Inspiration & Approach

Introducing the important formative forces behind my philosophy and approach. Many encounters in one’s life with people, wildlife and natural environments influence the development of a philosophy towards conservation. Some are more important than others, but all contribute to a comprehensive philosophy towards the environment. This supports all decision making and gives both stability and confidence when faced with conservation challenges. The following are some of these watershed impacts.

My motivation for a life in conservation was based on people that inspired me and my passion for kayaking and exploration of wild places. This list of references from the past supported the establishment of principles that underpins my philosophy towards conservation and my professional life. My first memory of wild landscapes comes from a reading of the book Jock of the Bushvelt written by the South African Sir Percy FitzPatrick introducing wild Africa and the life in the wilderness…
INSPIRATION behind my approach: Humanity needs nature, but nature does not need us. We receive provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural service from the environment we live in. These ecosystem values and benefits are known as ecosystem services (ESS). These services are not always visible or understood, but our survival depends on their protection . They are best managed through a network of protected areas of various classes and tenure that transcend international boundaries. Conservation through National Parks was originally developed…
DMZ Meeting with Ted Turner CNN http://profwillemvanriet.com/blog/the-demilitarised-zone-between-north-and-south-korea The Demilitarized zone is a strip of land between north and South Korea app. 4 km wide and 250km long. Due to the strong barrier fencing and the presence of a vast number of military from both sides, the landscape remains undisturbed for many years. During 2004 Dr Nelson Mandela, during a visit to South Korea, mentioned the idea of a Peace Park for the DMZ to the government in the South Korea.…
I have been fortunate on a few occasions to share many moments in the natural environment with Sir Richard Branson. It all started while I was sitting, at OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg, waiting for a flight to Mozambique to go to the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. I received a phone call from him explaining his interest in the Peace Park vision of the late Dr Anton Rupert and that he would like support the work that we were doing…
A unique river forming the boundary between Angola and Namibia. What follows is a brief description of a truly influential adventure in my life. The exposure to the wild landscapes formed the basis for the later application of a principled approach to conservation. This proved to be one of the most challenging of river explorations undertaken by myself in Africa. In-depth research to understand the geography of this catchment basin, illustrated to me the importance of geology and geomorphology in…