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Professions and civil society

From the environment to animal protection and law, our civil society leaders are showing the way:

Christiana Figueres

Christiana Figueres

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Christiana Figueres is a Costa Rican citizen and was the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 2010 - 2016.

During her tenure at the UNFCCC, Ms. Figueres brought together national and sub-national governments, corporations and activists, financial institutions and NGOs to jointly deliver the historic Paris Agreement on climate change, in which 195 sovereign nations agreed on a collaborative path forward to limit future global warming to well below 2°C, and strive for 1.5°C in order to protect the most vulnerable. For this achievement Ms. Figueres has been credited with forging a new brand of collaborative diplomacy, for which she has received multiple awards.

Since then Ms. Figueres has continued to serve her one and only boss, the global atmosphere.  She sits on multiple boards and is a founding partner of Global Optimism Ltd., a purpose driven enterprise focused on social and environmental change.  She convenes Mission 2020 and co-chairs the Global Covenant of Mayors.  

She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and the London School of Economics. She lives in Costa Rica and has two fantastic daughters.

Carlo Petrini

Carlo Petrini

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Carlo Petrini is the founder and President of the international Slow Food movement. Slow Food has over 100,000 members in 150 countries, all dedicated to small scale, sustainable food production. Carlo founded the University of Gastronomic Sciences and hosts a biennial Terra Madre conference in Turin. He has published several books on eco-gastronomy. Time magazine named him a Hero in 2004 and, in 2008, the Guardian named him one of “fifty people who could save the world”.

Dr David Suzuki

Dr David Suzuki

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David Suzuki, Co-Founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, is an award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster, including the award-winning The Nature of Things. Dr Suzuki is a geneticist and is now Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia. He is the recipient of UNESCO's Kalinga Prize for Science, the United Nations Environment Program Medal, UNEPs Global 500 and in 2009 won the Right Livelihood Award that is considered the Alternative Nobel Prize.

Satish Kumar

Satish Kumar

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Aged 18, Satish Kumar made a peace pilgrimage from India, bringing “peace tea” to global leaders from Moscow to Washington. Regarded as a leading green thinker, he edits Resurgence magazine and is a guiding light of the famous Schumacher College. He has Honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Lancaster and Plymouth and has received the Jamnalal Bajaj International Award for Promoting Gandhian Values Outside India. He has written a widely read autobiography No Destination.

Jonathon Porritt CBE

Jonathon Porritt CBE

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Jonathon Porritt CBE, Co-Founder of Forum for the Future, is an eminent writer, broadcaster, and commentator on sustainable development. From 2000-2009, he was Chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, providing high-level advice to Government Ministers. He is Co-Director of The Prince of Wales's Business and Sustainability Programme. Porritt received a CBE in 2000 for services to environmental protection. He is a Patron of Compassion in World Farming.

Tony Juniper

Tony Juniper

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Dr Tony Juniper CBE is the Executive Director for Advocacy and Campaigns at WWF-UK. He previously worked with Birdlife International and Friends of the Earth, where he was Executive Director 2003-8. Juniper’s many books include the 2013 best-seller What has Nature ever done for us? His latest book, Rainforest – dispatches from Earth’s most vital frontlines, was published in April 2018. Juniper was the first recipient of the Charles and Miriam Rothschild conservation medal (2009) and was awarded honorary Doctor of Science degrees from the Universities of Bristol and Plymouth (2013). In 2017 he was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to conservation. Juniper is a Fellow with the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and President of the Wildlife Trusts.

Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben

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Bill is a leading climate change writer and activist. His 1989 book, “The End of Nature” was ground-breaking (now in 24 languages). Many other books followed and his latest is Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? (Henry Holt and Co., 2019). Bill is a Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College and he has won many awards, including the Sierra Club’s John Muir award, the Gandhi award and, together with the organisation he co-founded, 350.org, the Right Livelihood award. 350.org is a planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, and has organised many thousands of rallies globally.

