CapeNature, a key player in biodiversity conservation in the Western Cape, recently welcomed Dr Ashley Naidoo as its new Chief Executive Officer.
Naidoo, who officially began his role on January 1, 2024, brings a wealth of experience in environmental science and a profound commitment to the seamless transition from science to policy and implementation.
CapeNature said in a press release that before joining the institution, Naidoo served as the Chief Director for Oceans and Coasts Research at the National Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment.
In this capacity, he managed extensive ocean science programs, emphasising biology, physics, and chemistry, particularly focusing on South Africa's coastal and deep-sea ecosystems.
Dr Naidoo succeeds Dr Razeena Omar, who retired after a decade of dedicated service.
Expressing his vision for CapeNature, Dr Naidoo underscored the importance of transitioning environmental science into actionable policies.
His emphasis on governance, stakeholders, and community engagement aligns with CapeNature's exemplary procedures and its profound connection with the people of the Western Cape.
"I see CapeNature as the ideal place for the transformation of science into policy and, most importantly, into implementation," noted Naidoo.
He envisions CapeNature not just as a conservation authority but as a dynamic platform contributing significantly to climate change studies, education, and scientific research.
Naidoo applauds CapeNature's integrated approach, where conservation, tourism, education, and science are interconnected. He aims to strengthen these connections, foster a highly skilled team, and build robust ties with the education sector.
“The goal is to position the protected areas managed by CapeNature not only as holiday destinations but continuous resources for conservation, education, and scientific endeavours,” Naidoo concluded.