Who We Are
Board of Trustees
SST has an excellent Board of Trustees which has the fiduciary and legal responsibilities for the trust, and ensures adherence to the legal requirements, policies and ethics of all that SST and its partners undertake in contracts, projects and programmes. Four of the eight current board members are lawyers with considerable professional experience in financial matters. Other trustees have expertise in education, science and business. The primary role of the trustees in all programmes is to ensure that the finances are meticulously managed, that the contracts are carried out as agreed, and that the policies and ethics that guide the trust are followed. Trustees are guided by the CEO on scientific, educational and technical issues. The CEO is supported in some programmes by a technical and academic advisory panel.
The principal trust is administered by the Senior Trust Practitioner of the Nedgroup Trust (Pty) Limited in Cape Town. Nedgroup Trust inherited a proud and long history in trust management when it absorbed the BOE Trust Limited, which was the oldest trust company in the world. This history inspires confidence.
The Patrons are figureheads who support SST and bring credit to the organization. SST has a superb board of patrons led by Dr Sylvia Earle, the internationally renowned, multi-award winning marine conservationist, who is also the architect of the Global Hope Spot movement. Dr Earle was one of SST’s founding trustees before becoming a patron.
The other international patron is Mr Masaki Miyaji of Japan. The South African patrons include Peter van Kets, a famous adventurer and explorer; Prof Derrick Schwartz the Vice-Chancellor of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University contributing an academic component; and Mr Craig Foster, an internationally renowned film-maker and a pioneer of the Sea Change programme encouraging people to better understand the marine environment.
The Operational Team
Frequently SST seems to be punching well above weight, especially if seen in isolation from its partners and supporting networks. This is due to the SST policy of maintaining a small core staff, and acting as a facilitating or co-ordinating body. Much of what SST achieves should be measured by what other organizations and individuals have performed. SST raises funds for programmes then draws in partners, such as the case for the Keiskamma Food Security project. Participants from Rhodes University (anthropologists, educators, socio-economists, geographers, economists, and marine scientists), Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (estuarine and marine scientists), University of Fort Hare (agriculturalists and geographic information scientists), and from Keiskamma Trust (educators and sociologists) were drawn together through SST to facilitate this project.
This programme is most easily appreciated through the films, and access to the book and reports arising from the films can be obtained.
Similarly, the SEA Pledge tours and Hope Spot programmes have depended on broad scale collaboration, in which SST has acted as the facilitating body. Our small SST team and its volunteers have harnessed the support of hundreds of people in scores of organizations.
The policy of not committing to a large permanent staff means that the costs of running SST are kept lower, despite having to occasionally employ short-term consultants who are well paid.
More details of the operational team of SST, led by Dr Tony Ribbink, are provided here.