Our associates

Our associates have long-term and lasting associations with our company. They share our core values and working principles and the commitment we have to our clients. Their expertise and dedication add specific value to certain project teams, which further strengthens the delivery and support that we provide to our clients.

Bernice McLean

Bernice McLean

Marine Policy and Coastal Governance Consultant

Bernice McLean is an environmental specialist with a strong interest in marine policy and coastal governance in particular. She has a background in archaeology and environmental governance and completed an MPhil in Environmental Science through the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 1998 on empowerment of San communities living on resettlement camps in Namibia. Bernice completed her PhD in Marine Policy at the University of Delaware on Understanding the dynamics of national coastal policy change in South Africa and Tanzania. She is currently working as an independent environmental consultant. Prior to this, Bernice coordinated the Marine and Coastal Programme at the Endangered Wildlife Trust. She has extensive experience in environmental management in many countries. In particular Bernice has worked on a wide array of marine and coastal governance issues in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Western Indian Ocean including fisheries management and the development and implementation of GEF-supported conservation, environmental governance and coastal policy projects in South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania and Namibia.

Samantha Williams

Samantha Williams

Coastal and Fisheries Resources Consultant

Samantha Williams completed her Master’s degree (Development Studies) at the University of the Western Cape in 2005. Her thesis focussed on the contribution of wild ‘buchu’ (Agathosma betulina) to the livelihoods of local harvesters in the Cederberg region, Western Cape. In September 2005, Samantha joined the Environmental Evaluation Unit (EEU) at the University of Cape Town (UCT) where she worked on various projects which included research on coastal and fisheries governance, biodiversity and social justice and environmental management and sustainability. In 2008, Samantha enrolled full time for a doctoral degree at UCT. Her research focuses on access and the social dynamics of fisheries and coastal resources in community livelihoods (Western Cape) using a case study approach. Samantha’s core focus since commencing with her doctoral degree has been on fisher livelihoods, access rights, governance and management. Her most recent output of preliminary findings from her research were presented at the 14th South African Marine Science Symposium (SAMSS)/ 49th Estuarine and Coastal Sciences Association (ECSA) International Conference at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 4-7 April 2011. Samantha is still associated with the Environmental Evaluation Unit at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and is finalizing her doctoral dissertation which will be submitted June 2012.

Dr Edward Matenga

Dr Edward Matenga

Archaeologist and Heritage Management Specialist

Dr Edward Matenga holds a PhD in Archaeology and Heritage from the Department of African Archaeology & Ancient History at Uppsala University (Sweden). He is a member of International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), and Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA). Matenga has extensive experience on the identification of archaeological and heritage resources, strategic planning for heritage protection, preparation of World Heritage nomination dossiers, Evaluations of World Heritage Nominations and Heritage Impact Assessments. On the international scene, he was involved in the preparation of the Nomination File for the Tongo Tenzug Sacred Cultural Landscape in Bolgatanga (Northern Ghana) in 2008/9. He was involved on the development of the Integrated Conservation Management Plan for the Robben Island Museum. He was an ICOMOS expert for the evaluation of Nyika Plateau National Park in Malawi (2005), Mijikenda Sacred Forests in Kenya (2006), and Le Morne Cultural Landscape in Mauritius (2007). He conducted an assessment of state of conservation of stone-built structures in the North Province of Cameroon. The project was initiated by ICCROM – the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property under the Africa 2009 Programme. He conducted a preliminary assessment the royal Bakongo capital and Roman Catholic Church at Mbanza Kongo (Angola) for World Heritage List (2007/2010). He was on the UNESCO-ICOMOS reactive monitoring missions to the Aksum Obelisk Monument in Ethiopia in 2010. He was previously Director of the Great Zimbabwe World Heritage Site.

Rean van der Merwe

Rean van der Merwe

ICT and Community Development

Rean van der Merwe is presently engaged in PhD research investigating the implementation of online social media to support civic governance at community level. Rean's focus is on the information sharing and communication processes that underlie sustainable development, as well as the technologies which support these processes. He has formal training in both communications and information systems development and has substantial experience in the marketing and communications sector, including working as marcom consultant, interactive media developer and technical project manager. He presently serves as information systems architect for the DLIST programme, an online information sharing and distance learning toolset which aims to support sustainable coastal development in South Africa, Namibia and Angola. Rean further conducts training in a range of IT and communication topics and has recently been engaged by the government of Namibia to consult on e-Governance systems and related communcation strategy.

John Hanks

John Hanks

Ecology and Conservation Management

John Hanks is a zoologist by training with his first degree in Natural Sciences from Magdalene College, Cambridge, followed by a PhD on the reproductive physiology, growth, and population dynamics of the African elephant in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia. He has 45 years of experience in a wide variety of conservation management and research projects.John has worked in several African countries, including Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. His major most important postings have been: Chief Professional Officer for the Natal Parks Board; Professor and Head of the Department of Biological Sciences, then the first Director of the Institute of Natural Resources at the University of Natal; the Director of the Africa Program for WWF International (based in Gland, Switzerland); the Chief Executive of WWF-South Africa; the first Executive Director of the Peace Parks Foundation. He has published over 120 scientific papers.

