Programme GREF Climate Change Indaba

GREF Annual Garden Route Fire Commemoration Event & Climate Change Indaba, Tuesday 8 June 2021  

Theme: Adapt to a sustainable future

Facilitator (Session 1): Ms Pamela Booth, Environmental Manager, Knysna Municipality

08:20 Registration & Coffee/Tea


08:55 Introduction by the Programme Director Mr Cobus Meiring, Chairperson of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF)
09:05 Welcome address, “Towards a climate-ready environment Councillor Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor, Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM)
09:30 Keynote address Ms Makhotso Magdeline Sotyu, Deputy Minister of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE)
10:00 Reflecting on the Knysna wildfires and preparing the region towards a climate-ready environment Mr Elrick van Aswegen, Executive Mayor of Knysna Municipality
Brief mention of biomass projects in the Karatara River and a national study: Developing a Strategic Framework for an Alien and Invasive Biomass Economy in South Africa Ms Pamela Booth, Environmental Manager, Knysna Municipality/Mr Cobus Meiring, SCLI
Break (10:30 – 10:45)

Facilitator (Session 2): Cobus Meiring, Chairperson of the Garden Route Environmental Forum (GREF)



10:45 National Disaster Management Ms Ané Bruwer, Executive Manager at the National Disaster Management Centre, South Africa
11:05 The long-term and unanticipated impacts of the 2006 storm event Dr Jackie Dabrowski, Managing Director: Confluent Environmental; Research Associate: Nelson Mandela University and Extraordinary Lecturer: University of Pretoria
11:20 Water Resource Management Dr Fanie Botha, Water Specialist and Consultant, Water Hunters
11:50 Update on global change research in the Garden Route: connecting the dots using a systems approach Professor Christo Fabricius, Lead, CARMa-Afrika: Capacity for African Resource Management at Nelson Mandela University (NMU) & Professor Hervé Fritz, Director of the ECO REHABS International Research Lab, CNRS France, and Nelson Mandela University
12:20 Message from the Principal of the George Campus of Nelson Mandela University (NMU) Dr Kaluke Mawila, Principal of the George Campus of Nelson Mandela University (NMU)
12:35 Eco-nomics – is this the way towards a sustainable future? Professor Eugene Cloete, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies, University of Stellenbosch
LUNCH (13:05 – 13:40)


Facilitator (Session 3): Mr Japie Buckle, Garden Route Biosphere Reserve (GRBR)


13:40 Message of support:  Department of Forestry, Fisheries & Environment Mr Potlako Khati, Coastal Planning and Spatial Information, Department of Environmental Affairs (DFFE), Western Cape
13:50 Sea-level rise and its impact on coastal infrastructure along Mossel Bay Coastline Ms Mushfiqah Abrahams, Conservation Officer – Environmental Management, Mossel Bay Municipality
14:00 Realities of managing national parks in the face of climate change Dr Stefanie Freitag-Ronaldson, General Manager, Garden Route and Frontier Research Unit, SANParks
14:30 Climate change and IAS in Africa Dr Arné Witt, Invasive Alien Plant Specialist and Regional (African, Asia and Caribbean) IAS Coordinator for CABI
15:00 Green infrastructure for disaster risk reduction: the role of wetlands in the Garden Route Ms Debbie Fordham, Freshwater Ecologist, SES Environmental Services
15:30 Environmental sustainability of the healthcare sector: Response from George Hospital Dr Michael Vonk, Chief Executive Officer, George Hospital
15:40 Closure and way forward: Relevance of climate change decisions and IDP implementation Mr Gerhard Otto, Head of Disaster Management, Garden Route District Municipality



Hosted by Knysna Municipality and the Garden Route Trail Park

VENUE: Garden Route Trail Park, 09:00 – 16:00

GPS Co-ordinates:   S33.55.01  •  E22.51.46

Dormehl Farms

6580 Barrington, Western Cape, South Africa

Find us

(60 km from George)