Neil Burgess

Chief Scientist

Neil Burgess

Principal Investigator – DCP and Chief Scientist, UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge, UK/ Professor of Conservation Science, University of Copenhagen

Neil’s primary role as Chief Scientist is to develop the scientific work and profile of UNEP-WCMC with external partners interested in the conservation of nature, and the role data and analysis plays in this.

He also oversees the work of the Science Programme and its staff, helps to publish leading scientific work at the science-policy interface, mentors staff in scientific delivery and ensures overall quality and scientific credibility of outputs.  He is working on the interface between science / policy and practice.  Partners include Universities, NGOs, UN Agencies, and governments in Europe and Africa.

His current research interests include protected areas and their effectiveness, social impacts and equity in conservation, wildlife trade analysis, biodiversity patterns and ecosystem service analysis and more.  All work is targeted at practical problems and policy and field level solutions.

Neil has been working in conservation science and practice for more than 20 years, in the UK, Denmark and tropical Africa, especially eastern Africa. Much of his work has focused on habitat conservation in nature reserves in Europe and Africa through partnerships with non-governmental organisations, private foundations, state and community-based organisations.

Through Neil’s long-term involvement in practical, field-based conservation, he is well placed to develop conservation science that is aimed at international conservation policy targets, such as those agreed under the Convention on Biological Diversity, CITES and the UNFCCC, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

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