Virginia (Gin) Simpson (Adelaide) – Country Manager, Australia
Gin has over 20 years of experience working with civil society, governments, and the private sector on a wide range of conservation initiatives. Starting work with Conservation International in Cambodia in 2015, Gin was the Program Manager for the Greater Mekong program for three years before moving back to her native Australia. Based in Adelaide, Gin is responsible for managing Conservation International Australia, building new partnerships to encourage two-way flow of finance and expertise between Australia and CI’s global conservation efforts. Please contact Gin if you’re a company or an individual who’d like to talk about how to participate!
Mael Imirizaldu (Sydney) – Regional Officer, Blue Nature Alliance
Maël is the regional officer of the Pacific region and the French-speaking countries for the Blue Nature Alliance. Maël is responsible for cultivating new relationships, leading the scoping of new locations, and coordinating with implementing partners to ensure ocean conservation success. Maël was born in France, grew up in New Caledonia, and is now based in Sydney, Australia. Before joining the Alliance, Maël worked for seven years to design and launch Conservation International’s marine conservation program in New Caledonia. In that role, he supported the establishment of the Natural Park of the Coral Sea, strengthened community-based management for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ouvea, facilitated the development of responsible and sustainable fisheries, and participated in several biodiversity expeditions and stock assessment in the Coral Sea, Wallis and Futuna Islands, Tonga, and Nauru. Maël holds a Master of Marine and Coastal Science from the European University Institute for the Sea and a Master of Functional Ecology from the University of Perpignan in France.
Johann Bell (Wollongong) – Senior Director, Tuna Fisheries, Center for Oceans
Johann is the Senior Director – Pacific Tuna Fisheries at Conservation International and a Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS) at the University of Wollongong. He has a background in fish ecology, fisheries science and management, food security and climate change, and has spent more than 25 years working in developing countries in the Pacific Island region. Johann’s current work for Conservation International involves leading the development of a proposal to the Green Climate Fund on behalf of 14 Pacific Island countries and regional organisations entitled ‘Adaptations for tuna-dependent Pacific Island communities and economies to climate change’. Johann is also supervising projects designed to add value to tuna to assist Pacific Island countries achieve the goals of the Regional Roadmap for Sustainable Pacific Fisheries.
Nicholas (Nick) Souter (Adelaide) – Freshwater Manager, Greater Mekong
Nick is an ecologist with over two decades of experience in conservation and natural resource management. Nick has experience in a range of environments from Cambodian rainforests to the deserts of central Australia. He has have worked in private consulting, government agencies, universities and international conservation NGO’s implementing and managing a range of complex research, education and infrastructure projects and programmes. Formerly the President of the Royal Society of South Australia (2012-2014), Nick remains an editor of the Cambodian Journal of Natural History and on the editorial board of the Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia. Currently Nick is leading a project working with fishing communities to improve their livelihoods and conserve the unique natural resources of the Tonle Sap Lake, vital for their wellbeing. Nick and his team of five Cambodia-based staff are also examining freshwater health in the Sesan, Srepok and Sekong River Basin – which encompasses portions of Lao, Vietnam and Cambodia and the catchment of the Tonle Sap Lake – using the Freshwater Health Index.
Anurag Ramachandra (Brisbane) – Technical Adviser, Indonesia Terrestrial Programs
Anurag Ramachandra is a technical advisor with Conservation International Indonesia, helping to implement integrated landscapes initiatives such as the Sustainable Landscape Partnership program. Anurag is helping design and implement Forest Carbon projects, integrated landscape conservation and agriculture programs, support carbon policy work and community forestry initiatives. Anurag has over 15 years of experience in designing and implementing projects in a wide range of sectors. He has been involved in environmental assessments, mine planning, local government service provision, geotechnical studies, socio-economic evaluations, land use planning and policy support for low emissions development. Anurag has worked on projects in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Cambodia and Indonesia.
Simon Badcock – Senior Director, Project Delivery, Project Delivery and Monitoring Team
Simon Badcock is a social scientist (geography/political science) who has been working with CI since 2013 on a range of programs including Sustainable Landscape Partnership (SLP) in Indonesia and then taking on new responsibilities to help support program design, delivery and monitoring globally for our projects. Prior to working with CI Simon has had more than 20+ years in various roles working in Indonesia across the Archipelago involved in improving smallholder crop / commodity production systems as well as broader issues linked with spatial planning and landscapes. Simon leads a small team of three who besides providing direct technical support is also contributing to the development of a range of internal tools to support improved capacity.
Emmeline Johansen (Waitārere, New Zealand) – Communications Director, Asia-Pacific Field Division
Born and bred in Wellington, New Zealand, Emmeline has worked in marketing and communications for two decades, dedicating the past ten years to Conservation International. Initially working in Phnom Penh with the Cambodia country office, Emmeline expanded her focus to the Asia-Pacific region, leading efforts that garner global attention for the stories that need to be told. Through storytelling, Emmeline uplifts indigenous voices and connects people to vital science and on-the-ground partnerships focused on protecting some of the most important and biodiverse places left in Asia-Pacific.