PAUL BARTELS: A FORWARD THINKING SOUTH AFRICAN WHOSE WORK IS HAVING A POSITIVE IMPACT ON US ALL
Be inspired by conservationist Paul Bartel’s innovative solutions to a sustainable future.
We visit Magaliesburg to learn about veterinarian and conservationist Paul Bartels and his team, who are interested in ensuring food security and protecting biodiversity in a unique way that challenges how we think about our role in the food cycle.
We join Paul and his team on one of their patrols on the The Magaliesberg Biosphere where they are on the lookout for poacher snares.
The Magaliesberg Biosphere was proclaimed an international Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, having been recognised for its exceptional natural, cultural and human characteristics. They patrol the area regularly to remove these snares with the aim of keeping the wildlife in the area safe.
Caring deeply about his surroundings, Paul initiated the Save Magaliesburg Species Project in partnership with WESSA Wildlife Society, and volunteers and students of the Tshwane University of Technology’s Department of Nature Conservation.
Paul is also a biologist with 25 years experience in tissue banking, which he puts to use at his organisation Mogale Meat Co. Here, together with a team of leading experts in science and product development, he is working on providing healthy and nutritious cell culture meat to the people of Africa.
“One of the projects that we’ve gotten into recently, is to collect samples from animals in the wild while they’re still alive, and then to be able to actually produce meat in the laboratory. The goal is to then transform and upscale that to large meat production so that we can produce essential amino acids, animal amino acids, for our population and at the same time we don’t have to plough up more land,” explains Paul.
Their innovative efforts have recently seen them being the only semi-finalists chosen from Africa for an XPRIZE – a prestigious global award which encourages technological development to benefit humanity.
Q&A WITH PAUL
What does ‘living better’ mean to you? / How are you aspiring to live better?
“By trying to eat healthier, and exercise more.”
What legacy would you like to leave behind?
“A healthier environment, for both People and Wildlife.”
What valuable lesson / piece of advice would you like to share with South Africa?
‘Inspire by always looking at the bright side of life.”
Where do you go to escape and connect with yourself?
“A walk in the veld clears the cobwebs of life.”