Now a member of the Climate Change and Biodiversity Programme, Sylvia previously worked in the Protected Areas Programme. Across both programmes, she led the implementation of the project Climate Resilient Communities and Protected Areas. She also supported the Protected Areas Resilient to Climate Change (PARCC) in West Africa project and worked on projects related to protected area governance and equity. Sylvia has also contributed to developing tools to support ecosystem-based adaptation and will continue to expand her work on climate change adaptation and resilience.
Prior to joining the Centre, Sylvia carried out research on the effectiveness of alternative livelihood projects aiming to reduce bushmeat hunting for the Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment, and she undertook research for various projects at the Overseas Development Institute. She has also worked in communications and editing, and did an internship at WWF International during her undergraduate degree. Sylvia has an MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from the University of Oxford and a BA in International Studies and French as well as a minor in Environmental Policy and Culture from Northwestern University.
Sylvia managed the implementation of this three-year project, which aimed to enhance livelihoods and increase social-ecological resilience in West African coastal protected areas to the negative effects of climate change. The project was carried out at three pilot sites across two marine protected areas in the Gambia and Senegal in close collaboration with local, national and regional partners. At these pilot sites, several community action plans resulting from participatory community planning workshops have been implemented, including multiple community-based and ecosystem-based adaptation options. The project has also produced a step-by-step manual for engaging with communities living in protected areas regarding climate change and empowering local people to plan for such change.
Sylvia assisted the implementation of this project by providing technical, organizational and administrative support, which comprised a wide range of activities, including reviewing scientific and policy literature, drafting reports, organizing meetings and liaising with partners.