Chris Dickens, IWMI’s Head of Office and Principal Researcher in Southern Africa, was honoured for his long standing contribution to environmental conservation.
The award from the Wildlife Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) coincides with the organisations 90thanniversary. WESSA initiates and supports high impact environmental and conservation projects that promote caring for the Earth. Describing the award moment, Chris said the honour ‘was totally unexpected, but it is gratifying to know that the work you do makes a mark every now and again. Given WESSA’s ninety-year history in environmental conservation, their appreciation is gratefully received.’
The Lifetime Achiever Award bestowed on Chris reflects his 27 years of research work on river systems and ecosystem ‘health’ in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana and more recently Myanmar and the Nile Basin.
Chris was a founding member of the South African National River Health Programme in 1996 and his paper ‘Dickens and Graham, 2002 The South African Scoring System Version 5 Rapid Bioassessment Method for Rivers. AJAS 27(1)’ remains one of the most influential guides to managing water resources across Southern Africa. The method is used in implementing South African management procedures affecting environmental water requirements and the setting of resource quality objectives, the results of which are signed into law.