• Staff writer


The future success of the green economy relies on creating opportunities for young talent. It is essential to equip the youth with skills, funding and mentorship in order for them to transition from an academic environment into the green economy workforce.

Janavi Da Silva, director of programmes at Green Matter, states that in the biodiversity arena in particular, the challenge is to ensure that senior scientists and field experts pass the torch on to young biodiversity conservationists, environmental scientists and water professionals.

However there is a skills deficit in the environmental sector that needs to be addressed first, and professionals are required for positions such as chemical, laboratory, physical and biological scientists, as well as biochemists.

There are many government and private sector initiatives that are attempting to boost green skills in South Africa in order to grow an environmentally focussed talent pool. The GreenMatter Fellowship exists within this realm and takes a holistic approach to provide the youth with essential leadership skills within the green economy. The purpose of the fellowship is not only to advance technical skills but to unlock the leadership potential of individuals for the benefit of the green economy, thereby encouraging greener business processes and skills.

Future generations of environmental innovators will not only be responsible for preserving South Africa’s natural heritage, but also help to unlock the environmental, social and economic potential of the country.


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