Melissa grew up in Cape Town, and has lived and worked in South Africa and various European countries. She is both a social and environmental scientist, with Masters’ degrees in both areas, and currently works in conservation and climate change adaptation throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Melissa works with government agencies, NGOs and most importantly with rural communities to assist them to manage their natural resources sustainably; on combatting wildlife crime; resolving human wildlife conflict; and also on climate change adaptation for people and biodiversity. Melissa’s passion is nature and she loves being outdoors whether working, running, hiking or mtn-biking. She is also a fair-weather paddler and diver. In her work and daily life, she strives to provide the space for wild species to survive and to reduce her own footprint on the planet.
Nick was born in Kenya and schooled in KZN. He has lived in Europe and the USA, and worked in many countries across the world. He is an ecologist by training and currently consults globally in strategic planning, global change and ‘futures thinking’, to governments, companies, NGOs and local communities. He has a PhD in Geography & Spatial Planning from the USA and an LLM in International Environmental Law from the UK. Nick’s work passion is in encouraging current and future decision-makers in ‘futures thinking’; he has a professorship in the Environmental Management Research Unit at North West University and part-time faculty post at the University of Stellenbosch’s Business School, where he lectures on this topic. He also works on a number of international processes under the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), has been Chief Executive of three environmental organisations and is currently on the Board of four NGOs. Nature, and outdoor activities such as hiking, running, mtn-biking, kayaking and scuba-diving take priority on any given day.
We have long sought to go off-grid and to have a smaller home-life ‘footprint’. We have looked at a number of other options, and really like the overall independent sustainability vision and ethos of Honeyville. While we may not be able to put a lot of work into the permaculture on a daily basis, we are very keen to support the overall initiative. With both of us having a background in environment and conservation, we would like to be involved in the development and management of the nature reserve and the overall sustainability, off-grid, community village concept. We would very much like to see the Honeyville vision come to fruition and are hugely enthusiastic about its potential as an alternative development model. We are committed to contribute as much as we can to make it work.