Helen has been leading SOS since 2005. She has been responsible for developing several programmes and partnerships which are making a substantial contribution to the protection of Sumatran orangutans, their forests and their future, and is passionate about breaking the link between development and deforestation. Helen has a Masters degree in Primate Conservation, has conducted research examining the impact of the expansion of oil palm plantations on the conservation status of orangutans, and is a Fellow of the RSA. She says:
“We’re thinking long-term, big-picture, striving to bring about fundamental changes to the way that Sumatra’s forests and wildlife are valued, managed and protected. “
Sarah has two decades of experience in fundraising, communications and partnerships management. She has a passion for grass-roots social justice and for protecting the planet and most of all for trees! She has supported local, community-powered conservation activity as Director of Fundraising & Communications at Avon Wildlife Trust, and has supported dryland reforestation and community livelihoods in West and East Africa at TREE AID. Sarah is a specialist in major donor fundraising and in partnership development.
“I am so inspired by all of the fabulous supporters who care about protecting the precious Sumatran rainforests so wild orangutans can thrive. Together we can protect, restore and connect the forest, ensuring this unique landscape is safe for all of our futures.”
Koen joined the SOS team in November 2020. He brings over two decades of experience in the management and protection of the natural environment, working with international NGOs, private sector, and international institutions, including UN agencies and IUCN. He has worked on a broad range of topics including species conservation, protected area management, natural resource management, environmental conventions, climate change mitigation and adaptation, community based conservation and development, and social and ecological assessments. With extensive field experience in Asia and Africa, including more than 15 years in Indonesia, he combines strong practical knowledge on the socio-economic challenges with an in-depth understanding of the complex structural problems impacting orangutan conservation.
“The mission of SOS, to secure the future of Sumatran orangutans and their forests, I consider to be critically important for sustaining both ecosystem health and human wellbeing in Sumatra. Only by understanding and effectively addressing the socio-economic drivers of the threats facing orangutans will we be able to ensure their long-term survival. As SOS’s new Conservation Director, my aim is to continue strengthening SOS’ innovative and holistic approach, through close partnership with a broad range of stakeholders, including civil society, government, private sector, and local communities. I am privileged to be joining a highly motivated and dedicated team and I will ensure that SOS remains well equipped and positioned to support Indonesia’s commitment to protect orangutans.”
Lucy joined SOS in 2018. She has a Masters in Primate Conservation and has previously worked in conservation research, funding and communications for charities in Morocco and the UK. Lucy leads on SOS’s communications and is also responsible for several aspects of fundraising. Lucy is a member of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group’s Section for Human-Primate Interactions.
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