DR SYLVIA EARLE
Dr Earle is one of the strongest advocates for the oceans in the world: besides the fact that she’s been a marine biologist since the 1960s, she is also the founder of Mission Blue, which aims to establish marine protected areas – called Hope Spots – around the world. In 2014, she came to South Africa to launch our own six Hope Spots. Dr Earle travels around the world raising awareness of the importance of the marine world and its ecosystems. She has been a National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998, was also named Time Magazine’s first Hero for the Planet in 1998, has been awarded 28 honourary doctoral degrees and has more than 100 awards among many other accolades. www.mission-blue.org
PROF DERRICK SWARTZ
Professor Swartz was instrumental in developing Nelson Mandela University’s leadership role in marine sciences, education and conservation. He was NMU Vice-Chancellor until 2017. He is an avid hiker and outdoorsman, and has a deep interest in conservation, including marine conservation.
Craig and his brother Damon Foster are two of SA’s top documentary filmmakers. They have a strong focus on the natural world, with films such as The Great Dance: A Hunter’s Story and Cosmic Africa. Currently, Craig is focused on a love project: he’s returned to the kelp forests of his youth in the False Bay area. Here he has spent every day of the last five years diving, and is in the process of making a documentary about the area. He has recently released Sea Change together with Ross Frylinck. www.seachangeproject.com
Masaki Miyaji is the mayor of Tobetsu-cho and a senior corporate advisor for Mitsubishi and the Japan International cooperation Agency (JICA). Until recently, he also served as an advisor to four presidents in Africa. He began his patronage of SST in Japan in 2012.
Peter Van Kets
Peter is an extreme adventurer who has undertaken many challenging journeys: he’s rowed across the Atlantic, twice; travelled to the South Pole with motivational speaker Braam Malherbe; and most recently he pedaled from the Kunene River Mouth on the Angolan border across the Namibian desert to Walvis Bay. He is a motivational speaker, and also a passionate conservationist. www.petervankets.co.za