The Boot Camp for Conservation Leaders features a number of additional Malaysia-based conservationists that will be sharing some of their experience to the mix. Learn more about some of them here.
Dr Ahmad Zafir is a wildlife conservationist with extensive experience working on the conservation of large mammals including tigers, elephants and rhinos. With a first degree in marine science, he then did his Master in Environmental Management focussing on wildlife management. For his PhD, he focussed on land use changes and elephant behaviour. He has been involved in various projects in mitigating human-wildlife conflicts, conducting wildlife surveys, patrolling and enforcement work in Malaysian jungles and is also a passionate communicator. He has dealt with different stakeholders throughout his work; from local orang asli up to head of government agencies at the state level as well as from the federal government in achieving conservation targets. Currently he is the Research, Education and Training Manager at The Habitat Foundation.
Christina Lind-Hunter has worked for over 13 years in leadership development and education, passionately championing young leaders to become self-aware, reflective and joyful changemakers. Her journey started in 2006 on the challenging Teach First graduate programme working to end education inequity by placing high-potential leaders into underprivileged schools. Chrissy has engaged in a wide variety of projects in the UK, South Sudan, Cambodia, Abu Dhabi and in 2014 she moved to Malaysia as the Associate Director of Teach For Malaysia where she designed their leadership programme and coaching models. Here she also co-founded GreenSmiths, a Malaysian-based organisation that runs leadership camps for 13-24 year olds in the rainforest. Chrissy now regularly runs pedagogical training across the globe on mental toughness, student empowerment and gender equity. She also provides 1:1 coaching sessions using the Conscious Leadership model, and somatic experiencing coaching practice.
Ethan Pang, originally hails from Kluang, Johor. He possesses a BSc degree in Zoology (major) and botany (minor). A self-trained entomologist and photographer, Ethan worked for four years at Entopia as an assistant curator. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree (zoology) at Universiti Sains Malaysia, researching the agile gibbon’s population in Ulu Muda Forest Reserve, Kedah. He is a senior project executive at The Habitat Foundation.
Dr Isabelle Lackman is the founder and director of the NGO Hutan, a community-based wildlife research and conservation programme established in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo since 1998. She is also an accredited mediator by the Singapore International Mediation Centre and the Regent’s University London.
Mediation, broadly defined as a negotiation facilitated by a trusted neutral person, is increasingly used as a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in a wide variety of domains, such as diplomatic, legal, commercial, workplace and family matters. But it can also be used as an innovative way to find solutions to environmental conservation disputes where all parties can find some benefit. This session will familiarise you with mediation’s concepts, processes and skills for managing conflict and resolving disputes
Justine Vaz is an environmental communicator and conservation practitioner with wide experience in project implementation, stakeholder consultation and policy development. She has a degree in Geographical and Environmental Studies from the University of Adelaide, South Australia. In previous roles with WWF Sabah, and UNDP Malaysia she has been closely involved in identifying and strengthening protected areas. She is passionate about the power of community-based conservation and helped found the Kota Damansara Community Forest Society in 2011 which is regarded as a model of public participation in conservation. Justine was the editor for Living Landscapes, Connected Communities: Culture, Environment and Change across Asia, Areca Books 2014. She is currently the General Manager of The Habitat Foundation.
Dr Nadine Ruppert is a Senior Lecturer at School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia. With a MSc in Tropical Biology and Animal Ecology from Wuerzburg University Germany, and a PhD in Mammalogy from USM, Nadine has been involved in zoological research in Malaysia since 2005. Nadine is leading a passionate team of postgraduate students in primatology and together with international collaborators, they have established numerous new studies on Malaysian primates since 2015. With a strong focus on conservation, both in her academic work on Malaysian primates, as well as her NGO work that spans from mammals to sea turtles and socio-environmental issues in Perak, Nadine’s focus is to educate and empower local communities to protect Malaysia’s unique biodiversity heritage.
Peter Van Der Lans is a resident of Penang and has been living in Malaysia for about 13 years. He originally traveled here by bicycle from Holland. Peter has made his passion for hiking his vocation. Over the years he has explored many trails in Penang, not only the more popular trails around Botanical Garden and Penang Hills, but also the lesser known areas in the west and south of the island. A book about those trails will be soon released. Peter will be our storyteller as we explore these trails and contemplate the past, present and future of Penang Hill.
Priscillia Miard is a Postgraduate Student (PhD) from Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang studying nocturnal mammal distribution, abundance and behaviour. She is also focusing on their habitat preferences and impact of anthropogenic activities. She has created a platform called Night Spotting Project to bring more light to nocturnal mammals research and awareness on their importance in the wild. This platform has the objective of empowering more researchers to study nocturnal mammals in Malaysia. Priscillia has an MSc in Primate Conservation from Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, UK. Her research focus are the lesser known nocturnal species such as slow loris, tarsier and colugo. She has seven years of field work experience with behavioural studies, distribution surveys, local knowledge of people living closely to animals as well as using new technologies for field work such as thermal imaging.