As has been the case in previous years the ACDI master’s students of 2016 come from a diverse array of countries and backgrounds. This year we welcome 13 students to our part course-work part mini-dissertation master’s programme with students from Botswana, France, Kenya, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Above: 2016 ACDI Master's students
Above: Already hard at work: the ACDI students listen to a lecture at Global Atmosphere Watch Station (GAW) at Cape Point.
Roy Bouwer (South Africa) completed a BA in Geography and French before doing his honours in Environmental Analysis and Management at the University of Pretoria. His research interests relate to the consumption of scientific knowledge in societies and the impact the distribution of climate change information has on communities. He hopes that the ACDI course will equip him with the theoretical knowledge of the concepts of climate change in order for him to be able to understand the implementation of mitigation and adaptation methods in communities in the Global South.
Gavin Chewe (Zambia) has lived all over Africa and considers himself to be a social environmentalist. He holds a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology, Sociology), from the University of Fort Hare, as well as a postgraduate diploma in Sustainable Development (Renewable Energy) from Stellenbosch University. He has spent the past year studying urban planning at the University of Cape Town’s School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics. Musiyani says: “My goal with this masters degree in Climate Change and Development is to combine my knowledge of the social sciences with urban studies and renewable energy, so as to produce a research output that will highlight an alternative economic growth paradigm that creates jobs by harnessing the leverage of the earth’s natural energy resources within the urban environment”
Kristian Gerstner (South Africa) is an outdoor enthusiast currently working in the field of waste management. His previous academic focus was on environmental management from a holistic, environmental governance perspective. He has focused on the processes involved in conducting impact assessments, from environmental through to social and ecological, and managing environmental management systems and integrated management systems. In his own words: “My desire to attend this programme stems from a combined interest in sustainable development, and the impact of climate change on human development and progress. My desire is to gain further knowledge in the role climate change will play in the sustainable development of marginalised communities, and the changes required from large corporations and governments to ensure long term sustainable development. “
Zachariah Glasser (South Africa) graduated with an honours degree from UCT’s Department of Environmental and Geographical Science in 2015. With the ACDI master’s he aims to focus on the socio-economics and governance behind climate change and sustainable development in local rural communities.
Theresa Kinkese (Zambia) works for the Ministry of Agriculture in Zambia and has observed the adverse effects of climate change in the agricultural sector in the rural areas. Seeing the level of vulnerability to climate hazards that rural populations are exposed to is what motivated Thereas to study with the ACDI, so as to ensure that the rural communities can adapt to climate change, and thus ensure sustainable development and reduced poverty in Zambia.
Anaïs Maire (France) has a master’s degree in International Relations from the Science Po Lille University. Over the past few years she has worked in many different countries on issues related to HIV/AIDS, health, gender equality and information access. With the ACDI Anaïs wants to extend her research on democratic participation and women’s representation within sustainable development projects and to complete her education with knowledge on the environmental issues defining our lives and those of tomorrow.
Yoliswa Molefe (South Africa) recently completed her honours in Environmental and Geographic Science at UCT. Her honours thesis looked at the role of traditional food crops in a peri-urban context. Her interests include examining the links between social protection and vulnerability in the context of climate change as well as exploring sustainable and socially just ways of reducing vulnerability to climate change
Joan Momanyi (Kenya) graduated from the University of Nairobi. She is trained in environmental management with bias towards environmental conservation and natural resource management. She has been involved in various environmental and social consultancy services such as Strategic Environmental and Social Assessments, Environmental and Social Impact Assessments, Environmental Health and Safety Audits, Community Development Action Plans and Resettlement Action Plans. She is passionate about the environment and is interested in green skills and building capacity for the community. She is majorly interested in understanding which activities the local community can be involved in to ensure sustainable (wise-use) of resources in order to eradicate poverty while adapting and mitigating climate change.
Bellinda Monyela (South Africa) obtained an undergraduate degree in Ocean & Atmosphere Science at the Environmental and Geographical Sciences Department (UCT). She recently completed her Honours Degree in Oceanography, also from UCT. Bellinda identifies as a youth activator and her hobbies revolve around activities that address youth development. Bellinda says that growing up in rural Limpopo exposed her to many socio-economic challenges caused by climate change. She believes that the ACDI master's program will equip her with skills to address science and society related issues, so that in the near future she can "plough back knowledge" to her community and South Africa.
Bonolo Mosime (Botswana) has completed an MTech in Horticulture, with a focus in conservation of endangered species using biotechnological tools. Her interest in the ACDI master’s course is based on a desire to increase and develop her academic and scientific background, to enhance her knowledge of conservation biology, and for personal interest. She is highly motivated to be a part of the ACDI team, as it is well recognized for its reputable training and research specifically regarding climate change in the African region.
Janet C. Selato is from Botswana and has been working as a meteorologist at Department of Meteorological Services in Gaborone, Botswana. Her profession started in 2000 as a weather forecaster. Her interest began to shift towards climate change in 2011 and since then she has been engaged in climate change activities in Botswana. Her educational background is a BSc. in Meteorology attained at Valparaiso University, USA. She also spent a year in Florida State University, USA to study tropical meteorology. She is enthusiastic about coming to UCT and believes it will be a rewarding academic adventure. Her research interests are climate change vulnerability, impacts and adaptation, with a focus on Botswana.
Omagano Shooya (Namibia) has an honours degree in Natural Resource Management. She has worked for the Natural Resource Management programme (CBNRM) as part of a programme that aims to expose young people to their potential of becoming future leaders in conservation. Omagano believes that building the capacity of rural communities to make their own decisions regarding their natural resources (and thus livelihoods) is vital. She has chosen the ACDI master’s course because she believes it will equip her with the necessary skills to take action and look at the current (and future) anthropogenic activities, infrastructure and organizational frameworks that govern countries’ decision making processes.