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About Us

A new vision for Africa’s ecological future

What we do

CARMa-Afrika develops the capacity of African natural resource managers to conserve nature with communities, using cutting-edge methods and technologies.

  • The CARMa-Afrika collaboratory is part of Nelson Mandela University

CARMa supports African conservation professions through learning by doing. We do this through:

  • Evidence-based strategic planning
  • Participatory learning & action
  • Developmental monitoring & evaluation
  • Training courses
  • Decision support systems & tools
  • Hands-on mentoring

Our People

Prof. Christo Fabricius

PhD (Conservation Biology), University of Cape Town; Associate Coaching Certificate, UCT

Christo leads the CARMa-Afrika programme in Nelson Mandela University. A former Global Lead Scientist for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) International, Science Director of the Resilience Alliance and Campus Principal of Nelson Mandela University’s George Campus, he specialises in coordinating large multi-participant projects at the interface of people and nature, with a focus on community-based conservation in production landscapes. A globally recognised systems ecologist, he is Lead Author in the UN IPBES Sustainable Use Assessment and was Coordinating Lead Author in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Christo advises global NGOs, governments and corporates on community conservation, agro-ecological resilience, sustainable livelihood programmes and integrated monitoring and evaluation programmes. He has served on several international boards and advisory panels and with more than 4500 citations has published widely on community, landscape and livelihood resilience.

Dr. Randall Jonas

PhD (Sociology), Nelson Mandela University
Randall is an organizational governance and entrepreneurship development specialist. He has 42 years’ work experience of which 32 years are in organisational leadership and strategic management of both public and private entities. A former Director of the Nelson Mandela University Business School and former National Chairperson of the South African Business Schools Association (SABSA), Randall is currently Chairperson of the African Association of MBA Graduates (AAMBAG). He is a recipient of a National leadership award in private tertiary education and is an expert workshop facilitator and business strategy developer.

Dr. Tatenda Mapeto

PhD (Nature Conservation), Nelson Mandela University

Tatenda specializes in forest management planning and forest value chains, and is an expert in forest hydrology measurement and trans-disciplinary natural resource management. She's a Lecturer in Forestry at Nelson Mandela University's School of Natural Resource Management and former Chair: Forestry Education, International Forestry Students’ Association.

Dr. Current Masunungure

PhD (Nature Conservation), Nelson Mandela University

Current specialises in decision support models in natural resource management and ecosystem restoration; invasive alien plant management; systems dynamics modelling; rural livelihoods; project management; climate financing and climate change adaptation. As programme officer for VERRA and former analyst, climate change mitigation with C4Ecosolutions, he has in-depth knowledge of carbon reduction projects under different global standards and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) accounting using contemporary protocols and standards. Current is an expert in using analytical methods to support natural resource management decision making.

Dr. Samantha McCulloch-Jones

PhD (Nature Conservation), Nelson Mandela University

Sam is a social-ecological systems thinker, who specializes in navigating and connecting the gaps between practice and academia. Her experience lies in social learning facilitation, social network analysis and qualitative research techniques. Her PhD studies focused on mechanisms to promote adaptive governance in large multi-functional landscapes and her recent work produced state of knowledge reports for strategic water resource areas and biosphere reserves.

Dr. Herbert Ntuli

PhD (Economics), University of Cape Town

Herbert is an environmental economist whose interests include environmental valuation of non-marketed goods, park pricing, the role of institutions in community-based wildlife conservation, governance and co-management models, livelihoods, poverty, inequality, smallholder agriculture, rural development and climate change. Upon completing his PhD, Herbert was awarded the Carnegie Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from 2016 to 2021. In 2017, he was awarded the prestigious Mäler Scholarship to visit the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics where he pushed forward his research ideas in behavioural and experimental economics. Herbert also worked for WWF South Africa as Wildlife Economics and Policy Analyst for two and a half years and is currently engaged as an EfD Research Fellow under the Environment and Policy Research Unit (EPRU) at UCT. 

Dr. James George Sekonya

PhD (Environmental and Geographic Sciences), University of Cape Town

George specializes in  natural resource governance, sustainable use of wild resources, informal natural resource commercialisation, marketing and value chains, and rural livelihoods. George is an expert in the use of qualitative and blended monitoring and evaluation methodologies. He's a Lecturer in Sustainability Science at Nelson Mandela University's School of Natural Resource Management.


Our clients and collaborators

CGIAR Water Land and Ecosystems
International Water Management Institute
Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area
Agropolis Fondation
Future Earth Ocean Knowledge Action Network
Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services IPBES
Research Platform Production and Conservation in Partnership
Peaceparks Foundation
Southern African Wildlife College
Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa WESSA
Nelson Mandela University

The CARMa-Afrika collaboratory is hosted by Nelson Mandela University’s Sustainability Research Unit. We are available for short term consultancies as well as longer term contracts for science support, capacity development, monitoring and evaluation.


Tel: (+27) 83 631 8828