Saving threatened habitats worldwide

WLT Council

  • Albertino Abela photo

    Albertino Abela

    (Monaco & Lebanon)

    An international businessman, working mostly in airline catering. Lebanese by birth, Albertino has lived in England most of his life, and was inspired by wildlife from an early age. He has been involved in WLT’s work since 1996 when he helped fund the purchase of the Ranch of Hopes (Estancia la Esperanza), in Patagonia and the video about the project. Since then he has funded land purchase in several other WLT project sites including Borneo, Brazil and India, and has visited some of them. In addition to his support for the World Land Trust, he has also funded conservation activities in Lebanon.

  • Mark Avery photo

    Mark Avery


    Mark Avery joined WLT Council in 2014 although he had been associated with the work of the Trust for many years. A scientist and naturalist, Mark worked for 25 years for the RSPB, 13 of those years as Conservation Director; he stood down in 2011 to pursue a freelance career. Since then he has been writing and commenting on environmental issues earning himself a large following and a reputation as an informed activist with a passion. He lives in rural Northamptonshire.

  • Simon Barnes photo

    Simon Barnes - Council member from 2008 to 2016.


    A Norfolk-based writer on wildlife who also covers other subjects, most notably sport, and has published three novels. He has written a number of books on wildlife, including the Bad birdwatcher trilogy. He is a member of Green Ink, assigning his Public Lending Rights to World Land Trust. In 2014 Simon was awarded the Charles Rothschild and Miriam Rothschild medal by The Wildlife Trusts for his outstanding commitment to conservation. Simon was a WLT council member from 2011 to 2016. 

  • Dr Iain Barr


    Dr Iain Barr is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA). His association with WLT dates back to 2008, developing the UEA/WLT intern programme in designing scientific projects for sites in South America. In 2010, he led a group of researchers carrying out field surveys of the local flora and fauna of Zambia. In early 2014 he joined a WLT field trip to Paraguay and he is currently working with WLT to develop a research project in the Gran Chaco in Paraguay in 2015. Iain pursues his research interests of ornithology and population genetics. He is a member of the Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at UEA and he is the lead consultant at the UEA Bird Group Consultants. He specialises in using traditional and modern DNA methods to accurately audit biodiversity.

  • Mark Carwardine photo

    Mark Carwardine


    Mark is a zoologist, an active and outspoken conservationist, an award-winning writer, a TV and radio presenter, a widely published photographer, a magazine columnist and a conservation consultant. He co-presented the six-part BBC2 television series Last Chance to See, with Stephen Fry, in which the unlikely duo travelled the world in search of endangered species (autumn 2009), and BBC2’s The Museum of Life (spring 2010). For many years he presented the weekly half-hour radio programme Nature, on BBC Radio 4. He has written more than 50 books (including several bestsellers) and has been Chairman of the Judging Panel of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition since 2005. A co-founder of WLT’s Green Ink project.

  • Dr Lee Durrell


    Is Honorary Director of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, which operates one of the world’s foremost centres for breeding endangered species and training conservation professionals at its headquarters in Jersey, as well as 50 conservation projects in 14 countries. Together with her late husband, Gerald Durrell, she launched the Programme for Belize, which became World Land Trust, in London in 1990. World Land Trust congratulates Dr Lee Durrell, on being awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2011.

  • Willem Ferwerda

    Willem Ferwerda

    (The Netherlands)

    Tropical ecologist with long working experience in Latin America. Was director of IUCN Netherlands from 2000 - March 2012 during which he founded the Ecosystem Grants Programme (ODA support) and the Small grants for Purchase of Nature (financed by the Postcode Lottery), financing 1,500 local conservation projects in more than 40 countries. Founder of Leaders for Nature, a business network on biodiversity which convened 80 CEOs to sign an open letter to the Dutch government. He put 'biodiversity and ecosystems' on the agendas of the business community as well as the Dutch government and introduced The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity. It resulted in an agreement between IUCN NL and the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers. As Special Advisor for the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management and Executive Fellow Business and Ecosystems at the Erasmus University-Rotterdam School of Management he is creating a practical mechanism that involves companies and investors to scale-up the restoration of ecosystems in partnership with science, local people, farmers and nature organizations. His main concern is what he calls, the disconnection of many people from nature. Intense wildlife and nature lover!

  • Alistair Gammell photo

    Alistair Gammell


    Alistair Gammell’s involvement in the conservation works spans four decades. Much of this time was spent working for the RSPB, particularly in international conservation issues and prior to his retirement he was RSPB’s Director of International Issues. He has been a leading figure in international convention drafting. Since 2009 Alistair has been the director of the Pew Environment Group’s Chagos campaign, which resulted in the declaration of the world's largest marine reserve (544,000 km sq).  He is now working on marine protection is a number of other UK Overseas Territories.

  • Mark Gruin

    Mark Gruin


    Mark has worked for more than 20 years, in more than 30 countries, in conservation and sustainable development. He specialises in NGO institutional development, strategic planning, integrated conservation development and protected area management. He has been a consultant to World Land Trust and a number of WLT’s partners since 1993, advising on conservation initiatives, development and strategy. Mark is currently Director of Strategic Initiatives at International Orthodox Christian Charities in Baltimore. He became a Council member in 2015.