Elizabeth Wathuti

Elizabeth Wathuti

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Elizabeth Wathuti is a passionate environmentalist and climate activist from Kenya. She is the founder of Green Generation Initiative (GGI), the Head of Campaigns and coordinator of Daima coalition for the protection of urban green spaces at the Wangari Maathai Foundation. She is a board member of the Elephant neighbours centre and a youth council member of International Reserva: The Youth Land Trust. She has received many awards, including the Wangari Maathai Scholarship Award from The Kenya Community Development Foundation, the Greenbelt Movement, and the Rockefeller Foundation.  The Diana Award 2019 for going above and beyond in her daily life to create and sustain positive change, and the young climate champion 2019 award from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Dr Hans Herren

Dr Hans Herren

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Dr Hans R Herren is President of the Millennium Institute which assists development partners in the design, implementation and reporting on the SDGs. An agricultural scientist, he was awarded the World Food Prize in 1995 for his work on biological pest control at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (1979-1994). In Nairobi he ran the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (1994-2005).

He is a passionate believer in sustainable, ecological agriculture and co-chaired the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology, (IAASTD), and is founder of the Biovision Foundation based in Zürich.

Maneka Gandhi

Maneka Gandhi

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Maneka was made Minister for Women and Child Development in the Indian government in 2014. She founded People For Animals, which runs 36 free veterinary hospitals. She is a prolific author, and her "animal" radio and TV shows are famous. Previously when she led a different Ministry, she took action on wildlife, animal testing and zoos and set up the Animal Welfare Board of India. She has received many awards for her work for animals, the environment and peace.

Patrick Holden CBE

Patrick Holden CBE

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Patrick is CEO of The Sustainable Food Trust, which promotes international cooperation between all those involved in sustainable food production. He was Director of the Soil Association, the leading British organic farming organisation, from 1995 to 2010, where he played a leading role in developing the UK organic market. He trained in Biodynamic farming at Emerson College and has a mixed organic dairy holding in Wales. He received a CBE for services to organic farming in 2005.

Tristram Stuart

Tristram Stuart

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Tristram won the international environmental award, The Sophie Prize 2011, for his fight against food waste. His books The Bloodless Revolution (2006) and Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal (Penguin, 2009) are regarded as cutting-edge. His 'Feeding the 5000' event and campaign, where 5000 people get a free lunch using only ingredients that otherwise would have been wasted, has spread globally following the first such event in London's Trafalgar Square.

Stanley Johnson

Stanley Johnson

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Stanley has worked in the field of environment and animal welfare for 40 years. As a Member of the European Parliament, he was Vice-Chairman of the Environment Committee and Founder-Chair of the All-Party Group on Animal Welfare. He has received awards from the RSPCA RSPB, WWF and Greenpeace for outstanding services to animal welfare and the environment respectively. He has written many books, the latest being Where the Wild Things Were: Travels of a Conservationist.

Dr Yaya Olaniran

Dr Yaya Olaniran

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Since 2007, Dr Yaya Olaniran has been Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the Rome-based Food Agencies of the United Nations. In October 2011 he was elected Chair of the Committee on World Food Security. Dr Olaniran has consulted for the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the private sector. He has worked in tree development, headed a science liaison office at ICIPE, Nairobi, and has served as Regional Minister for Agriculture in Ogun State, Nigeria.

Sir David Madden

Sir David Madden

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Sir David Madden is a retired diplomat, who served as British Ambassador in Greece (1999-2004), where he helped the Greek government achieve a break-through against terrorism. He served as Political Adviser to the European Union Peace-Keeping Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has written a conclusion to Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Unthank, 2011). He co-authored Balkan Legacies of the Great War: The Past Is Never Dead (with Othon Anastasakis and Elizabeth Roberts), Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. Sir David is a Board member of Compassion in World Farming.