Jacob N. Oranje

Jacob N. Oranje

Business Planning and Development

Jacob Ntintin Oranje is a business development consultant specialising in small and medium enterprise (SME) development. While one of his specialities is to convert emerging small business concepts into fully-functional business entities, his passion and life-goal is "to empower through change". His academic qualifications range from public administration, economics and public finance to human resources management. Currently, he is studying towards a Masters degree in coaching. Jacob's human resources management exposure coupled with his small business development experiences provides an unique interface for capacity-building and business and community development interventions. He is currently working as a consultant in the SME/ entrepreneurial development sphere. Prior to this, Jacob has worked on a variety of assignments, including DLIST (www.dlist-bclme.org), NACOMA and Transfrontier Conservation Areas - but always with a focus on the inextricable linkages between coastal resources and coastal communities. Besides having worked on coastal governance issues, he completed a wide range of assignments in the fields of conservation awareness raising and capacity building of local communities.

Dr Desiree Manicom

Dr Desiree Manicom

Social scientist

Dr Desiree Manicom’s is a social scientist. Her research interests are: sociological analysis of social issues, gender, public policy analysis, civil society and public participation in policy, social policy. As an academic her social scientific experience derives from research, supervision of research projects and lecturing at tertiary level for the past 18 years in the discipline of Sociology and the Post graduate Policy and Development Studies Programme. She has a Phd in Sociology and a Masters Degree in Social Science (Industrial and Labours Studies) from the University of KwaZulu Natal and University of Natal respectively. She obtained an undergraduate Bachelor of Social Science and a Higher Diploma in Education (Secondary) from the University of Cape Town. Her current areas of lecturing are Research Design and Statistics, Policy Monitoring and Evaluation, Civil Society and Policy, Public Policy Analysis, Rural Studies, Gender and Development at a post-graduate level in Sociology and the Policy and Development Programme in the School of Sociology and Social Studies. She has supervised 22 Social Science Masters Research projects in policy areas which include: Employment Equity, Environment, Transport, Education, Social Development, Health, Local Government and Gender. Her work in research consultancies outside the university has included research design and management, questionnaire design, interview and focus group guide design, training fieldworkers, designing frameworks for monitoring and evaluation of programmes, programme evaluation.

 Sihle Hlophe

Sihle Hlophe

Media and Communications Consultant

Sihle Hlophe holds a BA degree in Television Production, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management and a Certificate from the Wildlife Film Academy. Currently she is pursuing her Masters in Communication Practice. She has a joint appointment between EcoAfrica and our sister documentary film company (see:www.fopfilms.com). In EcoAfrica she is particularly involved in environmental education using films, as well as developing and using social networking platforms aimed at promoting sustainable use of natural resources. She was chosen as a fellow for the North South Exchange Program; this afforded her the opportunity to study documentary filmmaking at Arcada Polytech in Helsinki, Finland. Between 2006 and 2009, Sihle has worked as a production assistant, transcriber, script editor, camera operator, editor, and production coordinator for production companies such as Dlamini Multimedia Solutions, Uhuru Productions and Rainforest Productions where she worked on 260 episodes of a children’s program for DSTV. Her biggest accomplishment to date has been writing, editing and directing two 48 minute documentaries for SABC 1’S Human Rights, Back to Democracy strand.

Basilia Andoroone Shivute

Basilia Andoroone Shivute

Researcher

Basilia Andoroone Shivute has a MSc in Biodiversity Management and Research from the University of Namibia, and Humboldt University, Berlin. Basilia’s MSc thesis focused on assessing habitat requirements for an endangered species to inform land management in a matrix of protected and non-protected areas. Basilia has extensive practical experience in gathering both biophysical and socio-economic data. Prior to joining EcoAfrica, Basilia spent several years working for a sustainable tourism company. She has considerable experience in developing and implementing environmental management plans and strategies for ecotourism establishments located in key wilderness areas within both state and communal land. Her diverse sets of skills, training and experiences have cultivated her interest in applied environmental management, sustainable development and biodiversity conservation - a passion she aims to continue pursuing.

Isabel Maria Roque Ramos

Isabel Maria Roque Ramos

Socio Economic Consultant (Mozambique)

Ms Isabel Maria Roque Ramos holds a MA in Economics from the Instituto Superior de Economia. Isabel has considerable experience as an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Socio-Economic Development Consultant within Mozambique and several other countries. Isabel also has sound experience in resource mobilization and reporting with Governments, multi-lateral institutions, Embassies and the private sector. Isabel has extensive experience in working with Governments, multi-lateral institutions and development partners as well as local communities. She is often successful at bringing stakeholders together around a common project. Isabel was the Head of the Environmental and Social team for VALE Mozambique, responsible for the development and approval of 5 Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for a mine expansion, a deep sea port ad 1000km of railway line projects, covering Mozambique and Malawi and impacting 1200 families to be resettled. Isabel was also a Special Advisor to United Nations Mozambique responsible for developing policy and partnership strategies, between government, local communities and partners.

