Fynbos Award for Odette Curtis
An ABI Partner and Committee member has won one of the 2014 Fynbos Conservation Awards. Dr Odette Curtis, Director of the Overberg Lowlands Conservation Trust, won the award as part of the CAPE Partners Conference, held at the Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town on 21 October.
Odette, who has a PhD in Botany from the University of Cape Town (UCT), won the award for her outstanding contribution in the broad biodiversity conservation community. The Fynbos Conservation Awards highlight work undertaken in helping the Cape Action for People and the Environment partnership programme ensure the biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom is conserved, used sustainably and is well managed. This work should also be endorsed by government and embraced by local communities.
Odette has worked in the field of renosterveld conservation for many years. She has discovered three new plant species in renosterveld, two of which are named after her. She has worked passionately with land owners and other key stakeholders in encouraging formal conservation on private land.
Most of the remaining renosterveld in the world is found on private land - with only between 4% and 6% of renosterveld left in the world today. Aside from her work as Director of the Overberg Lowlands Conservation Trust, she is also an ABI Committee member, and a Board member of the Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency.
Odette previously managed the Black Harrier and Black Sparrowhawk Project between 2000 and 2006 at UCT, and undertook a pilot study on game birds in renosterveld in 2007. She was contracted by CapeNature’s Stewardship Programme between 2007 and 2011, to encourage land owners to become stewardship members where appropriate. She has in recent years also worked with WWF-South Africa, initiating research on renosterveld management.
From all the ABI Partners - a huge congratulations to Odette, for a well deserved award.
Photographs courtesy of the Overberg Lowlands Conservation Trust