Background to the award

The National Wetland Awards, sponsored by Mondi, are unique bronze Wattled Crane sculptures designed by sculptor Sarah Richards and are awarded annually to recognise outstanding contributions to wetland work in South Africa.

The awards highlight achievements in:

  1.  The better management of wetlands through stewardship;
  2.  The development of skills for improved wetland management and conservation; and
  3.  Achievements in wetland scientific research.

From 2014 onwards, a new category was awarded that being for Young Professionals who are younger than 35 years of age and have less than 5 years of experience. The recipients of these awards may work for any sector of society, including government, private companies, corporates, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and the public.



Individuals or institutions are invited to nominate.

Individuals or institutions, governmental and non-governmental, academics, the public, corporate and private sector enterprises are all eligible for nomination.

However self nominations will not be accepted. The awards will be given to individuals or institutions with a proven record of achievements in one or other of the four categories listed.

Nominees should have contributed significantly to the long-term conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. Special consideration will be given to those initiatives which might serve as inspirational and practical examples for others, and are replicable.

past recipients

We congratulate the following past recipients on their National Wetland Awards:

2021 Education & Skills Development – Wietsche Roets Science & Research – Nancy Job Stewardship – Johann van Biljon Young Professional – Tinotenda Mangadze

2020 Education & Skills Development – Intaka Island Trust Science & Research – Prof Terence “Spike” McCarthy Stewardship – Liezl de Villiers Young Professional – Denisha Anand

2019 Education & Skills Development – Dr Piet-Louis Grundling Science & Research – Dr Nacelle Collins Stewardship – Eskom and Birdlife SA Young Professional – Lumka Madolo

2018 Education & Skills Development – Mlungisi Ntuli Science & Research – Dr Heidi van Deventer Stewardship – Andy Mills Young Professional – Fortunate Phaka

2017 Education & Skills Development – Kirsty Robinson and Ryan Fisher Science & Research – Nicolete Forbes and Brownwyn James Stewardship – Andrew Zaloumis and Peter Gardiner Young Professional – Roderick Juba

2016. Education & Skills Development – Sihle Bukhosini Science & Research – Hans King Stewardship – Hannes Muller Young Professional – Musa Mlambo

2015. Education & Skills Development – Prof Jenny Day Science & Research – Dr Steve Mitchell Stewardship – Marc Bezencon Young Professional – Shaddai Daniel-Harris

2014 Education & Skills Development – Dr Nancy Job Science & Research – Prof Charles Breen Stewardship – Suretha Dorse and Wally Petersen Young Professional – Namhla Mbona

2013 Education & Skills Development – Water Research Commission Science & Research – Dr Heather Malan Stewardship – Craig Cowden and Doug Woods

2012 Education & Skills Development – Marc de Fontaine Science & Research – Prof Fred Ellery Stewardship – Paul Fairall

2011 Education & Skills Development – Mpumalanga Wetland Forum Science & Research – Dr Donovan Lotze Stewardship – David Kleyn


2022 National Wetlands Awards

Do you know someone in the wetland community who demonstrates some of the following characteristics and you think their good efforts should be recognised?

 # Innovative and creative ideas.

 # Encourages new stakeholders into wetland conservation efforts.

 # Voluntary work or work “beyond the call of duty”. 

 # Long service and legacy to wetland management or a significant and lasting impact in a short space of time. 

 # Development and implementation of effective wetland management tools. 

 # Contribution to transformation and capacity development in the sector. 

 # Successful wetland rehabilitation.

 # Profiling the importance of wetlands in water security in South Africa. 

 # Significant growth in wetland capacity/action.

The National Wetland Awards are presented annually to recognise outstanding contributions and achievements and showcase successful or innovative work in the wetland community. The recipients of these awards may work for any sector of society, including government, private companies, corporates, non‐governmental organizations, academic institutions, and the public.

One award is presented for each of the following categories:

 Wetlands Stewardship:  Those who have made a significant contribution towards securing the effective and sustainable management of wetland areas through either the expansion of these areas or through agreements and collaboration with land users and owners in order to conserve wetland health, eco‐services and biodiversity.

 Wetland Education and Skills Development:  Those who have made a significant contribution towards wetland education and skills development in South Africa. This may be through institutional and professional capacity building, training, collaboration, stakeholder engagement or educational tools, outreach, and awareness.

 Wetlands Science and Research: Those who have made a significant contribution towards wetland scientific research providing a sound basis for informed management action strengthening water security.

 Young Professional:  To recognise the future of the wetland field of practice in South Africa, a fourth category for that of Young Professional is also awarded. This award is for those younger than 35 years of age who have shown enthusiasm and dedication towards furthering knowledge, understanding and involvement in the wetland field, as well as having helped further wetland science/management and/or have played an active role in the wetland community at local, provincial or national levels.

We encourage you to recognise and nominate your peers and colleagues for the prestigious National Wetland Awards for 2022! The awards will be presented at the National Wetlands Indaba to be held in October this year at Golden Gate.

The awards are unique bronze Wattled Crane sculptures and medals designed by world renowned sculptor Sarah Richards.

Full details about the awards as well as nomination forms can be downloaded at the following link: 

The deadline for nominations to be submitted is Friday 16 September 2022 at 2pm . Submissions must include the completed Nomination Form and any Supporting Documents and should be sent to the Awards Adjudication Committee Chairperson Dr Piet‐Louis Grundling at .

Please note that nominations from past years are welcome to be resubmitted for consideration in 2022.