Dr Christo Marais

Christo Marais grew up on a wine, deciduous fruit and dairy farm near Robertson in the Breede River (Wide River) valley north east of Cape Town in South Africa.  In 1983 he obtained a diploma in forestry from the Saasveld School of Forestry, and in 1986 graduated with forestry, majoring in nature conservation from the University of Stellenbosch.  In 1988 he obtained an honours and in 1998 a Ph.D. in Nature Conservation.  The title of his dissertation, “An economic evaluation of the invasive alien plant control programmes in the mountain catchment areas of the Western Cape Province, South Africa.”  Since 1987 he worked as natural resource manager in conservation agencies in South Africa and contributed to and edited a number of scientific reports as well as local and international conference proceedings focusing on invasive alien plants and watershed management.  This led to the publication of local and international refereed scientific papers and book chapters on the restoration of ecological infrastructure and payments for ecosystem services with him as co-author and some as first author.  The publications were mostly based on his academic work and experience as senior manager in the Natural Resource Management Programmes of the Department of Environmental Affairs in South Africa. These include the Working for Water, Working on Fire, Working for Wetlands, Working for Forests and Working for Ecosystems programmes all part of the environmental and social cluster of South Africa’s Expanded Public Works Programme.  He is currently Chief Director: Natural Resource Management Programmes in the Department Environment Affairs.  Since its inception the programmes showed an exponential growth in financial turnover.  Expenditure since its inception in 1995 have been more than R16.47 billion and more than 50, 000 people benefit directly from the programmes annually.

Contact Information

Chief Director: Natural Resource Management Programmes (NRM)
Department of Environmental Affairs

14 Loop Street
Cape Town

Tel: +27(0) 21 441 2727
Cell: +27(0) 82 551 8316

Email: cmarais@environment.gov.za
Website: www.environment.gov.za