The news of the appointment of Professor Linda Godfrey, a revered scientist and academic, on the advisory panel of two international councils on waste was greeted with excitement within the waste management sector. The two high profiles advisory bodies she will serve in are Women of Waste (WoW) Task Force and The Alliance to End Plastic Waste Alliance.
Godfrey holds a doctorate in engineering and is currently a principal researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. In addition, Godfrey is the manager of the Waste RDI Roadmap Implementation Unit on behalf of the Department of Science and Technology. She brings with her vast scientific experience in how to innovate and eliminate waste in the circular economy. Her appointment is well timed as the world is battling the worsening waste and environment pollution.
Council members are selected on the basis of their knowledge, experience and their recognised contributions to the global campaign to eliminate environmental waste. Furthermore, members should also have demonstrable leadership in tackling issues related to the protection of the environment as well as managing waste. Suffice to say, Godfrey ticked all the boxes for this position.
The only representative in the south
Godfrey is the only southern African representative appointed to the two bodies. She will join other waste management specialists from countries such as Brazil, China, Japan, Norway, Sierra Leone, Thailand and the United States of America. Reacting to her new role, Godfrey said: “As someone who’s passionate about advancing the state of waste management on the continent, unlocking new socio-economic activities while also addressing environmental challenges, I’m honoured to be representing the CSIR and Africa in these global platforms. I’m looking forward to working with my counterparts to make a positive impact in this sector.”
Advocating the role of women
WOW was created by women to advocate and highlights women’s work and achievements in the circular economy and solid waste management sector. According to the International Solid Waste Association, the body aims to explore the link between gender and sound waste management and resource recovery systems; improving waste management overall by empowering women in the sector.
The Alliance is a think-tank that comprises global environmental policy and thought leaders from a range of role players including governments, inter-governmental organisations, civil society, and academia. The role of these entities is to provide expert advice and recommendations to the Alliance on its strategy and priorities.
Godfrey is also an associate professor at North-West University and her research interests include:
- the role of the waste sector in transitioning South Africa to a green economy
- waste innovation
- waste economics
- the governance, social and behavioural aspects of integrated waste management and
- the role of waste information as policy and behaviour-change instrument.
Contributing to green economy
Godfrey has also shared her expert knowledge with a number of waste and green economy initiatives global bodies such as:
- European Union,
- United Nations,
- departments of Science and Technology and Environmental Affairs;
- Development Bank of South Africa
- Academy of Sciences of South Africa
- Institute of Waste Management and several universities.
She has published, authored and co-authored more than 125 research and contract specialist reports, 25 international and local conference papers, 12 peer reviewed journal papers, and five book chapters, and provides review to both local and international peer reviewed scientific publications. Godfrey has also addressed a number of local and international meetings, workshops, symposia and forums.