Senior Project Manager (International)

mark.grindley@wwt.org.uk

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About me

An early love of the outdoors translated into a higher education in geography and rural resources planning. After volunteering on a conservation project in a remote area of southwest Uganda, I began my professional career in Vietnam, which led to over 20 years in Southeast Asia and culminated with the country directorship in Myanmar for a global conservation NGO, and a role with WWT since May 2021. Throughout my career, I have been both awed and inspired by the natural world, but my personal contribution to a more sustainable planet has been through focusing on the political and human aspects of biodiversity conservation, particularly through applied research, policy development, monitoring, sustainable livelihoods and community empowerment. I believe conservation is ultimately more of a political and social activity than a technical one, and constantly try to improve my understanding of the history and praxis of conservation in the wider context of international development and sustainability.

Work

As Senior Project Manager I develop and oversee delivery of activities in WWT’s international portfolio, and ensure they contribute towards the Trust’s long-term strategic objectives and, ultimately, its Mission. Currently focussed primarily on Madagascar and Myanmar, I support our teams and various partners in both countries to implement projects, while also providing technical support and inputs in areas such as climate vulnerability assessment, wetland inventory, ecosystems services assessments, site management planning and communications. I also take an active role in developing and implementing internal policies, including health and safety and social and environmental safeguards, as well as contributing externally, for example as a founder member of the Environmental Peacebuilding Association, which seeks to develop, manage and share knowledge on the complex relationships between environment, conflict and peace.

Skills

Programme management and development, risk management, capacity building, project design, monitoring and evaluation, building and managing strategic partnerships, policy development, high-level representation and reporting. I also have a broad range of technical skills, both from formal training and practical experience, covering biodiversity research, mapping and GIS analysis, spatial, land use and resource planning, ecotourism, illegal wildlife trade, SMART patrolling, socio-economic assessments, threats assessments, community forestry, agro-forestry and ex situ and in situ NTFP development, improved cook stoves, participatory research and action learning, implementing sustainable palm oil (RSPO) and timber legality standards (FLEGT, FSC, PEFC), high conservation value (HCV) assessment, small grants management and sustainable protected area financing.

Publications

  • Furlanetto T, Mills J, Pockock S, Nay Myo Shwe and Grindley M (Eds.) (2019). Terrestrial Biodiversity of Southern Tanintharyi: 2013-2018 Survey Results and Conservation Recommendations. Tanintharyi Conservation Programme, joint initiative of Fauna & Flora International, the Myanmar Forest Department and Department of Fisheries.
  • Geissmann T, Ngwe Lwin, Saw Soe Aung, Thet Naing Aung, Zin Myo Aung, Tony Htin Hla, Grindley M and Momberg F (2010), A New Species of Snub-Nosed Monkey, Genus Rhinopithecus Milne-Edwards, 1872 (Primates, Colobinae), From Northern Kachin State, Northeastern Myanmar, Am. J. Primatol. 72:1-12 (2010), DOI 10.1002/ajp.20894
  • Geissmann T, Grindley M, Ngwe Lwin, Saw Soe Aung, Thet Naing Aung, Saw Blaw Htoo, and Momberg F (2013). The conservation status of hoolock gibbons in Myanmar. Gibbon Conservation Alliance, Zürich, Switzerland, 157pp
  • Wode B, U Myint Soe Oo and Grindley M (2014c). Constraints and Opportunities for Commercial Timber Extraction from Community and Smallholder Forests. Report No. 40 of the Myanmar Conservation and Development Program, an initiative of Fauna & Flora International (FFI) Myanmar Programme. FFI, Yangon
  • Zöckler C, Pyae Phyo Aung, Grindley M, Cherry Aung & Momberg F (2018). Coastal Wetlands in Myanmar: A directory of important sites. ArcCona Ecological Consultants, Cambridge: UK 62 pp.