John leads a team of ~25 staff at WCMC working on a broad range of issues relating to conserved land and seascapes. The team deliver key knowledge products such as Protected Planet and Ocean+. These support the global community to plan for biodiversity and development and monitor progress towards international targets. They are continually evolving to offer more comprehensive and actionable information, for example, to help Governments and Regions to develop their protected areas networks and marine spatial plans. The team aspire to work across the data, information and policy value chain, applying their expertise at each stage to ensure that policies are informed by the most salient, legitimate and credible information.
In a previous role at WCMC, John led a portfolio of work around biodiversity enabling activities and reciprocal mainstreaming of biodiversity and development. Much of this work was framed around countries’ obligations to the Convention on Biological Diversity, and particularly their national strategies and reports. Supporting environmental Ministries and Agencies to reach out to non-environmental stakeholders, the portfolio aimed to integrate biodiversity priorities across Government and society. This was achieved through better understanding of stakeholders, entry points, communication tools and building appropriate and targeted evidence products.
Before joining WCMC John worked at Defra managing a portfolio of research programmes in support of Animal Health and Welfare policy. This involved prioritization and maintenance of national research capabilities and coordination of research at European and global levels. Previously he worked at the British Trust for Ornithology where he managed research and resources, and was instrumental in developing the Trust’s Strategy. John spent three years working for the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation on field-based conservation projects and has an MSc in Applied Ecology and Conservation for which he studied introduced predator impact on an endemic New Zealand frog.
John is global coordinator of the GEF-funded Connect project “Mainstreaming Biodiversity Information into the Heart of Government Decision-Making”. This project aims to deliver lessons for the global community by working with Ghana, Mozambique and Uganda as demonstration countries. The approach is to understand the demand for biodiversity information amongst decision-makers, the supply of that information, and to sustain a relationship between the two communities through co-development of an information product that will be used in perpetuity.
With donor-support from the Japan Biodiversity Fund, John coordinates a project to pilot a mapping biodiversity priorities approach that was described in 2015 guidance. Working with Botswana, Ethiopia and Malawi, the project aims to synthesise nationally available data to derive information layers on ecosystem type, ecological condition, protected areas and biodiversity targets for ecological types. The resulting National Biodiversity Assessments will be used to engage with non-environmental sectors to ensure biodiversity priorities are recognised.