Neoka Naidoo is a PGD alumna and is currently completing her MPhil in Sustainable Development. Neoka has recently written an essay for a book called Feminism Is: South Africans Speak Their Truth, in which she explores the linkages between climate change and feminism, and shares her experience of the world of climate change negotiations, still very much a male-dominated arena. On 23 July 2018 the Sustainability Institute hosted Neoka as a guest speaker for our Soil, Soul, and Society series to discuss her essay and the topic of feminism and climate change in general.
“I care about the environment and choose to live a sustainable and ethical life as much as possible. At a young age I felt a deep connection with the world that surrounded me, which fuelled my drive to attain my BSc in Environmental Science in my hometown of Durban at the University of KwaZulu Natal. This subsequently led me to the PGD in Sustainable Development at the Sustainability Institute through Stellenbosch University and I am now enrolled in the MPhil program. I always wanted someone to do something about the issues that plague our society; then I realised I was that someone.”
She was selected as the Leadership Development Fellow in South Africa for the Climate Action Network International, working on international climate change policy and linking it to national climate change civil society coordination. While at Project 90 by 2030 as a policy communicator she merged her theoretical knowledge with tangible practice. She was then the Transparency Coordinator for the Climate Action Network International at the UNFCCC negotiations. In her last role there she worked independently to try and integrate her knowledge of climate change with global system transitions with various stakeholders and institutions. In 2016 Neoka was selected for the Mail and Guardian’s 200 Young South African list due to her extensive experience in the environmental movement. Most recently she was selected by the Ecologist as one of 10 global activists to defeat President Trump’s climate change agenda. Now she is a Technical Advisor for GIZ (German Development Organisation) in the Strategic Partnership for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement (SPIPA) in South Africa.
We are very proud of the great things Neoka is achieving and for continuing to make her voice heard on issues of feminism and climate change. All the best for the future, Neoka!