Dr Kerry Sink awarded Living Planet Award | WWF South Africa

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Dr Kerry Sink awarded Living Planet Award

Dr Kerry Sink, SANBI Marine Programme Manager, has been honoured with the Living Planet Award 2017 for her contribution to decisive government planning, policy and management in the marine environment.

Dr Kerry Sink, SANBI Marine Programme Manager, has been honoured with the Living Planet Award 2017 for her contribution to decisive government planning, policy and management in the marine environment.

The WWF South Africa Living Planet Award recognises the highly meritorious contributions of South African individuals who inspire people to live in harmony with nature for the benefit of our country and the wellbeing of all.

Winners are deemed to have made catalytic contributions to environmental conservation and have the ability to leverage further conservation achievements to the benefit of South Africa and WWF. The 2015 winner was Andrew Zaloumis, CEO of iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The 2016 winner was International river flow expert Dr Jackie King.
 
Sink’s milestones
  • The highly successful WWF Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) was Sink’s brainchild back in 2002. She has played a critical role in ensuring the scientific credibility of the seafood assessments and continues to contribute through her role in the independent SASSI review panel. 
  • After coordinating the highly successful African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme for the South African Institute for Aquatic Biology, Kerry joined SANBI in 2006, building its Marine Programme.
  • In 2010, Sink led the WWF-funded Offshore Marine Protected Area (OMPA) project, which identified the key areas for offshore protection. This work has subsequently been advanced through the government’s recent Operation Phakisa project which has set ambitious targets of increasing South Africa’s MPAs from 0.5% to 5% of our oceans.
  • Through her work at SANBI, Sink was responsible for coordinating and producing a number of key publications including the Marine and Coastal Component Report of the 2011 National Biodiversity Assessment. She was also instrumental in ensuring that the recently launched Biodiversity and Mining Guidelines included a marine component, which, given the increasing pressures on the marine environment from oil and mineral exploitation, will be an important tool to help guide development in the marine environment.
  • In 2014, Kerry was successful in setting up the SeaKeys project - a collaboration that aims to collate and increase marine biodiversity information and translate this information into products to support decision making and the development of new benefits for South African society.
  • In 2016 she was one of five scientist around the world to receive a Pew Marine Fellowship award which she is using to support research to improve ocean conservation and management.
  • Sink recently received the Society for Conservation Biology’s 2015 Distinguished Service Award For outstanding leadership and self-sacrifice in mainstreaming marine biodiversity conservation research into South Africa's development planning, policy, management and industrial arenas.  
Honourable mentions
Also nominated for the award were Makoma Lekalakala and Elizabeth McDaid who were nominated by Bishop Geoff Davies.

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