Dr Andrea Gavinelli

Dr Andrea Gavinelli

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Andrea is a veterinarian and is currently in charge of the Animal Welfare Unit in the Health and Consumers Directorate General of the European Commission. Since 2001, he has been an active member of the “Working Group on Animal Welfare” of the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) and he is member of specific working groups at international level with EU trading partners. Andrea is on the editorial board of the "FAO Gateway to Farm Animal Welfare".

Bruce Kent

Bruce Kent

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Bruce was the leading light of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) for many years. He remains a CND Vice-President and is also Vice-President of Pax Christi and remains a passionate peace campaigner. He is also passionate in his abhorrence of factory farming and is a Patron of Compassion in World Farming. The Daily Telegraph’s Chief Foreign Correspondent, David Blair, has called him “the most principled and consistent figure in British public life” (13/3/07).

Nitin Mehta MBE

Nitin Mehta MBE

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Nitin founded the Young Indian Vegetarians Society and is well known for organising high profile campaigns. Nitin is regularly published in the national press. He received an MBE in 1999 for his services to the community and has received the Ahimsa award from the Institute of Jainology. Nitin believes that granting rights to animals is crucial for the moral well being of the human race and we owe it to future generations to aim to bring compassion and peace to other species.

Dr S Chinny Krishna

Dr S Chinny Krishna

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Dr Chinny Krishna is Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Blue Cross of India. He is the Vice-Chairman of the Animal Welfare Board of India, Chairman of the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations and International Director of the World Society for the Protection of Animals. He is Chairman and Managing Director of Aspick Engineering P Ltd and is an elected Fellow of the Institution of Engineers and the Indian Institution of Chemical Engineers.

Professor David Bilchitz

Professor David Bilchitz

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David Bilchitz is a Professor of Human Rights and Constitutional Law at the University of Johannesburg and Director of the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law (SAIFAC). He is currently Secretary General of the International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL). He writes widely on the rights of animals under South African law, believing that a just political community must respect the dignity, integrity and welfare of animals.

Geoff Tansey

Geoff Tansey

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Geoff Tansey is an independent writer who curates the online, open access Food Systems Academy. 

He chaired the independent Fabian Commission on Food and Poverty 2014-15, and is a member of The Food Ethics Council. His books include The Food System: a guide (with Tony Worsley) and co-editorship of The future control of food - A guide to international negotiations and rules on intellectual property, biodiversity and food security.  In June 2005, he received one of six Joseph Rowntree ‘Visionaries for a Just and Peaceful World’ Awards. In 2008, he won the Derek Cooper Award for best food campaigner/educator, at the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards. 

Paul Hoffman SC

Paul Hoffman SC

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Advocate Paul Hoffman is a director of the Institute For Accountability in Southern Africa, an NGO dedicated to exacting accountability and promoting responsiveness to the needs of ordinary people. He was a member of the Cape Bar for 26 years. His experience as a litigator now enables him to engage in "lawfare" against those who behave unaccountably. He is best known for his anticorruption activities both in the public and the private sector.

Zhang Dan

Zhang Dan

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Zhang Dan is China’s Ambassador for World Animal Day and is the co-founder of the China Animal Protection Media Salon. She was editor in chief of Animal Essays. Zhang Dan has worked actively against animal cruelty in China and was awarded the first Andrew Award for Outstanding Media Contribution at the 7th Asia for Animals Conference in 2011.

Wendel Trio

Wendel Trio

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Wendel Trio is Director of Climate Action Network Europe (CAN Europe). He is former Campaign Director of Greenpeace Belgium and served as Head of the Political and Business Unit at Greenpeace International, where he also led on the organisation’s work on climate change. CAN Europe works to improve Europe's climate and energy policies in cooperation with the network’s 150 NGOs, which include Compassion in World Farming.

