Mpho Clara Ratshikhopha is a wife and mother of two. She was born and bred at Ha-Lambani Village in the Vhembe District, Limpopo Province. The firstborn daughter, raised by a single mother with her grandmother’s love and care. She grew up and studied in the village, fetching water from the rivers and collecting wood from the mountains.
Mpho is a University of Venda alumna and best performing female student, with an Honours degree in Environmental Sciences and a Reflective Social Learning Practice for Transformative Social and Environmental Learning (NQF8) from Rhodes University. She co-authored an article with Cumming et al. called “Achieving the national development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals through investment in ecological infrastructure: A case study of South Africa”. Ecosystem services (2017).
She worked interchangeably in both the biodiversity and agricultural sectors for the past ten years to date. Employed by DAFF as a Control Resource Auditor responsible for extension support work in terms of Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act 43 of 1883. She currently works for SANBI and is responsible for coordination of the Biodiversity Stewardship Programme, with a strong focus on policy advice, convening spaces for learning and capacity building for community members, professionals and other interested stakeholders. She is working to empower people and communities through meaningful collaborations to make a difference.