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World Oceans Day event hosted by WILDOCEANS at the Ushaka Marine World – Aquarium on 8 June

A celebratory World Oceans Day event, hosted by WILDOCEANS and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), was held at uShaka Marine Worlds’ Aquarium on the evening of the 8th of June.

Press Release Coalition for South Africas Oceans

(L to R) Judy Mann Lang (SAAMBR), Liz McDaid (Green Connection), Dr Andrew Venter (WILDTRUST), Dr Jean Harris (WILDOCEANS), Alex Benkenstein (SAIIA), Sizo Sibanda (UCT), John Duncan (WWF SA) and Judy Beaumont (DEA) – are all playing a strategic role in the future of our oceans.


(L to R) Desmond DSa of SDCEA (South Durban Community Environmental Alliance) in discussion with top environmental journalists Tony Carnie and Green Connections’ Liz McDaid, also a Goldman Environmental Awardee.



Judy Beaumont, the Deputy Director General at the Department of Environmental Affairs, delivered a powerful key note address at the WILDOCEANS World Oceans Day Event at Ushaka Marine Worlds’ aquarium on 8 June

Sizo Sibanda is an avid science communicator, currently pursuing her master’s degree through UCT and SANBI (South African National Biodiversity Institute). She blew everyone away with her presentation looking at optimising Marine Protected Area design to increase socioecological benefits.


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Protecting Our Oceans

The Green Connection believes that sustainable development can only be truly sustainable if all affected are involved in decisions that affect them. GC is alarmed at how little of our ocean is protected for future generations and how much appears to have been allocated for extractive industries like oil and gas.  GC is part of this campaign to ensure that our oceans are protected to provide livelihoods for future generations and we support at least 30% MPA goal – and all of South Africa’s affected stakeholders must be involved in such decisions.

Responsible Fisheries

Blue Action

Liz and Makoma were awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Foundation’s Prize in San Francisco, USA
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Today – almost exactly a year to the day since winning the nuclear court case – the two women who were the driving force behind the victory, were awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Foundation’s Prize in San Francisco, USA. Just a few hours ago, Earthlife Africa-Johannesburg’s (ELA-JHB) Makoma Lekalakala and Liziwe McDaid from the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) joined the winners from five other continents as they were applauded for their efforts to successfully mobilise South Africans against the government’s secret R1-trillion nuclear deal.

Christy Bragg, a Green Connection colleague who has worked with Liz since 2005, says, “Liz and Makomo are visionary women, and epitomize South African grit and passion. Liz has been a mentor for me since I was a young, uneducated-but-qualified scientist. She is a bigger-picture thinker, an influencer and believes deeply in hearing the voice of civil society. This prize is well-deserved recognition for a lifetime of diligent, empathetic and perservering leadership, where many others would have swayed from the path. They, amongst others, have shown us the possibilities for South Africa to be known as a world leader in sustainable solutions if it could be the country where the people are valued and heard.”

Liz McDaid’s speech for the Goldman Prize

Goldman Environmental Foundation Press Release

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Green Connection outside BBC – London on 18 May 2018

Liz McDaid was observing a collection of plastic pollution gathered from local ocean and coast. The Green Connection works with small scale fisheries and The Responsible Fisheries Alliance coordinated by WWF-SA. ‘Reducing plastic pollution is critical for the sustainability of fisheries”, said Liz McDaid.

Recycling hope for plastic-hungry enzyme

Liz outside BBC in London

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International Oceans Institute – South Africa

The Green Connection was asked to assist with training the trainers in the IOISA initiative to assist the Department of Fisheries in supporting the new small scale policy roll out. During 2017, various workshops were carried out around the coast.

Small Scale Responsible Fisheries Training -IOISA

Small Scale Responsible Fisheries training – 2017 photos

Small Scale Responsible Fisheries training – 2018 photos

The first “Train the Trainer” event took place in Cape Town for Western Cape and Northern Cape facilitators.

                                            Train the Trainer event. (Liz in the back row – left hand side.) 

Sustainable Fisheries Initiative

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Blue Action for Africa

The Green Connection is partnering in a collaborative campaign to sustainable protection of South Africa’s oceans, in an innovative and exciting three-year initiative with WILDTRUST (lead organisation), Centre for Environmental Rights, Ocean Unite, South African Association for Marine Biological Research, and WWF-SA.

South Africa currently has only 0.4% of its continental waters within MPAs (excluding the MPA in the Southern Ocean territorial waters around the Prince Edward Islands). In addition, Africa is currently facing escalating marine hydrocarbon and mineral resources extractive pressure, led by large international companies.

This project aims to create a positive and receptive environment for MPA expansion (i.e. MPAs seen as a valuable tool and desirable commodity), and encourage sustainable ocean governance, which value the resilience of oceans, ecosystem services and food security, and to developing country economies based on sustainable energy systems, such as renewable energy, especially in the face of climate change.

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Responsible Fisheries

The Green Connection facilitates understanding of responsible fisheries. In 2007, The Green Connection designed and implemented a capacity building course on Responsible Fisheries for the Responsible Fisheries Alliance which is coordinated by WWF-SA. Which also ran the Sustainable Seafood Initiative.

The Green Connection trained WWF facilitators so that they could be accredited to run the course. Liz McDaid has also facilitated this course between 2007 – 2012 and 2015 – 2017.

In addition the Green Connection developed an updated refresher course for the responsible fisheries alliance. The trainer course was facilitated for RFA trainers and small scale fisheries trainers.

Part of the updated course includes more information on climate change and information on plastic pollution. Plastic pollution gathered from local ocean and coast


Responsible Fisheries workshop

Module 2 of the Responsible Fisheries Workshop

International Oceans Institute – South Africa

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Women Empowerment

Liz Mcdaid is the coordinator of the Global Green Grants Fund advisory board in Southern Africa

She attended and helped develop training material for a workshop on women’s rights run by an organisation that works with women and mining, called WOMIN. The Green Connection’s Liz McDaid worked with WOMIN specifically to develop resource material on renewable energy and energy justice and promote energy security for women. Women Building Power report.

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IAIA-SA Conference -2017

Liziwe McDaid presented at the International Association for Impact Assessment – South Africa       (IAIA-SA) conference of impact assessors. Her topic was nuclear and coal distracting from climate change adaption.

IAIA-SA conference delegates

A snippet below of Liziwe’s presentation. 





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World Environment Day – Connecting People to Nature

This amazing, spinning ball of rock and water, hurtling through space at more than 100,000 kilometres an hour, provides us with everything we need to live and be healthy. It’s a delicate balance, with various interconnected natural systems — hydrologic and carbon cycles, ocean and atmospheric currents among them — creating ideal conditions for human life.

If the balance is upset, natural systems will correct and the planet will endure, but those corrections may hinder or halt the ability of humans to thrive, or even survive. You’d think this would be incentive enough for us to learn about and care for natural systems, but recent news sometimes makes me feel as if there’s a huge disconnect between people and the planet.