3 years ago

Opportunity Issue 91 - Sept-Oct-2019

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  • African
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FORESTRY The geographer

FORESTRY The geographer Geographic information systems (GIS) technician at Mondi for three years, Nokukhanya Mthembu has a BSc in Geography and Environmental Management, a BSc Honours in Environmental Management, and is currently studying for her MSc in GIS and Earth Observation. “I maintain Mondi’s spatial database, create maps, update roads, adjust compartment boundaries and write reports. I also use satellite images to monitor forests and work on various research projects.Working in forestry is fun! It allows me to utilise new technologies and work with different specialists within the industry. I love that I can apply GIS and remote sensing to different aspects of forestry like forest health monitoring and growth and yield assessments. “If you want to work in an environment that is dynamic, consider forestry! It offers a variety of experiences.” Zelda Schwalbach out there relating to forestry – the most popular one being that we should ‘save the trees’ and use less paper. From a communications perspective, it remains one of our biggest challenges to slay some of these myths, and to continue spreading the good news about the wonders of wood fibre. “Girls entering this sector should have a love and respect for nature, should know that they are going to be challenged in entering what is traditionally known as a very male-dominated environment; but also look forward to the fact that they are ultimately equipped to make a meaningful difference by contributing to creating shared value for our rural economies in their chosen careers.” The tree farmer Although her highest qualification is matric, Naddy Mbuyazi owns a 24ha forestry operation and was NCT Tree Farmer of the Year in 2015. She has been farming for 13 years. “If you want the best results, you can’t run a forestry operation by remote control. Apart from planning silviculture and harvesting applications, I like to take a hands-on approach by working with my teams. It’s important to be directly involved. “My late husband introduced me to forestry. It was hard in the beginning, but it has taught me patience and resilience. There are difficult times – like facing the possibility of losing your entire compartment to pests or diseases, but you learn to rise above these. “With the correct mindset, you are bound for big success. Forestry needs people who have passion, are dedicated and who are not afraid to get their hands dirty.” Compiled by Katy Louise Johnson BSc (Hons) PhD Nokukhanya Mthembu Naddy Mbuyazi 18 |

WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND LEADERSHIP FOR AFRICA Break the gender stereotype in business. The Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership for Africa Programme (WELA) is a practical, hands-on programme that examines the issues, challenges and opportunities women face in creating, managing and leading companies in Africa. The programme is specially designed for women entrepreneurs and is focused on enabling them to identify business opportunities as well as maintain viable and sustainable enterprises. This Programme is offered in partnership with CEIBS, with study blocks delivered in Johannesburg and Shanghai. CEIBS creates a supportive and participatory learning environment for the exchange of best practices and experiences, strategy development and skills building, working within the context of women’s economic development issues and priorities 2020 intake starts in November 2019 In partnership with

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