and transformational competence to address the complex, interlinked social and environmental challenges that confront the South African development state.

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One Planet Leaders Programme

The One Planet Leaders Programme in Africa is an initiative of WWF South Africa and the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business. Aimed at senior and executive-level management in government, business, industry and civil society, the course supports delegates in exploring sustainability issues in a systems framework and, through a change project-based assignment, to develop collaborative responses to these issues in context. More information 
The Environmental Leaders Programme is structured around four key areas of work to support new and current leaders for the environment:

The Graduate Development Programme supports university students and graduates to bridge the gap between academia and the world of work, through internship placements, supporting work integrated learning and university based career guidance.

Skills Development is focused on the key production sectors of agriculture, fisheries, forestry, mining and water to support sustainable natural resource use and management.

Leadership Development is addressed through the offering of the One Planet Leaders Programme in Africa, in partnership with the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, to enable a collective conversation between government, business, industry and civil society to lead change through sustainability innovations.

Organisational Development supports human resource planning and skills development to strengthen the work environments in which leaders learn and grow. 


The Environmental Leaders Programme recognises that the complex task of equally fostering social, ecological and economic integrity requires collaboration across various organizations, sectors and stakeholder groups. The programme works in association with a number of environment and other organisations, both locally, regionally and globally to offer skills, professional and leadership development initiatives for new entrants and current professionals for the environment.

  • South Africa has ground-breaking environmental policies, but implementation is hampered by limited human resources... read more on Human Development Capital.