KEY NOTE SPEAKERS
DANIEL YON: Associate Professor – York University
Daniel Yon, filmmaker and anthropologist, is Associate Professor at York University, Toronto, jointly appointed to the Faculty of Education and the Department of Anthropology. He is the author of Elusive Culture (SUNY 2000) and a number of related articles dealing with urban youth, race, identity, globalisation. His two films, 100 Men and Sathima’s Windsong, respectively, reflect an interest in migrations, displacements, memory and the Atlantic World. His third film, in post-production, based on st Helenian workers in the Copper Mines of Namaqualand, South Africa. He is a former Director of York’s Graduate Programme in Social Anthropology. His scholarly work and teaching includes the anthropology of race and racism; power and violence; ethnography of education and youth; cosmopolitanisms and belonging. Prior to graduate studies, he was a history teacher and then Curriculum Development Officer in post independent Zimbabwe. He was a founding member of the St Helena Heritage Society and now a life-member.
DR AL DOVE: Georgia Aquarium
Dr. Dove is a broadly trained marine biologist and conservationist and a leading authority on the biology of whale sharks. As Vice President of Research and Conservation, Dr. Dove is responsible for overseeing all research and conservation activities for Georgia Aquarium and administering collaborative partnerships with other institutions; he also supervises the staff and activities at the Georgia Aquarium Conservation Field Station near St Augustine, Florida. Dr. Dove obtained a 1st class Honors degree in Zoology and Parasitology in 1994 and a University Medal for his PhD in Parasitology, both from the University of Queensland, Australia. Since joining the Georgia Aquarium team in 2006 his research interests have continued on the theme of “health and diversity in aquatic animals” from individuals to ecosystems, with a current focus on the biology of whale sharks. He has published over 50 scientific articles and several book chapters and is currently editing a book on whale shark biology and conservation. He is an adjunct professor at Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Georgia.
CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS: Associate Professor – Durham University Business School
Christopher Williams is Associate Professor in Management at Durham University Business School in the UK where he leads the Management Consultancy pathway on the MBA program. His research interests include innovation in international firms, knowledge creation and transfer, offshore outsourcing and national systems of innovation. Dr Williams’ studies have been published in a range of journals including Asia Pacific Journal of Management, International Business Review, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of World Business and Research Policy. He has also published over 25 teaching cases on strategy and innovative issues in international contexts (Ivey Publishing) and is author of Venturing in International Firms: Contexts and Cases in a High-Tech World (Routledge, 2018) and Management Consultancy for Innovation (Routledge, forthcoming). Before entering academia in 2007, Dr Williams spent nearly two decades in industry, mostly in innovative and international environments, including international project management and consultancy.
COUNCILLOR RUSSELL YON – St Helena Island
Present Position: Member of Legislative and Executive Council. Chairperson of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. Year First Elected: 2017
Career Before Entering Politics: From 2013 to 2017 I was the Fuel Manager, Logistics Department, Basil Read (SHAP Contractor). From 1988 to 2013 I was employed by Pan American, NASA Bendix and Computer Science Raytheon on the US Base, Ascension Island. I spent twenty of those years as the Meteorological Site Supervisor.
Political Career: None really, but have always been interested in politics from a young age. Influenced by my dad’s involvement in Island politics for several years and my desire to get to the root of issues that involve changes for our Island and her people.
Special Interests: Infrastructure, construction, health & safety and economic growth, however I have express my interest in other areas also. Every aspect that will allow St Helena to develop, flourish and remain prosperous for the foreseeable future. The task ahead is difficult but not surmountable however we must prove that with the financial backing we will be able to succeed.
THE HON CHRISTINE SCIPIO CPA ST HELENA BRANCH
Career: Teacher, Finance and Administration
Public Service: Teacher, Finance and Administration
Private Sector: Finance and Administration
Interests: Family, Education, Youth and Civil Societies
First elected to Legislative Council – October 2012
Member of Executive Council – elected under section 34 of Constitution for St Helena with effect from July 2013
Member: Civil Society, Home and International Committee, Finance and Economy Committee, Environmental and Natural Resources Committee, Highways Authority, Safeguarding of Children Board, Scholarship Awards Committee, BIMR CWP Steering Committee, Advisory Committee on the Prerogative Mercy Committee
Member of Legislative and Executive Council
Chair of Education Committee
Member of Scholarship Awards Committee
Member of Economic Development Committee
Chairperson of Education Committee
To provide leadership, strategic direction and policy initiation and endorsement for Government Business concerning education, including, schools, skills, lifelong learning.
Member of Scholarship Awards Committee
Consider applications for the Prince Andrew Post School Student Scholarship that is offered annually to all St. Helenian students normally domiciled in St Helena who complete their Year 13 studies at Prince Andrew School. The Scholarship Awards Committee is also the approved local nominating body for the Commonwealth Fellowship Scholarships and other scholarship opportunities that may be developed when such opportunities occur.
Member of Economic Development Committee
To provide leadership, strategic direction and has policy responsibility for Government Business concerning economic development, investment, tourism, agriculture, fisheries, labour market, communications (including media and telecommunications and postal services) and ports of entry.
