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Derrek Ruiters

Nature Conservationist and Biodiversity Stewardship


Derrek Ruiters is a Nature Conservationist and Biodiversity Stewardship facilitator in the Biodiversity Economy and Stewardship Programme, at Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, South Africa. His role is the establishment of new Protected Areas outside of state owned areas. The programme also supports these landowners in the biodiversity management and maintenance of these areas. Derrek has also worked for KZN Wildlife as a Planning and Ecological Advice Technician. He has occupied the conservation space for almost 30 years, and has been a facilitator for 15 years. He currently facilitates Stewardship sites across a range of land tenures including communal, private and state land. His most recent achievement is the October 2023 addition of a private property to the KZN Wildlife managed Karkloof Nature Reserve. This role of increasing the hectarage of land under conservation supports conservation targets while assisting landowners to realise fiscal and non-fiscal benefits, is what makes the Stewardship Programme a success. Derrek works with a wide range of multidisciplinary Government, NGO and private companies to ensure the ongoing internal and external support for conservations stewards. Many of these are also beneficiaries of the Biodiversity Economy Initiative which overlaps the Stewardship Programme objectives by supporting the economic viability and aspirations of conservation areas. Amongst his most recently qualifying sites is the communally owned Nodunga CPA conservation area which has qualified for declaration as a Nature Reserve. Spending time learning and sharing alternative medicine therapies and foraging is a hobby he enjoys. This has benefited the health of numerous family members and friends worldwide. He received his National Diploma in Nature Conservation from the Mangosuthu University of Technology and completed a wide range of certificate courses and qualifications.