Patron - Lord Chancellor Kenneth Clarke
Kenneth Clarke, PC, QC, MP is a British politician, currently Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. He is one of Britain's best-known politicians, and has been Minister of State for Health, Paymaster-General, Secretary of Health, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Home Secretary. He is passionate about nature and its conservation, and can often be found watching birds in remote parts of the world. Ken Clarke was Chair of the Opwall Trust from 2000 to 2010
Chair - Professor Ian Swingland
Professor Ian Swingland was educated at Haberdashers' Aske's School, London, Edinburgh and Oxford Universities, and worked as a mathematician for Shell, as a biologist at Oxford, Edinburgh and with the Royal Society, and holds the Emeritus Chair in Conservation Biology at the University of Kent, where he founded The Durrell Institute for Conservation and Ecology (DICE), in addition to Chairs at the Universities of Michigan, Florence, Auckland, and Manchester Metropolitan. At London University he read zoology and social anthropology and published his first scientific paper in Nature in 1969 while an undergraduate. After working as a mathematician for Shell Research International for a short time he took a Ph.D. in ecology in the Forestry and Natural Resources Department at Edinburgh University on an FCO/ODA Scholarship. He was then employed as a research and management biologist in the Kafue National Park, Zambia helping to write the management plan. In 1974 he joined Oxford University Zoology Department and the Royal Society to work on the giant tortoises of Aldabra Atoll, Western Indian Ocean. Ian Swingland has worked on climate change for over a decade and with China and ADB since 2002 on China-GEF Country Planning Framework - Land Degradation in Dryland Ecosystems, He published a best-selling book ‘Capturing Carbon and Conserving biodiversity; a market approach’ and advises to the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility, the Asian Development Bank, and the UK Government on conservation and biodiversity management setting up some of the largest projects in the world. A leading authority on commercialising the sustainable use of biodiversity assets, he was appointed Board Chairman of Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development in Guyana by the President, the Commonwealth and HRH The Prince of Wales. He was made an OBE in 2007 for services to conservation. Currently he also chairs the Rural Regeneration Unit and the DICE Trust.
Professor Aubrey Manning
Professor Manning was educated at University College London and Merton College Oxford where he completed his DPhil under the famous ethologist Niko Tinbergen. After National Service he joined the University of Edinburgh as an Assistant Lecturer rising to Professor of Natural History. Currently Emeritus Professor after retirement in 1997. His main research and teaching interests are on animal behaviour, development and evolution. He published a text book on this subject (five editions and much translated) and he has also published extensively in academic journals. Elected Fellow of the Royal Society Edinburgh (1973), received an OBE in 1998 and Honorary degrees from Toulouse and Open Universities. Now much involved with conservation in the broader sense and with public understanding of science. Professor Manning received the Zoological Society of London Silver Medal in 2003 for public understanding of science and has presented many TV and radio science programmes.
Dr. Edi Purwanto
Dr Purwanto is the Chair of the Operation Wallacea Trust (Indonesia). The Indonesian Trust is an independent Indonesian Yayasan (NGO) that provides the management of the Trust projects in Indonesia. Dr Purwanto joined the Trustees in 2009. Edi runs projects across central Indonesia, including the South-east Sulawesi Environmental Training project, and the Sulewesi and Sumatra Catchment Management project.
Dr. Martin Speight
Dr Speight is a Reader in Zoology at the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. He is Director of Teaching and Admissions Co-ordinator for Biological Sciences at the University. His main research interests are in tropical forest ecology, conservation and management, plant health and insect pest management, tropical coastal ecology and connectivity, links between reefs and mangroves. He has successfully supervised 25 students to doctorates so far, in countries including Honduras, the British Virgin Islands, Sudan, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania (Zanzibar), Malaysia (Peninsular and Sabah). Martin has published text books on the ecology of insects and marine ecology. He has visited the Indonesia, South Africa, Mozambique and Honduras Operation Wallacea research sites.
Dr. Tony Whitten
Dr Whitten is currently the Regional Director Asia Pacific for Flora and Fauna International. Before joining FFI, Tony worked in a similar role with the World Bank in the Asia Pacific area and has 35 years experience of managing successful wildlife conservation interventions in this region. He is also author of numerous academic papers and books including the Ecology of Sulawesi and Ecology of the Indonesian Seas. Dr Whitten is a strong proponent of encouraging business development in local communities to provide true alternative incomes to continuing with forest or reef destruction.
Martin Suthers is a previous Lord Mayor of Nottingham and prominent solicitor in the city. He was Chairman of the Notts Wildlife Trust and is a very keen ornithologist in his spare time. He also has strong links with Nottingham University having been a member of the Council for many years. Martin is currently Deputy Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council. He has visited the Honduran field research site and helped with developing the ideas for how an Opwall Trust funded project could be designed to have maximum impact.
Simon is joint founder of The Iron Bed Company, an innovative manufacturing, retail and furniture distribution company. Simon sold the company in 2005 to concentrate on personal projects. Simon has recently funded and participated in a turtle conservation project in The Turks and Caicos Islands, run in conjunction with The Marine Conservation Society, and is just starting a new business in the bicycle world.
Nat Page studied Zoology at Oxford University (New College, 1972-75), and then Chinese and Japanese at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. He entered the Foreign Office, and worked for 14 years as a diplomat, in various postings including Thailand and Romania, before returning to his original nature conservation interests. Since 1996 he has been owner and manager a small (60 ha) organic beef farm in the west of England. In 2003 he helped to establish Fundatia ADEPT Transilvania, which is dedicated to protecting Romania’s exceptional high-nature farmed landscapes, and the small-scale farming communities that have created them. He is particularly interested in the biodiversity of man-made, farmed landscapes, and the ‘protection through use’ of their biodiversity by economic incentives, including the development of commercial incentives – adding value to local products – so that farmers are rewarded for maintaining low-input, extensive farming systems. He is also involved in policy development and advocacy at national level, in Romania, and at EU level.
Chris Wilton CMG
Chris Wilton graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Arabic, Farsi and Islamic History. After a brief spell in Esso Petroleum’s downstream business, he joined the Diplomatic Service. He spent most of his diplomatic career in various countries in the Gulf region, took time out to be one of the Managing Directors in BAE Systems, and was latterly Her Majesty’s Ambassador in Kuwait during the action to remove Saddam Hussain in Iraq. After retiring from the Diplomatic Service, he set up a consultancy to advise companies on enhancing their business in the Middle East, and has advised the likes of G4S, RBS, Selex Avionics and DTZ, where he was Vice Chairman. For the past five years, he has been Chairman of Raleigh International, the charity which aims to combine young people’s personal development with delivery of sustainable developmental projects overseas.