THE HONORABLE MARK POLLARD – Falkland Islands
The son of a Falkland Islander and a Royal Marine who served in the Falklands, Mark moved to the Islands in 1985 and, apart from studying abroad, has lived in the Islands ever since. He is married to Cathy Pollard.
Apart from a brief stint working for the Falkland Islands Government Fisheries Department, Mark has worked in telecommunications for the past 17 years in various engineering roles. His interests consists of all things Falklands, including photographing beautiful landscapes, reading about the Islands’ history or discussing Falklands’ politics. Mark has lead portfolio responsibility for Trade and Industry, Employment, Training and Immigration. He has secondary portfolio responsibility for Development and Commercial Services.
COUNCILLOR KITTY GEORGE – Ascension Island
Born on St Helena on 11 November 1970, I moved to Ascension Island in 1990.
I am employed with the Ascension Island Government as the Assistant Harbour Master and Travel and Shipping Agent, a job which I thoroughly enjoy.
I have been an Island Councillor for just over 10 years. Although there is no right of abode on Ascension Island, I passionately believe that the workers there deserve the same rights as anyone living in the UK or on any of the other Overseas Territories. I have always felt that Ascension has a lot to offer and believe in making it an even better place for those who work there now and, in the years, to come. These are the reasons that I agreed to stand for council back in 2008 and have been lucky to be re-elected as an island Councillor for the past ten years.
ELIZABETH CLINGHAM – St Helena Blue Belt Manager
Since January 2019, Elizabeth has held the position of the St. Helena Blue Belt Manager employed the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Prior to this Elizabeth held the General Manager of the St. Helena Fisheries Corporation (July 2017 – November 2018) and before that the Marine scientific and later Marine Conservation Officer for the St. Helena Government (7 years).
Elizabeth has had a varied career which has facilitated her progression into her current position. As the St. Helena Blue Belt Manager she acts as the strategic lead for the Blue Belt projects on island; specifically liaising with both CEFAS and MMO ensuring that the projects undertaken on island are sufficiency resourced and delivered by SHG and that all stakeholders are kept abreast of project development.
In her Marine Conservation Officer role Elizabeth helped to develop work plans and projects to fill marine related data gaps. During this time she was deployed as a fisheries observer, undertook collection of scientific fisheries data and biological sampling and supported in the development of St. Helena’s Fisheries Sector strategy with various local and international stakeholders. Elizabeth was part of the team that wrote St. Helena’s Marine Management plan which was the bases in declaring St. Helena’s Category Six Marine Protected Area.
Elizabeth has enjoyed a working career spanning some 20 years only four of which were spent aboard all academic achievements have been attained on island or via distance learning. Prior to employment in the marine industry Elizabeth worked as an retail manager for local private sector, a Business Advisor for the then St. Helena Development Agency now (ESH) and a legal assistant for the SHG and has been employed on the Falkland islands for a brief period.
Elizabeth is a self-proclaimed water baby and has from a very young age been a proactive member of the St. Helena scuba diving, yachting and recreational fishing community. Elizabeth is a mother of two and has been married for almost 10 years much of her free time is spent generally on or by the sea with her family and friends.
TARA PELEMBE: South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI)
Tara’s role as Deputy Director of SAERI focuses on developing new partnerships and projects to expand the scope of work that SAERI undertakes. She also oversees the implementation of a number of these new initiatives including regional and multi-territory programmes of work and is collaborating with other Overseas Territories to promote the establishment of ‘sister’ environmental research institutes. Tara was previously the Head of the Conservation Department on Ascension Island and the Director of the Environmental Management Department on St. Helena. Tara’s interest and experience covers the whole spectrum of environmental management from conservation and biodiversity to waste management and climate change. She has considerable experience in the management of both small-scale and larger scale multi-disciplinary projects and 9 has led and/or contributed to a large number of programmes and projects that range from on-the ground implementation initiatives to multi-party partnership working platforms. She is also is an experienced in communication, networking, stakeholder engagement, workshop organisation and facilitation, project and programme management. Tara has an MSc from the University of Exeter in Conservation and Biodiversity and a BSc. (Hons) in Geography from the University of St. Andrews.
NICOLE SHAMIER – St Helena Government
Nicole Shamier is an economist, holding an MSc Economics from London Metropolitan Business School and a BA Economics and Economic and Social History from the University of Manchester. For her Master’s thesis, she wrote a paper entitled ‘Does deriving more information lead to better decision making?’ which compared results of resource intensive versus ‘quick and dirty’ economic valuations of changes in the water environment and the decisions made as a result. Nicole worked as an environmental economist for England’s Environment Agency, Ricardo and Capita, focusing on flood risk and water quality economics and then expanding out to work on the economics of climate change, air quality and pollution. She is the author of England’s ‘Water Appraisal Guidance’ and co-author of the ‘Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) cost-benefit analysis tool’.
She now works as an economist for the St Helena Government, where she co-manages the St Helena renewable energy procurement project, as well as helping set the Minimum Wage, Revenue Collection policy and St Helena’s Sustainable Economic Development Plan.
