Volkswagen for good

The continued loss of biodiversity is not only an environmental issue. Biodiversity is vital, for our economies, our security, our societies, and our environment. Preserving biodiversity will require transformative change, lots of action and sustainable contributions to those leading the charge. We need to change our ways forever and for good.

Volkswagen for good is about people. People are at the heart of everything Volkswagen does, and as the maker of people’s cars, they have committed themselves to making a sustainable difference by helping to build the lives of South Africans.

Volkswagen believes in a practical approach to Corporate Social Investment. They focus on sustainability and self-sufficiency. They have a vision to see communities that are independent and that are in charge of their own futures.

As an organisation that has a clear focus on a sustainable and self-sufficient operational model, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust offered Volkswagen the opportunity to invest in the protection of our marine biodiversity. The partnership with DICT started in 2011 with the sponsorship of two vehicles. The vehicles are utilised to support our animal stranding response team and our African penguin and other seabird rescues in the Overstrand area.

In 2015 Volkswagen partnered with the DICT to build the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (APSS) in Kleinbaai, South Africa. The APSS is a custom-designed marine bird rehabilitation centre that provides temporary care to diseased, displaced, injured, oiled and abandoned marine birds with special focus on the endangered African penguin. Marine bird rescue, rehabilitation and releases are part of the conservation management plan to stabilize and maintain population numbers. Volkswagen has continued with their commitment to seabird conservation by contributing to the operational costs of the APSS.

Volkswagen is a primary supporter of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust research vessel, aptly named Lwazi meaning “seeking knowledge” in isiXhosa. Lwazi is used by the DICT marine biologists to study the behaviours of the Great White Shark and to do regular baited remote underwater video (BRUV) studies. BRUV is used in marine biology research to record fish diversity, abundance and behaviour of species.