Zero Plastics

to the Seas of Africa

20-24 April 2020

Port Elizabeth
South Africa

The Second International Conference of the African Marine Waste Network

20-24 April 2020
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Days to conference








Conference 2020

Brought to you by the Sustainable Seas Trust

This conference is for everyone

This year’s theme  – Towards Zero Plastics to the Seas of Africa –  
indicates a drive to stop plastics and other waste on land, at source, from finding its way to the seas.

Looking back

Conference 2017

The inaugural African Marine Waste Conference took place July 9th – 13th, 2017 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

The conference was attended by approximately 230 delegates from 9 African states and a further 10 countries from other continents.

Read more here

Our Speakers

Prof Karl Klingsheim

Director at

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Prof Karl Klingsheim is a Director at, overseeing operations in Africa, and Adjunct Professor with at the intersection of NTNU’s Strategic Research Areas Sustainability and Oceans. He recently served as Science & Technology Counsellor with the Royal Norwegian Embassy in South Africa.

He has previously held positions in industry, public institutions and governmental organizations, and he has extensive experience from applied and industrial research. He is a Registered Technology Transfer Professional (RTTP) and a seasoned educator with tenure as professor in Norway and in Poland. He has served as executive officer and board member for multinational companies as well as for university spin-offs. He has been instrumental in the concept development, formation, fundraising, business development, staffing, marketing, sales, operations, and benefit extraction for a large number of initiatives, programs, and start-up companies worldwide. (

Prof Linda Godfrey

Principal Scientist, Waste and Circular Economy, CSIR

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Prof Linda Godfrey is a Principal Scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Associate Professor at Northwest University in South Africa, and holds a PhD in Engineering from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

With over 20-years of sector experience, she currently heads up the Waste Research Development and Innovation (RDI) Roadmap Implementation Unit on behalf of the Department of Science and Innovation, a unit tasked with implementing South Africa’s 10-year Waste RDI Roadmap. She has provided strategic input to a number of local, regional and international waste and circular economy initiatives for the United Nations, European Union, South African Government Departments, Academy of Sciences, International Solid Waste Association, universities and businesses. She lectures internationally on solid waste management in developing countries, including the social, economic and environmental opportunities of “waste” within a circular economy context. She has published extensively in the field.

Prof Jenna Jambeck

National Geographic Fellow, University of Georgia, Professor of Environmental Engineering

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Prof Jenna Jambeck is a Professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia (UGA), Director of the Center for Circular Materials Management in the New Materials Institute and a National Geographic Fellow.
She has been conducting research on solid waste issues for over 23 years with related projects on marine debris since 2001. She also specializes in global waste management issues and plastic contamination. Her work on plastic waste inputs into the ocean has been recognized by the global community and translated into policy discussions by the Global Ocean Commission, in testimony to U.S. Congress, in G7 and G20 Declarations, and the United Nations Environment program.

Jenna conducts public environmental diplomacy as an International Informational Speaker for the US Department of State. This has included multiple global programs of speaking events, meetings, presentations to governmental bodies, and media outreach in thirteen countries including Chile, Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa, Vietnam, Jordan, Israel, South Korea, India, and China. She has won awards for her teaching and research in the College of Engineering and the UGA Creative Research Medal, as well as a Public Service and Outreach Fellowship.

In 2014, Jenna sailed across the Atlantic Ocean with 13 other women in eXXpedition to sample land and open ocean plastic and encourage women to enter STEM disciplines. She is co-developer of the mobile app Marine Debris Tracker, a tool that continues to facilitate a growing global citizen science initiative. The app and citizen science programme has documented the location of over one million litter and marine debris items removed from our environment throughout the world.

