Heather Mahachi | WWF South Africa

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Heather Mahachi

Heather Mahachi

2019 Intern

As a child growing up in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Heather Mahachi always looked forward to visiting the family farm, located a few hours from her home. She recalls how she enjoyed swimming in unpolluted rivers, watching clean streams of water running across the farm, with beautiful trees and the breeze of fresh air all around.
 
It is one of the experiences that she will never forget and one that has brought her closer to nature. Her goal is to contribute towards building a sustainable future for all, where human actions are less destructive to the natural environment.
 
As an Environmental consultant intern at The Green House, Heather hopes to acquire the skills necessary for her to work towards reaching her goal.
 
She shares more:

What motivated your career choice?
From a young age I have had a great appreciation for outdoor activities and a strong compassion for nature. Luckily, Geography was my strongest subject at school. I thought, ‘what a better way to become a steward for nature than specialising in Environmental Science in school and turning it into a fulfilling career!’
 
I studied Environmental and Geographical Science for my undergraduate and Honours degrees. During my studies I became more conscious about the effects of climate change, and became interested in learning more about adaptation and mitigation of this global issue. Consequently, my Master’s degree focused on climate change and sustainable development.
 
What do you hope to gain from the internship?
I hope to put my academic knowledge to good use while building my skills and gaining confidence. I would also like to learn from my mentors – everything from work ethic and professionalism to being exposed to new techniques and concepts in the environmental field.

I would also greatly appreciate an opportunity to familiarise myself with different software modelling programs relevant to environmental consultancy.

What excites you the most about the internship?
It is exciting for me to be a part of The Green House and to be interacting with like-minded people who share the same passion on a daily basis. I look forward to assisting with climate change related issues, such as company carbon footprints and life cycle assessments, and setting mitigation targets for companies.

What do you think is the biggest environmental issue the world is facing right now?
I consider climate change and its severe impacts, such as water scarcity, drought and poor water quality as the biggest threat to our planet.

Water is a precious resource that is often wasted in some areas, and unfortunately non-existent in others. As an African, I have witnessed the overwhelming effects of climate change on agriculture, humans and the environment at large.

What contribution do you wish to make to the well-being of people and nature?
I wish to enlighten people to the fact that we are the custodians of nature and that our very existence and development depends on it.

I would like to work with civil society and run programmes that educate people, bridging the gap between science and the public. This could be done through school programmes and informative initiatives in organisations.

If you had a chance to change one thing in the world, what would it be?
It would be to have a democratic society on a global level – a world with equal opportunities for every single individual, and one where poverty is non-existent. It is disheartening to see such great differences in living and education standards based solely on income levels. I wish there was a way to balance it all and spread the wealth across all groups of people.

Who do you admire the most and why?
I admire my mother. She taught me to be humble and remain positive about life even in the face of adversity.

What role do you think your generation could play in creating a better world for all?
Due to a rise in social media, our generation is exposed to a lot more global environmental information.
We are also the most active age group in society right now, and this comes with a great potential to change mind sets and share practices to live in harmony with nature.

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