Helio Banze

Helio Banze

Stakeholder Engagement Consultant (Mozambique)

Mr Helio Aurélio Banze holds a Master Degree in Rural Development, with 7 years of experience in Social Development. Helio’s experience was developed between Mozambique and Malawi, including Environmental and Social Impact Assessments, Environmental and Social Management Plans and implementation of social program and stakeholder engagement. Helio is based in Mozambique and is fluent in Portuguese. He has knowledge of Mozambique Environmental legislation and policy frameworks. Helio’s experience is extensive to project management and management of social contracts and services. He has solid knowledge in community relations and abilities in training and development of capabilities, result based management (RBM), social integration (gender and development), as well as in the usage of participatory consultancy methods involving interested and affected parties (AIP’s) including vulnerable groups. Helio has wide experience working with communities and acquired extensive knowledge in mobilisation and social dialog, participatory organization and public consultancy (Mozambique and Malawi), as well as interaction along the local leaders (Local Government and Community leaders). He has a good understanding of Climate Change matters such as project-planning tool - community-based Risk Screening Tool – Adaptation and Livelihoods. His experience and education will add a great value to this project.

Fritz Schoeman

Fritz Schoeman

GIS and Remote Sensing Specialist

After completing his undergraduate studies in Geoinformatics at the University of Pretoria, Fritz Schoeman started working at the Agricultural Research Council, whilst working on his Honours degree, also in GeoInformatics. His passion for physical and human focussed geography and the interactions between these grew as he applied his trade with an agriculture dominant focus. Understanding and effectively linking human activities and the interactions within the environment it takes place, still remains his main goal. In May 2006 Fritz had the opportunity to start working at GeoTerraImage, a relatively small organisation functioning in a magnitude of environments which ranges from agricultural and environmental, to telecommunications and spatial planning. Here he was truly able to excel and the skills he acquired over the next six years allows him to create a spatially holistic view by integrating the human activity and environment in which it functions. At the end of March 2012 Fritz started working as a freelance consultant, passionate about what he does, he describes himself as a “spatial thinker." schoeman.fritz@gmail.com

Malinda Gardiner

Malinda Gardiner

Community Development and Information Communications Technology (ICT)

Malinda Gardiner has worked on various community development and environmental projects in Namaqualand and the West Coast Region of South Africa over the past 15 years. From 1997 to 1999 she worked as tourism information officer at the Vanrhynsdorp Tourism Bureau where her tasks included marketing existing tourism attractions and consulting with the community and tourism enterprises on the development of new ones. From 1999 to 2001 Malinda coordinated a cluster of nine community-based tourism projects that together formed part of the South-North Tourism Route (see: www.south-north.co.za). As an associate of Eco Africa Malinda assisted in drafting the socio-political profile for the Succulent Karoo Ecosystem Program (SKEP) and subsequently was employed by Conservation International as a sub-regional coordinator for rolling out SKEP in the Knersvlakte and Central Namaqualand Coast Priority Areas. In this regard Malinda established an SKEP Advisory Committee consisting of role players from various sectors and worked with people in the Succulent Karoo to apply for and roll out projects that contributed to the conservation of the Succulent Karoo Biome. During this time Malinda was seconded to Cape Nature where she assisted in drafting a management plan for the proposed, and since declared, Knersvakte Protected Area. Malinda was then employed by the West Coast District Municipality as manager of the newly established Hardeveld Tourism Centre where she was responsible for establishing the centre and working with seven communities in the West Coast District Management Area to design and implement a tourism routes and community-based tourism enterprises. She was also responsible for the marketing of the area as a tourism destination and initiated and oversaw the inclusion of the area as a destination on the South North Tourism Route. From 2008 – 2010 Malinda worked for Conservation South Africa as stewardship coordinator, initiating and rolling out the organisation’s stewardship program with both communal and private farmers in the Kamiesberg Critical Biodiversity Area. During the three years in this role, Malinda negotiated voluntary stewardship agreements with 47 communal and two private farmers, bringing a total of 10 000 ha under sustainable farming practices and facilitating the restoration of wetlands of importance by Working for Wetlands. From the start of 2011 Malinda has been in a half-time position as Conservation International’s communications coordinator for their Namaqualand program, while employed by EcoAfrica for the other half of her time. For Conservation International she writes and edits the organisation’s quarterly newsletter, maintains web content and liaises with local and regional press. For EcoAfrica she works on selected community projects and on the DLIST (see: www.dlist.org) web-based information sharing platform.