Message from the WildTrust

The Conservation Symposium occupies a special place on the annual calendar and is always a great opportunity to learn, listen, and debate current conservation, development, and environmental issues. The WildTrust is once again a proud partner of The Symposium and, although the COVID pandemic has wreaked havoc on our ability to support The Symposium financially, we remain committed to its aims and objectives. We welcome the opportunity to engage with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, our partner NGOs, and the academic institutions that bring their expertise to this event. Our two founding Trusts, the Natal Conservation Trust and the Wildlands Conservation Trust established clear goals to support formal conservation, especially protected areas and the communities that surround these areas. We remain committed to these goals and have over the past year re-defined our vision as one striving for A RESILIENT AND THRIVING WORLD. We remain convinced that this will only become a reality when we fully understand the interconnectedness between people and nature and realise we are part of an interconnected web of life. Through our two programmes, we continue to support the formal conservation of our WildOceans and our WildLands, and investigate innovative ways to ensure our coastal and inland communities participate in the management of our natural resources. We look forward to a Symposium that will rely increasingly on technology this year as we are still unable to have large gatherings. Hopefully, these innovations will convince us as a conservation community that we should set an example to travel less and practise what we preach as we convert to an economy and lifestyle that relies less on the burning of dirty fossil fuels. My team and I look forward to robust engagements, informative talks, and meeting up, albeit virtually, with old friends this year. May this be one of the best Symposiums ever.

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