In Memoriam: Dr. Ian Player

02 Dec 14

Dr Ian Player SABIt is with deep sadness that SAB acknowledges the passing of Dr. Ian Player, the man who started the SAB Environmental Media and Environmentalist of the Year Awards.

Dr. Player’s career began with the Natal Parks Board in 1952 and whilst Warden of the Umfolozi Game Reserve, he spearheaded two key initiatives including Operation Rhino, that saved the few remaining southern race of white rhino and helped obtain protected status for the Umfolozi and St. Lucia Wilderness Areas (the first wilderness areas to be zoned in South Africa and on the African continent.)

He founded the Wilderness Leadership School which led to the formation of the International Wilderness Leadership Foundation (WILD), the Wilderness Foundation SA, Wilderness Foundation UK, Magqubu Ntombela Foundation not to mention the World Wilderness Congresses, first convened in 1977.

In 1988, together with SAB he initiated the SAB Environmental Media and Environmentalist of the Year Awards. He was inductee into its Hall of Fame in 2012.

He will be missed and remembered by all who knew him.