Richard Haigh

Richard Haigh

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South African farming pioneer Richard Haigh has been hailed by the Worldwatch Institute and Slow Food International for his agro-ecological methods of farming indigenous Zulu sheep and Nguni cattle at his farm Enaleni in KwaZulu Natal. In October 2012, Richard gave a presentation at the Slow Food Terra Madre event in Turin, Italy, where he appealed to farmers to heed the call by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu for an evolution towards humane and sustainable farming.

Zhao Wanping

Zhao Wanping

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Zhao Wanping is deputy director of Anhui Provincial Academy of Agriculture Sciences and the vice chairman of the selection committee of the poverty alleviation award of the State Council. In March 2017, he took the lead in submitting a proposal on speeding up the formulation of farm animal welfare law at the fifth session of the 12th National People's Congress. In March 2019, he proposed establishing a law on the protection and management of companion animals at the second session of the 13th National People's Congress. He has won the title of China's Animal Welfare Public Promotion Ambassador.

Daniela Battaglia

Daniela Battaglia

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A committed animal welfarist, Daniela Battaglia works in the Animal Production and Health Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). She coordinates the Gateway to Farm Animal Welfare and coproduces FAOcast. Previously, Daniela was with the European Commission and has worked extensively in farm animal projects in Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East.

Norma Alvares

Norma Alvares

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Norma is an advocate of the Bombay High Court and has argued, pro bono, over 100 cases on environmental pollution, animal rights and women's issues, including achieving a ban on bullfighting in Goa, her home state, where she is a well-known campaigner. She is a member of the Animal Welfare Board of India and Chair of the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO). She was awarded the Padma Shri for her work for the protection of animals and the environment in 2002.

Timmie Kumar

Timmie Kumar

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Timmie spent many years volunteering in northern India, rescuing animals from circuses, rehoming strays and caring for wild animals. More recently, as a hotelier in Jaipur, she has become the Managing Trustee of Help in Suffering, which offers free veterinary treatment to animals. Today, Jaipur enjoys a rabies-free environment due to the HIS Animal Birth Control/vaccination program. She has been awarded by the Humane Society of the US (2012) and she won the "Pride of Jaipur" award (2013).

Rafał Serafin

Rafał Serafin

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A graduate of  the University of East Anglia and the Toronto & Waterloo Universities in Canada, he has written widely on multi-sector partnerships and sustainable development. He is a member of the European Commission Working Group on short food chain development.

Lord Anthony Lester

Lord Anthony Lester

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Anthony Lester is a Liberal Democrat life peer and specialises in constitutional and administrative law at Blackstone Chambers. He pioneered the use of European human rights law in British courts and has appeared in leading cases in both European courts. He was Special Adviser to the Home Secretary (Roy Jenkins) from 1974-76 with responsibility for policy advice on human rights, especially on anti-discrimination legislation.  He campaigned for thirty years for the Human Rights Act 1998, and was a member of the Commission on a Bill of Rights. He was a founder member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights.  He has introduced influential Private Member’s Bills on civil partnership, forced marriage, equality and defamation. He is currently writing a book – “Five Ideas Worth Fighting For” – to be published in 2016. 

Chris Darwin

Chris Darwin

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Chris Darwin, the great, great grandson of Charles Darwin, is an environmentalist, adventurer and ambassador for Bush Heritage Australia. His fundraising helped them buy the Charles Darwin Reserve in Western Australia. He believes we can halt the mass extinction of species by eating less meat and fish. He has developed the Darwin Challenge app. to help people reduce their meat consumption: https://www.thedarwinchallenge.org/

Adam and Jessica Sweidan

Adam and Jessica Sweidan

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Adam and Jessica began their philanthropy straight out of university. To address global biodiversity loss, in 2009 they founded Synchronicity Earth, which identifies conservation priorities and finds the people best placed to tackle them. Recently, they were appointed International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Patrons of Nature, helping to raise the visibility of global conservation needs worldwide. In 2015 they were made Honorary Conservation Fellows for the Zoological Society of London.

