Jeunesse Park is a visionary who pioneered vital climate and greening initiatives in South Africa and has been globally recognised for her work. In 1989 she founded, and then ran Food & Trees for Africa, conceptualising their core programmes that planted well over 4 million trees, developed thousands of permaculture food gardens and grown climate change and environmental awareness, whilst enriching lives and landscapes.
Jeunesse introduced urban forestry, urban agriculture and Permaculture to South Africa and lobbied for their inclusion in government policy. She initiated South Africa’s first carbon calculator, the Carbon Protocol and the Climate Change Leadership Awards. She was a Brand Ambassador for both Toyota and Audi SA.
Her work has been recognised through several United Nations and other global and local awards, such as the Mail and Guardian Green Trust Award for Established Environmentalists of South Africa, the Mail and Guardian Chairman’s Award for Excellence, the International Chevron Conservation Award, the Nelson Mandela Forestry Award, the Arbor Foundation Award and the United Nations Environment Programme Sasakawa Award for Climate Change.
Jeunesse has run various awards and high profile events and adjudicated awards such as the EduPlant competition, the South African Breweries Environmental Awards, the Johnny Walker Strides and Real Simple Awards. She has featured in many publications including the Book of South African Women and 100 Good Ideas, Celebrating 20 Years of Democracy.
She was singled out as Al Gore’s first African Climate Leader, appeared in two 24 Hours of Reality and founded and ran the African Climate Reality Project. She facilitated Gore’s training of 700 new African Climate Leaders in March 2014, appeared on two of his 24 Hours of Reality initiatives, has attended trainings around the globe and has mentored many African Climate Leaders.
Jeunesse is an alumna of HRH Prince Phillip’s CSCLeaders and as an international environmental award winner is invited to the European Environment Convention annually. She received an Honorary Doctorate from Rhodes University (2016).
She is currently on the Boards of Solar-Aid and the Carbon Protocol, and is an advisor for Fossil Free SA and Simply Green magazine, as well as consulting for various NGOs.
Jeunesse lives and works with an understanding that one can change the world so that there is enough for all forever. Her passion is for a better life on a healthier planet.