TOP 10 most read Thought Leaders in Biodiversity
At illuminem, we take pride in calling ourselves the “home of sustainability” and in providing a global platform for renowned Thought Leaders to address and constructively debate the most pressing challenges of our time.
Biodiversity conservation plays a crucial role in mitigating the impacts of climate change by maintaining healthy ecosystems that provide essential services such as carbon sequestration, water regulation, and climate resilience. Today we are honored to recognize and thank the most-read experts and change-makers who are shaping the debate on Biodiversity.
Please help us congratulate our TOP 10 Thought Leaders in Biodiversity!
1️⃣ John Scanlon - Fmr. Secretary General, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and CEO, Elephant Protection Initiative Foundation
Latest Thought Piece: Global biodiversity goals and targets won’t be met through voluntary commitments
Profile: John Scanlon is a global conservationist and leader in sustainable development. He is the former Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), where he served for eight years. He is currently serving as CEO of the Elephant Protection Initiative Foundation, the secretariat for 21 African countries with common policies on elephant conservation, Chair of the UK Government Challenge Fund, and Trustee with the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew. He is widely recognized for his contributions to conservation and has received numerous awards for his work, including the Order of Australia.
2️⃣ Kate Handley - Executive Director, Biodiversity Law Centre
Country: South Africa
Latest Thought Piece: Biodiversity – whose business is it anyway?
Profile: Kate Handley is an environmental attorney with ten years of expertise in the legal field. As an Executive Director of the Biodiversity Law Centre, a recently established non-profit legal clinic, she focuses on fostering the growth of native species and ecosystems that promote sustainable livelihoods in Southern Africa. She previously worked in the private sector, providing counsel to clients from the public and private sectors, as well as NGOs, on various matters relating to environmental, constitutional, and administrative law.
3️⃣ Simon Mundy - Editor, Financial Times and Author, “Race of tomorrow”
Country: United Kingdom
Latest Thought Piece: "None of these reefs have to die": An excerpt from Race for Tomorrow”
Profile: Simon Mundy is a journalist and author, covering environmental and sustainability topics for Moral Money platform and the wider Financial Times. He is also the author of "Race for Tomorrow", a book where he shares the stories of activists involved in the struggle against climate change. He spent nearly two years traveling through six continents to meet communities impacted by environmental changes and business leaders navigating the far-reaching consequences for the global economy.
4️⃣ Heidi Hawkins - Friedman Fellow, Conservation International and Research Associate, Cape Town University
Country: South Africa
Latest Thought Piece: Mycorrhizal fungi: the underrated heroes of carbon capture?
Profile: Heidi Hawkins is a Friedman Fellow at Conservation International, where she researches the role of wild species in reducing the impact of climate change. Before, she has worked as the Director of Research. Heidi is also an Honorary Research Assistant at the University of Cape Town. Her main spheres of interest are biodiversity conservation, plant-soil-microbe interactions, and environmental sustainability.
5️⃣ Markham Heid - Long-time contributor, TIME
Latest Thought Piece: How biodiversity loss is hurting your health — and what you can do about it
Profile: Markham Heid is a journalist who primarily focuses on health and science-related topics. He is a long-time contributor at TIME and Medium. Additionally, he has worked alongside different media including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Popular Mechanics, Food & Wine, and Sports Illustrated. He has received recognition for his reporting, having been honored with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Maryland, Delaware, and D.C. Press Association.
6️⃣ Rikkert Reijnen - Director, Earth Today and Executive Advisor, ifaw
Latest Thought Piece: A paradigm shift is needed to fund the protection, restoration and sustainable management of lifesaving biodiversity
Profile: Rikkert is the Director of EarthToday and the Executive Advisor at ifaw. Rikkert has over 20 years of experience in biodiversity conservation. Rikkert started his career path at the AAP Foundation. There, he spent seven years as head of policy advocacy and a member of the management team. His work involved improving the implementation of CITES legislation in the Netherlands, reducing the illegal trade in Barbary macaques from Morocco, advocating for positive lists regarding private ownership of exotic animals, and lobbying for a national ban on the use of wild animals in circuses. Now Rikkert focuses mainly on animal welfare both in Europe and in Africa.
7️⃣ Manleen Dugal - Independent Consultant
Latest Thought Piece: Will the 2030s be the decade for global biodiversity conservation?
Profile: Manleen Dugal is an independent consultant & researcher with a focus on international climate change policy, environmental sustainability, and development policy issues. Since 2004, Manleen has provided guidance and counsel to various WTO Members. In addition to this, she extends her expertise to international organizations such as UN agencies, consulting firms, think-tanks, and businesses.
8️⃣ Fatima Farooq Murawat - Policy Analyst, Broadpeak GmbH
Latest Thought Piece: The forgotten victim: Where does nature stand in times of war?
Profile: Fatima Farooq Murawat is Policy Analyst at Broadpeak, a Swiss-based International Advisory company with a focus on impact finance & investing. Fatima is committed to researching the most urgent challenges facing our world today, such as climate change, energy transition, and sustainable development. Previously, she worked at various international institutions like the Iqbal Institute of Policy Studies, the National University of Science and Technology, and the Civil Society Coalition for Climate Change in Pakistan.
9️⃣ Rob Moir - Executive Director, Ocean River Institute
Latest Thought Piece: Atlantic Ocean off Florida spawns a giant Sargassum Blob
Profile: Rob Moir leads the Ocean River Institute, a non-profit organization that is committed to empowering individuals and communities to make a positive impact on their local environments through environmental stewardship and scientific efforts. In 2003, Dr. Moir co-founded Ocean Champions, a political advocacy group focused on cultivating influential advocates for ocean conservation in the United States Congress. His contributions were recognized through various honors, including a Switzer Environmental Fellowship and the James Centorino Award for Distinguished Performance in Marine Education, awarded by the National Marine Educators Association, an organization where he also served as president.
🔟 Sanghamitra Chattopadhyay Mukherjee - European Climate Pact Ambassador, European Commission
Latest Thought Piece: A disappearing Arctic and its ramifications: will we act before it’s too late?
Profile: Sanghamitra Chattopadhyay is a European Climate Pact Ambassador at European Commission. She is a researcher and a recent PhD graduate at University College Dublin. Her main interests include climate and environment science, as well as energy policy in the context of human behavior, geography, technological progress, and wider socio-political systems. She also serves as a B Corp Project Manager at General Paints Group.
Check out our previous rankings on Carbon, Climate Change, ESG, Hydrogen, Mining and Metals, Power and Utilities, Renewables, Sustainable Business, Sustainable Governance and Overall.
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