For the past seven years, Siyanda Siko has been South Africa’s country coordinator for the UN Partnership for Action on Green Economy (Page). Through Page, Siko facilitates programmes that attempt to guide South Africa towards a greener and more sustainable future.
South Africa joined Page in 2015 as a means of supporting the country’s transition to a low carbon, resource efficient and pro-employment development plan. Its three primary objectives are to encourage increased collaboration and coordination in developing green policy and planning, to identify and enable sector reform where necessary while empowering existing green economy sectors, and to increase green economy training and understanding through knowledge sharing and partnerships with national learning institutions. Through these objectives, Page seeks to assist in the eradication of poverty, encourage job creation and social equity, improve livelihoods, and support environmental stewardship and sustainable growth.
Recent Page projects led by Siko include the post-Covid-19 green recovery modelling project and the Imvelisi enviropreneur programme.
The post-Covid-19 green recovery modelling project was centred on developing strategies to temper the socioeconomic impacts of Covid-19. Page South Africa took part in a rapid modelling exercise in which analysts from around the world compared recovery packages from different countries to understand both immediate and long-term effects. The intention of the modelling exercise was to provide insight and technical support for greening South Africa’s economic recovery packages.
The Imvelisi enviropreneur programme focuses on helping transform green business ideas into workable business proposals that can be presented to and supported by incubators and funders. Through education, mentoring, networking and a boot camp, the programme seeks to create opportunities for environmental entrepreneurs to develop green solutions for socioeconomic problems, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” — RW Emerson.