New support for fynbos conservation

Kirsten Retief

Kirsten Retief joins the team

The Sustainable Harvesting Programme has a new team member. Kirsten Retief joins the team as the Conservation Extension and Applied Research Coordinator. She will meet with landowners and harvesters, providing support to meet environmental best practice principles in the fynbos sector.

Kirsten previously worked for the Endangered Wildlife Trust, working within the Wildlife and Energy Programme, based at Strandfontein on the West Coast. Her role here included monitoring the impacts of wind turbines on bird and bat populations.

Prior to this, she worked as a Research Assistant at the SA National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). In collaboration with the University of Cape Town, Kirsten worked with Dr Adam West and Michele Pfab on forensic methods to curb cycad poaching. South Africa is well known for its cycad diversity. But cycad poaching from the wild is rife in the country.

She graduated in Zoology and Ecology from UCT, and then completed her Honours in Botany and her Masters in Conservation Biology. The Masters degree at UCT is a course for which only 14 students are selected globally.

Throughout her career, Kirsten has been inspired by fynbos heavyweights like Prof Timm Hoffman, Prof William Bond, Prof Jeremy Midgley, and more…

Kirsten says she is excited about joining the Flower Valley team, and is looking forward to the challenge. She will be based at the Bredasdorp office, although her role will ensure she covers much of the Cape Floral Kingdom.

Kirsten’s position is supported by the WWF-SA Nedbank Green Trust and the European Union.

For more info, email: kirsten@flowervalley.co.za; or Tel. 028 425 2218.