Meet Rupert Koopman, a field botanist who documents flower species and reports on the ecological impact on their habitat. He’s made it his life’s work to help protect plant biodiversity in the Cape Floral Kingdom and get that message to a broader audience in an accessible manner. Rupert’s work revolves around recording, protecting and sharing the names and stories of fynbos.
Q & A with Rupert
Question: What’s your goal/vision for this conference?
Answer: I look forward to hanging out with a diverse and interesting group of people at conference, and learning more about the SA food system from different perspectives. I’m hoping to address the ecological impact of food production in the Western Cape and brainstorming how we can protect and use the astounding (bio)diversity that we have at our fingertips, to help shape truly South African tastes and flavours.
Question: Name one person in this broader industry whom you look up to or a person who you really admire and why.
Answer: I’m proud of Ishay Govender-Ypma (@ishaygovender) for taking years of conversations and experiences and pushing to make something/this event happen.
Question: Fill in the following: Transformation in this industry (name your specific field or cause) will happen when…
Answer: Transformation in conservation will happen when we value, appreciate and want to protect the green assets of South Africa.
Question: What would you love people to know about you and your work?
Answer: I’m very invested that we document, protect and wisely use our indigenous floral riches before we lose them. Having spent a lot of time on the road in the Cape and elsewhere, I’m constantly in wonder at this super special place we live in, from landscapes to rocks and the plants that grow on them.