MESSAGE FROM: University of KwaZulu-Natal by Deo Jaganyi, Activing Deputy Vice Chancellor and Head of College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science

The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s vision is to become the Premier University of African Scholarship and our mission statement is to be a truly South African university that is academically excellent, innovative in research, critically engaged with society and demographically representative, redressing the disadvantages, inequities and imbalances of the past.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal has played an active role in the conservation and management of biodiversity throughout the province and the rest of the country. These activities have been possible through the long and productive relationships we have maintained with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, community conservation agencies and NGOs. These relationships have directly led to the implementation of conservation actions and production of a number of scientific publications.

Through the College of Agriculture, Engineering & Science, we have trained a vast number of professionals that directly tackle the modern conservation challenges facing the biodiversity of our country today. Our graduates can be found working within both provincial and national conservation organisations, government agencies, the private sector, other universities and NGOs. These graduates, along with many of our present students and staff members (some presenting at the Symposium), have been directly involved with shaping conservation management policies, and conducting both applied and pure research. It is with these points in mind, that we are excited and proud to be part of the 2015 Symposium of Contemporary Conservation Practice.

We wish all the delegates a very successful and productive Symposium, and hope that the interactions of so many dedicated individuals will lead to the continued persistence of the country’s biodiversity.

Professor Deo Jaganyi

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head

College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science

University of KwaZulu-Natal