Green Trust project award winners | WWF South Africa

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Green Trust project award winners

The WWF Nedbank Green Trust's Projects are being recognised globally as innovative, path finding and catalytic solutions.

Two of our projects – the Environmental Leaders Project and the Fiscal Benefits Project – were recognised for their ground-breaking and innovative work.
The Environmental Leaders Project was awarded the Mail & Guardian Greening the Future award in the Youth Leadership category. In the seven years the project has been running 128 people have taken part in the internship programme; nearly 100 are now in fulltime employment and 19 have returned to university to further their studies. The project places graduates either with WWF-SA or one of several partner organisations, and they are integrated into the organisation and trained to take real leadership roles in the environmental sector. The partner organisations range from local conservation organisations, such as the Nature's Valley Trust on the Garden Route, to large corporates, such as Nedbank in Johannesburg. Companies pay these interns a competitive monthly minimum salary of R9 000, making the internship an attractive option, especially for people who don't have parents to support them. It is also a healthy change from the usual industry internships, where people are often underpaid and tasked with menial jobs such as making coffee. The project was developed in line with the environmental and socioeconomic policy framework of South Africa, which has adopted a more people-centred and equitable approach towards the environment and resource management.
BirdLife South Africa's Policy and Advocacy Programme Manager, Candice Stevens, was awarded the Pathfinder award special commendation for her innovative work on biodiversity tax incentives through the Fiscal Benefits Project. The Pathfinder award acknowledges innovation and excellence in financing and resourcing for protected and conserved areas and recognises outstanding and innovative solutions for protected and conserved areas. BirdLife South Africa's Fiscal Benefits Project was launched in 2015 and successfully tested biodiversity tax incentives as a benefit for landowners and communities who have declared protected areas through the national biodiversity stewardship initiative. The introduction of a new tax incentive – section 37D – into the Income Tax Act, which provides a tax break for conservation commitment, got the ball rolling. It allows the total value of a nature reserve or national park to be deducted from the taxable income of a landowner or community, reducing the tax burden, increasing sustainable finance for long-term environmental management, and bolstering economic activities synonymous with South Africa's biodiversity economy. This unique protected-area finance solution is listed as one of South Africa's official BIOFIN solutions and is estimated to contribute over R1 billion to South Africa's biodiversity conservation efforts by 2026.
Environmental Leaders 2015-2016 graduate interns

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