Saliem Fakir is the Head of the Policy & Futures Unit at the World Wide Fund for Nature South Africa. The unit’s work is focused on identifying ways to manage a transition to an inclusive and equitable low-carbon economy.

In 2007-2008, Saliem was a senior lecturer at the Department of Public Administration and Planning and an associate Director for the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy at Stellenbosch University where he taught a course on renewable energy policy and financing of renewable energy projects.

In 2006, Saliem worked for Lereko Energy (Pty) Ltd — an investment company focusing on project development and financial arrangements for renewable energy, biofuels, waste and water sectors. He also served as Director of the World Conservation Union South Africa (IUCN-SA) office for eight years (1998-2005). Prior to the IUCN, he was the Manager for the Natural Resources and Management Unit at the Land and Agriculture Policy Centre.

Saliem served on a number of boards. He served as a chair of the Board of the National Botanical Institute from 2002-2005. He also served on the board of the Fair Trade in Tourism Initiative, and was a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Global Reporting Initiative, based in Amsterdam.

Currently, he is the chair of the Green Cape Board and sits on the boards of the Center for Environment Rights and the Open Democracy Advisory Centre.

He was also a columnist for the South African Centre for Civil Society where he wrote regular columns on a range of issues (see and continues to write for Engineering News, Business Day and the Daily Maverick.

Saliem has a B.Sc Honours in Molecular Biology (WITS), a Masters in Environmental Science, Wye College London, and did a senior executive management course at Harvard University in 2000.