Lady Katya Lester

Lady Katya Lester

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Katya Lester is a barrister and works as a Judge in the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal. She is a long-standing supporter of Compassion in World Farming and was a co-founder of what was the SDP Animal Protection Group. 

Grazia Francescato

Grazia Francescato

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Grazia is a leading environmentalist and writer. She has been President of WWF-Italy and is a former Green Party MP and former President of the Italian Green Party. She now leads on international relationships for Greenaccord, a secular organisation for the safeguarding of creation. She has written several books on sustainability and the relationship between spirituality and conservation and also a chapter in Sacred Species and Sites (Cambridge University Press).

Nithiyananthan Nesadurai

Nithiyananthan Nesadurai

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Nithi is President of Environmental Protection Society Malaysia and Regional Coordinator of Climate Action Network Southeast Asia. He is Past President of Chevening Alumni Malaysia, an association of leaders awarded the Chevening Scholarship by the UK Government. He is an International Advisory Board member of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies at Liverpool Hope University. With Masters’ degrees from the University of South Australia, Nithi has been a vegetarian since he was nine-years-old.

Amy P. Wilson

Amy P. Wilson

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Amy is an attorney and the first South African to graduate with a Master’s degree in Animal Law. She has been involved in animal protection for a number of years and is a dedicated activist on animal, human and environmental matters. She is co-founder and director of the first organization dedicated to animal law in her country - Animal Law Reform South Africa. She also works throughout Africa and in the USA on a broad variety of animal protection issues, focusing on the legitimization of animal law as a field, equipping lawyers and the promotion of animal law education and scholarship.

Natalie Fee

Natalie Fee

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Natalie Fee is an award-winning environmentalist, author, speaker and founder of City to Sea, a UK-based organisation running campaigns to stop plastic pollution at source. This year she was awarded the Sunday Times Volvo Visionaries Award for her campaign work. In 2018 Natalie was listed as one of the UK’s ‘50 New Radicals’ by The Observer / Nesta and in the same year the University of the West of England awarded her the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science in recognition of her campaign work. She won the Sheila McKechnie Award for Environmental Justice in 2017 for City to Sea's #SwitchtheStick campaign and is proud to have been named Bristol 24/7’s Woman of the Year for 2018. Her book, How to Save the World for Free (Lawrence King Publishing) is due out October 2019. She can be found on Instagram as nataliefee_ and on Twitter as nataliefee.

Svein Tveitdal

Svein Tveitdal

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Svein is a former Director of UNEP and environmental ambassador to the city of Arendal. With a long history of writing and lecturing on climate change, he is founder and CEO of Klima2020, an environmental consultancy based in Norway. He is also Chair of the Norwegian Rainforest Foundation. His publications include “Climate in Peril” (2010) a Popular guide to the IPCC reports http://www.grida.no/publications/climate-in-peril/ and “Green Shift” (2013) A handbook for environmentally friendly regions in Europe. He has 300,000 followers on Twitter: @tveitdal

Guo Jianmei

Guo Jianmei

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Guo Jianmei is the first full-time public welfare lawyer in China. She founded the women's law research and service centre of Peking University in 1995. The centre has been "protecting women's rights, promoting the progress of the legal system and the development of civil society" through legal aid, public interest litigation, research, training, submission of legislative proposals and participation in legislation. Many of their cases have led to the improvement of relevant legislation. She has won many domestic and international awards, including the Simon de Beauvoir Prize for Women's Rights Award, the International Women of Courage Award in the US, and the "Right Livelihood Award" in Sweden.

Dr Mamphela Ramphele

Dr Mamphela Ramphele

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A founder of the Black Consciousness Movement along with Steve Biko, Dr Ramphele has doctorates in medicine and social anthropology and 10 honorary degrees. She has published widely on poverty alleviation. In 1996 she became Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, and was made the managing director for human development at the World Bank. She chairs a black economic empowerment company and has founded the Citizens Movement for Social Change.

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