Dr Judy Mann

Conservationist Strategist of SAAMBR

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Dr. Judy Mann
Conservationist Strategist of SAAMBR

Dr. Judy Mann has worked for the South African Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR) in Durban since 1992. She was a research scientist in SAAMBR’s Oceanographic Research Institute, where she worked with recreational fishermen and fisheries managers. She led the Sea World Education Department for 10 years. As uShaka Sea World Director she led the team that moved the old aquarium to the new uShaka Marine World, the largest aquarium complex in Africa. She was the first woman Chief Executive Officer of SAAMBR. She is currently the Conservation Strategist of the Association.

Judy was also the co-founder and first chairperson of the South African Marine and Coastal Educators Network (MCEN). Amongst others she is President Elect of the International Zoo Educators Association, was Chair of the South African Network for Coastal and Oceanic Research (SANCOR), Chair of CoastWatch KZN and Chair of the Pan African Association of Zoos and Aquaria (PAAZA).

Judy holds a Master’s Degree in Ichthyology, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and PhD from the University of Queensland in Australia.

Dr Tony Ribbink

Founding trustee and CEO of Sustainable Seas Trust

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Dr Tony Ribbink is an internationally recognised scientist who applies his expertise in the service of the people of South Africa and Africa as a whole. He has leveraged science and technology to enable the people of different countries to work in concert to achieve African-defined and African-driven visions.

He also anticipated by many years the human rights issues current today by, for instance, initiating in the late 1970s the development of the Lake Malawi National Park in which villages were able to maintain their traditional rights.

In November 2007, Dr Ribbink became a founding trustee and CEO of Sustainable Seas Trust. From 1999 to 2005 he managed two international WWF projects on freshwaters, and concurrently, from 2002 to 2007, developed, raised the funds for and managed the African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme (ACEP). Dr Ribbink also received a gold medal from WWF for contributions to conservation and education and a silver medal for limnological research, an award only present four times since the society’s inception in 1964.

Mr Abou Bamba

Executive Secretary Abidjan Convention

Dr Denise Hardesty

Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Oceans and Atmospheres 

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Dr Denise Hardesty is a principal research scientist for CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere. A broadly trained ecologist, her work has taken her to all seven continents, studying everything from penguins in Antarctica to hornbills in West Africa, the rainforests of central and South America, and looking at plastic waste along the coastlines in Australia, Asia, North and South America and Africa.

For the last decade her work has increasingly focused on plastic pollution, looking at impacts on wildlife such as seabirds, turtles and marine mammals, and examining the sources, drivers and distribution of mis-managed waste.

As recognition of the plastic pollution issue grows, Denise is increasingly asked to provide expert opinion on marine debris related matters to international and domestic governments, industry, fisheries and other stakeholders including the United Nations, G7 and G20 bodies, and the Convention on Biological Diversity, with the aim of to reducing this important transboundary issue. She believes strongly in the contribution of communities, having worked with more than 8,000 citizen scientists over the last few years to help tackle the plastic pollution problem.

Dr Julius Francis

Works for the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA)

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Dr Julius Francis currently work for the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA), which is a regional professional, non-governmental, membership organization, based and registered in Zanzibar, Tanzania. He has been involved in different aspects of conservation, research and management of coastal and marine environments in the western Indian Ocean (WIO) region for a number of years working with many collaborators and partners including decision makers, local communities, managers, scientists and students.

Also, been involved in coastal and marine resource management programs, community based natural resources management, capacity building for MPA management, ICM, and Marine Spatial Planning. His particular interest is in linking the knowledge that emerges from research to the management and governance issues that affect marine and coastal ecosystems in the region. Recently, he has been playing a key role in setting up a regional platform for interactions between scientists and decision-makers under the auspices of the Nairobi Convention.

He coordinated the production of the first comprehensive Regional State of the Coast Report for the WIO region. He is currently coordinating regional monitoring programme for marine litter and ocean acidification as well as the Group of Experts on marine litter and microplastics.

No Time To Waste

Plastics touch the lives of everyone, everywhere, every day. This conference is for everyone. Join us and be a part of leading Zero Plastics to the Seas of Africa.

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