Liz McDaid has a passion for showing people how the world works and how their seemingly insignificant actions can actually make a difference in moving us from our current unsustainable life style towards a just and sustainable life style.
Liz trained as a scientist, also has both a teacher and adult education qualification, and has a Masters in Climate Change and Development from the University of Cape Town. She also teaches a course on eco-justice.
She is an independent environmentalist, and has worked at the energy/ poverty/ community nexus with a focus on participative governance for over 25 years. She is a founder member of the Green Connection. Her recent work includes an energy poverty analysis for Oxfam “you can’t eat electricity”, and a review of the South African renewable energy programme with a focus on community impacts (for the Green Connection). This last is part of the Electricity Governance Initiative, supported by the World Resources Institute.
Liz also works with the Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute, where she heads up their climate and energy programme.
Basier is responsible for the financial management and provides the business expertise for the Green Connection.
Graduated B.Comm at University of the Western Cape, 1997
Served articles with Shrand & Ekermans Inc. 1998 to 2000
Audit manager and financial advisor at Shrand & Ekermans, 2001 to 2002
Audit manager and economic development consultant at HS Accounting, 2003 to 2004
Registered with South African Institute of Professional Accountants 2002
Own practice “AB Dramat & Associates” 2004
Specialising in accounting, taxation, environmental accounting, economic
development and community based projects
Economic and financial consultant on the Tankwa Karoo project, 2005
Economic and financial consultant on Handbook on River Partnerships
Christy’s expertise lies in the integration of conservation and biodiversity into sustainable natural resource management and facilitating inter-sectoral solutions. Her experience in South Africa has been around community involvement in natural resource protection and sustainable use, conservation communications, awareness raising, environmental policy review and advocacy; environmental management, water governance, and she strongly believes in a holistic, participatory approach to landscape use. Christy has sectoral knowledge in freshwater ecology and research, terrestrial ecology (particularly aridlands), climate change adaptation, environmental and co-operative governance, marine conservation, sustainable use, biodiversity stewardship, and other concepts and issues in community conservation.
Christy is a Cum Laude graduate of the renowned Masters in Science Conservation Biology degree from the University of Cape Town. She is also studying for her PhD in the animal foraging drivers of plant biodiversity in the Bokkeveld Plateau.
Christy has worked in various projects involving water use, sustainable development and conservation. She worked as part of NBL Partners with Green Connection to propose alternative ways to develop the local community in the Tankwa Karoo, been involved in water verification processes, worked as an EIA specialist, worked with climate change adaptation interventions in the Succulent Karoo communities, worked with partners on policy review analyses, won several awards as a conservation Programme Manager and undertaken floral and fauna research in Bushmanland, the Succulent Karoo and Nama-Karoo. She has managed several landscape projects, led award-winning public-private partnership projects for on-the-ground interventions and is researching innovative financing mechanisms for sustainable, value-based landscape management practices.
Despite her environmental-heavy qualifications she believes it all starts with – and is sustained by -people and connections.
Her skills include:
- Alternative livelihood options in disadvantaged communities;
- Strong research background and a diverse array of skills in Conservation Biology;
- Environmental education;
- Climate Change Adaptation;
- Ecological Research, Disturbance ecology;
- Participatory monitoring and evaluation;
- Water governance;
- Environmental policy and law in South Africa;
- Environmental management, including EIA;
- Environmental stewardship;
- Ecosystem based adaptation;
- Ecosystem restoration and sustainable land management;
- Community involvement in conservation;
- Extensive experience in GIS spatial analysis;
- in-depth knowledge of various software packages, such as ArcView, Statistica, multivariate statistical ordination packages, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and several graphics packages.
Publications: (please send Christy a request: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Leila currently provides consultancy services to renewable energy investment and development companies.
For 5 years till 2014, Leila was the Director for Development and Operations at Mainstream SA, a renewable energy development company based in Cape Town. Mainstream SA, a joint venture company of Genesis Eco Energy, a South African renewable energy company, and Mainstream Renewable Power located in Ireland was formed in March 2009. Mainstream SA won 6 renewable energy tenders in the first 2 windows of the SA government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme, making it the most successful company in the programme in 2011-2013.
Leila has worked in the energy sector since 1998. Prior to joining Genesis Eco-Energy and Mainstream SA she was an independent sustainable energy policy specialist and preceding that the Managing Director of Sustainable Energy Africa, a leading energy NGO in South Africa. Leila has a long association with NGOs, volunteer and activist groups in the environment and energy sector and has a passion for building capacity in people and organisations in the fields of sustainable development. Previous to her work in energy Leila worked for research organizations, local governments and consultancies in the land, environment and development field. Leila studied environmental science, development studies and energy studies and was a Director of both Genesis Eco Energy and of Mainstream SA. Leila sat on the board of The South African Wind Energy Association, Sustainable Energy Africa, the Environmental Monitoring Group and the Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Partnership and The Cape Town Partnership.
Glyn is the senior partner at Chennells Albertyn Attorneys, Notaries and Conveyancers. As a commercial and litigation attorney he specializes in inter alia environmental law. His clients have included the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) and a number of environmental action groups. Glyn is based in Cape Town and Stellenbosch.
Yachika has an MSc in Energy Studies from the University of Cape Town. She is currently employed at Sustainable Energy Africa (SEA) as Project Manager of the SEED Programme and involved in a number of exciting projects. During her 6 years of employment at SEA, Yachika has worked across a spectrum of projects focused on rooting sustainable energy approaches and practices in urban development planning and management processes across South Africa.
Whilst studying for her Masters degree at the Energy Research Centre (University of Cape Town), Yachika was employed as a research assistant participating in energy research as it relates to poverty reduction and climate change. One of the projects in which she was principally involved, entailed an in-depth analysis of energy transitions in fuel use that occur among low-income households in South Africa. This culminated in a research paper which she co-presented with her supervisor at the Energy Transitions Workshop held jointly by Stanford University (CA, USA) and the University of Cape Town in 2004. Prior to her Masters degree, she worked in the field of Information Systems in software development; creating, designing and developing information systems for corporates in South Africa. Soon after completing her Honours degree in Environmental and Geographical Science, she worked in the United Kingdom for 2 years as a research assistant at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WILDCRU), Oxford University as well as the Haematology Unit, and Guys Hospital in London primarily involved in analysing statistical data related to research in the respective fields.
Penny joined the Green Connection on the 01 November 2007. She assumes responsibility for the overall management of the administrative functions of the Green Connection office and logistics management for our projects. and regularly updates the website. She is quite a capable achiever when it comes to meeting the goals she sets for herself in doing her work.
Penny has a strong background and years of experience working with NGOs. She has developed and advanced her skills in computer literacy, research, community leadership and organisational development, office administration, events organising and print-media. Another interesting part of her work history includes working with youth as a community organiser for environmental awareness, HIV/AIDS and socio-economic issues, as well as hosting a youth radio show.
Front row: Basier Dramat, Liz McDaid
Back row: Glyn Williams, Yachika Reddy, Leila Weideman, Penny Hlakula and Roshan Stanford