Head of International Programmes

About

After completing my Masters in Conservation Science at Imperial College London, my first international conservation role was to help establish a Southern African NGO, supporting communities and landowners to sustainably manage natural resources and restore biodiversity habitat.

After six years in Africa, in 2015 I joined WWT to lead our integrated conservation and development projects, working alongside local communities to protect critically important wetlands in Cambodia and Madagascar.

Now Head of International Programmes, my work builds upon the remarkable global conservation achievements of WWT since our inception in 1946. I am passionate about using WWT’s unique skills and expertise to add value to some of the world’s most important conservation projects.

A qualified CCNET Conservation Coach, I work in partnerships to explore ways that the conservation community can focus resources efficiently and be responsive to changing environments. I believe in the power of participatory planning processes, making sure those involved in the use and management of natural systems have a say in their future.

Work

WWT’s International Programmes conserve wetland systems and species, through action in our priority countries and flyways and by providing technical specialist input to global initiatives like the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

With teams in Europe, Africa and Asia, my role is to oversee and manage WWT international work, ensuring that we have well-planned and well-supported projects delivering on our ambitious goals.

A major part of my day-today is to liaise with national governments, international conventions, key collaborators, partners and funders. I am directly involved in projects to ensure that wetland protection features at the forefront of multilateral environmental agreements and that guidance for best-practice management is available and accessed by stakeholders around the world.

Skills

  • Project management
  • Conservation strategy development
  • Sustainable livelihoods
  • Policy and guidance
  • Community-based conservation
  • Ecosystem service assessment

Publications

Blackham, G.V. & Avent, T. (2019). Guidance for the wise use of Freshwater Wetlands in Cambodia. Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and Department of Freshwater Wetlands Conservation of the General Directorate of Administration for Nature Conservation and Protection, Cambodian Ministry of Environment

Sophanna L, Hour, P, Avent, T (2019). Report on Vulnerability Assessment of Boeung Prek Lapouv Protected Landscape. IUCN. Mekong WET - Building Resilience of Wetlands in the Lower Mekong Region

Blackham, G.V. & Avent, T. (2018). Guide National pour la Gestion Durable des Zones Humides, Madagascar. Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and Madagascar Ministère de l'Environnement et du Développement Durable

Dickson et al. (2017). PRISM – Toolkit for evaluating the outcomes and impacts of small/medium-sized conservation projects. Version 1. Available from conservationevaluation.org [Contributing Author]

Yav N., Seng, K., Nhim S., Chea, V., Bou V., & Avent, T. (2017). The impact of shrimp farming on water quality in Anlung Pring, a protected landscape in Cambodia. Cambodian Journal of Natural History. 1: 49–54