The winners of the 2019 SAB Environmental Media Environmentalist of the Year Awards were recently announced at the AB InBev headquarters in Johannesburg.
Nearly 200 environmental entries were received from South African journalists reporting across categories of video media, audio media, written media and photography, with renowned rhino calf response and rehabilitation expert Karen Trendler receiving the Nick Steele Memorial Award for Environmentalist of the Year, for the on-going instrumental role she plays in rhino calf rescue.
For the first time, the SAB Environmental Community Award, recognising community-based environmental projects, was given to environmental scientist and author Fortunate Phaka, for his frog handbook, the first to be written in isiZulu and English, with input from local community members in KwaZulu-Natal.
“This award is aimed at helping those on the ground make a difference in communities that are affected, more than most, by daily environmental challenges,” said Zoleka Lisa, SAB VP corporate affairs and sustainability SA.
And the winners of the SAB Environmental Media and Environmentalist Awards 2019 are…
- Written Media Award (print and online) – Bongani Fuzile, Daily Dispatch, for his investigation into a possible Cholera outbreak in the Eastern Cape
- Written Media Award (Magqubu Ntombela and Ian Player Cub Award) – Ahmed Kajee, EWN, for his investigation into how South African could run out of water by 2030
- Photography Award (print and online) - Alon Skuy, Sunday Times, for his work capturing the treatment and recovery of Chaos the lion from skin cancer
- Video Media Award (Magqubu Ntombela and Ian Player Cub Award) – Shivan Parusnath, 50/50, for the work he did on the Sungazer lizards and the impact of the illegal reptile trade in South Africa
- Video Media Award (short-form) – John Webb, Carte Blanche, for his entries on the impact of palm oil on the environment; how Mpumalanga is regarded by Greenpeace Africa as the world’s worst nitrogen dioxide hotspot; and the risk that rising planet temperatures could thaw carbon-rich permafrost in the Arctic, causing methane gas to be released and turn the earth into a global hothouse
- Video Media Award (long-form) – Bonne de Bod and Susan Scott, freelancers for Stroop: Journey into the Rhino Horn War
- Audio Media Award (short-form) – Kaylynn Palm, EWN, for her entries on the drought and its effects on the Western Cape
- Audio Media Award (long-form) – Suzanne Paxton, RSG, for her investigation into the effects of humans and climate change on the country’s flora and fauna
- Nick Steele Memorial Award for the Environmentalist of the Year – Karen Trendler
- SAB Environmental Community Award – Fortunate Phaka
Commenting on the awards, convenor Katy Katopodis commented on the current environmental crisis the world is facing saying: “There’s never been a more important time to for journalists to write stories about this critical issue. The environment has a direct impact on every aspect of our economy and our lives and we encourage all journalists to keep writing about the catastrophic effects of climate change.”