Mr Bertus Louw
Mr Henry Roman
Mr Marko Nokkala
Ms Laura Lahti
Dr Henry Roman
Dr Roman holds a PhD in Biotechnology from Rhodes University, South Africa, specialising in the bioremediation of acid mine drainage. He has completed post-doctoral fellowships at Rhodes University and the CSIR. He has 14 years’ experience in the National System of Innovation in various roles with seven of these at the Department of Science and Technology (DST). He has led the development of two Roadmaps related to the Green Economy ambitions of South Africa, to guide research, development and innovation in the water and waste sectors. He is responsible for the development of the first dedicated degree in Waste Management in South Africa. He also commissioned the first Green Technology Landscape Report for South Africa conducted by ASSAf, as well as the first of its kind Green R&D Investment Survey conducted by TIPS. Dr Roman also has oversight of the South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas, an initiative of the DST. In partnership with SANBI has established the RDI Platforms for Ecological Infrastructure. Dr Roman is the current chair of the IWA-SA a division of the Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA), in a voluntary capacity. At a younger age, he was the first Treasurer of the Young Water Professionals of South Africa.
Mr Bertus Louw
Bertus Louw is a filmmaker and TV presenter, focusing on stories about nature and our relationship with the environment. As someone who is passionate about life, people and adventure, he traveled the world looking for opportunities to learn and contribute to conservation and social issues. His travels took him to more than 50 countries from Iceland to Indonesia and Chad to China.Professionally, Bertus is a qualified nature guide, film producer and facilitator. For years, he volunteered his time during major disasters and gave psychosocial support to survivors of war, earthquakes and tsunamis. In 2013, Bertus joined 50|50, a long running environmental TV show on South African public TV as a field presenter. Since then he established himself as field and studio presenter as well as an award-winning producer of his own stories.He believes education is key to enable people to think differently about our connection with our environment and that stories about innovative solutions to the challenges we face, are one of the best ways to inspire change.When not traveling or working in Johannesburg, Bertus stays on a farm outside Magaliesburg, where together with some friends he is pursuing a more sustainable lifestyle.
Mr Marko Nokkala
Mr. Marko Nokkala (Licentiate, Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki and M.Sc. (Econ.) University of Joensuu) is a Senior Sales Manager for Valmet South Africa. Mr. Nokkala has background and expertise on research and technology linked with biomass and waste. Prior to joining Valmet he worked as the Key Account Manager for Bioenergy and Biofuels at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), the equivalent of South Africa’s CSIR. He has vast knowledge of various combustion and gasification technologies and of treatment of waste for energy conversion. Such advanced technologies are broadly in use across the globe, yet not in South Africa. As Finland is one of the leading countries on circular economy, it is not a surprise that Finnish technologies can achieve a near-zero landfill waste-to-energy concept, which could be a solution to South Africa’s landfill challenge and shift towards more green energy generation. Valmet is one of the global leaders in state-of-the-art high efficiency waste-to-energy solutions ready to execute and plan such projects in South Africa.
Ms Laura Lahti
Laura Lahti has over 10 years’ experience working with climate change mitigation projects and related capacity building initiatives in African countries. Laura holds a Master of International and Comparative Law, with a major in Climate Change and Environmental Law, from the University of Eastern Finland. Currently, in her role as Impact Manager at Camco Clean Energy, she is responsible for managing Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP) projects’ environmental and social impacts, as well as monitoring and evaluating climate and sustainable development effects of the projects. REPP is an initiative financed by UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to mobilise private sector development activity and investment in small to medium-sized renewable energy (including waste-to-energy) in Sub-Saharan Africa.Previously, Laura has worked as a Key Expert for the European Commission’s capacity building initiative on climate measurement, reporting and verification; as a Technical Director for International Carbon, a carbon and renewable energy advisory company; and as Project Manager at GreenStreem Network, a Nordic carbon investment and advisory company.
Finland is spearheading the circular economy concept and has hosted the World’s First International Circular Economy Forum in Helsinki, in June 2017. Finland’s national circular economy road map for 2016-2025 is beginning to create new solutions for Finland to offer a world challenged by climate change, dwindling natural resources and urbanisation. The country has also made strides into getting rid of landfills through developing the best technologies to do it. Urbanization pressures will continue to increase in African cities in the foreseeable future, while at the same time most African cities do not have integrated waste management systems in place. Integrated Waste Management is a comprehensive approach to managing all aspects of municipal solid waste in a manner that accounts for those local needs and preserves the environment. The vibrant field presenter of the South African TV show 50/50, Bertus Louw, will moderate a panel session that aims to ignite a discussion with a reputable Finnish expert on climate change, renewable energy and sustainable development who has vast work experience in Africa and combine her inputs with a pragmatic industry angle from a former Manager for Bioenergy and Biofuels at the Technical Research Centre of Finland (the CSIR-equivalent). The Director for Environmental Services and Technologies at the Department of Science and Technology will present the South African national angle during the discussion.