  • Pauline Harrison

    Council Member

    Pauline is a solicitor and former partner of City law firm Allen & Overy where she worked for over 20 years specialising in banking law and project finance. She has a keen interest in wildlife and conservation and for a number of years now has been helping WLT with legal issues.

  • Stanley Johnson

    Stanley Johnson


    Stanley Johnson has a passion for nature and wilderness. He has spent much of his life in search of wild places and their wildlife, and is committed to their protection. His involvement in conservation covers many years and he is well known among Trustees and staff. A former Conservative MEP he has worked for the World Bank and European Commission. He has written on the politics of population and the politics of the environment, and he authored the 40th Anniversary book for United Nations Environment Programme. In 2015 Stanley received two awards for his role in creating the 1992 European Habitats Directive: the RSPB Medal and WWF’s Leaders For A Living Planet award.

  • Mark Leaney photo

    Mark Leaney


    Mark has been associated with World Land Trust for many years and served as Hon Treasurer between 1995 and 2012; he is now a Council Member.  An accountant and auditor by training Mark has worked in the travel business for 27 years and is one of the founders of Discover the World a tour operator specialising in destinations including Iceland, New Zealand, Namibia, and the Arctic and Antarctic regions. He is passionate about the great outdoors and in particular enjoys wildlife watching, boating and skiing.

  • Bill Oddie

    Bill Oddie - Council member from 2011 to 2016.


    Broadcaster, actor, television presenter, writer and musician, Bill Oddie is also a keen birdwatcher and conservationist. He has written a number of books about birds and birdwatching, as well as articles for many specialist publications including British Birds, Birdwatching Magazine and BBC Wildlife. One of his first forays in the world of television natural history was in 1985, as the subject of a Nature Watch Special: Bill Oddie - Bird Watcher, in which he was interviewed by Julian Pettifer and he went on to host many successful nature programmes. He spends as much time as possible out in the field with his binoculars. 

  • Iain Orr photo

    Iain Orr


    After a career in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, including Consulates in Ghana and China, Iain was Head of Biodiversity until retirement and now advises the Trust on international affairs.

  • Bruce Pearson photo

    Bruce Pearson


    One of Britain's best known wildlife artists, Bruce was President of the Society of Wildlife Artists for 10 years. He was the illustrator of Rare Mammals of the World (written by John & Vivien Burton) published in 1987, and has been a supporter of Green Ink since its inception. Bruce regularly donates original artwork for WLT to sell to raise funds for its projects.  In the summer of 2013 he was artist in residence in the World Land Trust art gallery

  • Richard Porter photo

    Richard Porter


    Richard Porter, who lives in North Norfolk, worked for the RSPB for many years. He is also a keen birdwatcher and botanist.  Currently he advises BirdLife International on their Middle East programme, specialising in Iraq, Yemen and Socotra. He is a trustee of the journal British Birds, and author of Birds of the Middle East.

  • Mark Stanley Price photo

    Mark Stanley Price


    Trained as a zoologist, Mark has spent more than 30 years working in conservation in Africa and the Middle East, researching among other things hartebeest feeding ecology in Kenya, before moving to Oman to design and run the pioneering project to restore the Arabian oryx to the wild. He was then Director of African Operations for the African Wildlife Foundation in Kenya for 12 years. After a spell as a consultant, in 2001 he became Chief Executive of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey. In 2008 he joined Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU). He founded, then chaired for 12 years, the IUCN SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group, and now sits on the Board of Marwell WildlifeHis main concerns now are that nature gets adequate attention, and that conservation prepares for the forthcoming challenges to the persistence of biodiversity.

  • David Wallis

    David Wallis


    Starting out as a keeper at London Zoo, David holds a Masters in Conservation Science from Imperial College London and worked for several years overseeing the Whitley Fund for Nature's international grants and awards programmes. David has built strong relationships with conservation leaders and NGOs all over the world and has gained a valuable insight into what drives successful, high-impact conservation projects where they are most needed. David also led the organisation and production of the annual Whitley Awards Ceremony and has a keen interest in knowledgeable fundraising and ensuring the impact of charitable donations are maximised, building close relationships with the recipients of funds as well as those who donate them. In August 2015 David was appointed Project Development Manager at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). In his spare time David helps to run a pub business in Islington.  He was appointed as a WLT Council Member in June 2015.

  • Sue Wells

    Sue Wells


    Sue Wells started her conservation career working with TRAFFIC International, at a time when John Burton was its Chairman, and her work on the international trade in corals, sea shells and marine turtles was the beginning of a life long interest. She went from TRAFFIC to IUCN where she worked on the Invertebrate Red Data Book, followed by numerous publications on coral reefs of the world, a subject on which she is now one of the world's acknowledged experts. Sue has visited many of the world's coral reefs, and has advised World Land Trust on numerous projects, including setting up the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Project. She now works as a consultant, specialising in marine conservation.

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