LAWRENCE MURANGANWA – Connect Saint Helena
Lawrence Muranganwa is currently, the Technical Manager (Head for water and sewage) for CONNECT Saint Helena managing the projects and the operations teams. Lawrence joined CONNECT Saint Helena as the Civil Projects Engineer working as the technical support for the capital projects delivery team.
Lawrence is reliable civil engineer with over 15 years of progressive experience in civil engineering. Over 11 years have been on water reticulation, water treatment, sewerage and sewage treatment works, roads design and construction supervision. He has experience from feasibility studies, through detailed design, supervision of construction and project management. With experience in tender management, Contract Administration and Management of civil and structural engineering works. Lawrence has just under 2 years working experience in St Helena Island, 6 years working experience in the United Kingdom and the rest in Zimbabwe. He has a sound understanding of working modalities of the private and public sector businesses in Saint Helena, Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom and possesses a wide range of technical and managerial skills pertaining to civil engineering from design to project management. He has worked as a design engineer, project engineer and project manager. Lawrence promotes the application of good engineering practices and concepts to solve complexity in any type and size of project to reduce risk of cost and schedule overruns and project failure. He has hands-on experience in the civil engineering business and is a strong believer and promoter of team work and collaborative management.
SHAYLA ELLICK MSc – St Helena National Trust
Shayla has spent six years working on St Helena in a diverse range of environmental areas, with a focus on terrestrial conservation. She has a BSc (Hons) degree in Environmental Management from the University of Hertfordshire, during which she also spent a placement year working at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, within the UK Overseas Territories team. In 2016 Shayla gained an MSc by Research from the University of York, for which she researched the potential of the Island’s endemic Gumwood tree in sequestering carbon in the Millennium Forest – an island community restoration site (http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/9337/).
Since 2016, Shayla has worked on a large scale conservation project which provides essential environmental and landscape mitigation following the construction of the St Helena airport. This project involves endemic habitat creation, restoration and compensation using critically endangered species, with work completed in over 20 hectares of land and over 70,000 (and counting!) plants planted to date. Since August 2019, Shayla has progressed to leading the project, which is currently delivered under the St Helena National Trust.
NESS SMITH: South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute (SAERI)
Ness holds a Biology degree from the University of York and an MSc in Tropical Coastal Management from Newcastle University. She has a broad range of experience in both tropical and temperate marine scientific research and management, with an emphasis on the study of complex socio-ecological systems. Working alongside Defra and the Marine Management Organisation, Ness helped to pioneer new methods in marine spatial planning (MSP), including the integration of strategic assessment into the planning process, and the development of new national seascape character assessment guidelines. Ness has helped to develop courses and lectured on MSP to students and professionals at a number of UK institutions. Her interest in the ecosystem services approach developed as a result of her MSP experience, and she went on to manage a large interdisciplinary European project which developed a framework to value marine ecosystem services. The project explored how these values could be applied to MSP and management through scenario development. More recently, Ness has worked with governments and intergovernmental organisations to address the high seas governance reforms needed to reduce the global impact of IUU fishing. Ness works for the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute, based in the Falkland Islands, and is the project manager for the St Helena Natural Capital Assessment.
MS AMANDA GREGORY: Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC)
Amanda is a scientific officer in the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), a UK Government agency that supports the UK Government’s policy objectives in the Overseas Territories, specifically through support for the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the FCO. Amanda has worked in the Caribbean Overseas Territories for the last 2 years leading specifically on the Natural Capital assessment projects in Montserrat and Anguilla. In 2012 Amanda facilitated the ‘Greening the Economy’ project in Anguilla. Amanda has represented the UK at the European Environment Agency as the National Reference Centre for Biodiversity, provide the secretariat for the European network of Nature Conservation Agencies (ENCA) and as the UK National Contact Point for the EU LIFE Funding Programme.
EMILY HANCOX: Department of Mineral Resources, Falkland Islands Government (FIG)
Emily is currently undertaking a Master’s degree in Environmental Policy and Governance at Stirling University whilst on sabbatical from her role as Offshore Environmental Advisor for the Falkland Islands Government (FIG) Department of Mineral Resources. She graduated from Lancaster University with a BSc Hons in Environmental Biology and began her professional life as a Fisheries Observer, before working for SAERI. Her subsequent position with FIG has been focused on environmental regulation of the prospective hydrocarbons industry, in particular the proposed offshore Sea Lion development. Emily has a keen interest in natural heritage, inspired by growing up with the wildlife and landscapes of the Falklands. Passionate about the environment, she has been a community member of the Falkland’s Environmental Committee for several years.
ALISTAIR MCVITTIE: Land Economy, Environment & Society, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC)
Alistair is an environmental economist with over 15 years experience of applying economic analysis to a range of policy issues related to land use and the natural environment. His current research focuses on natural capital and ecosystem services, in particular the development of natural capital accounts for Scotland. His previous research has included work on public goods from agriculture, climate change mitigation and adaptation, marine protected areas, and animal welfare. Alistair has also contributed to large scale studies including The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) and the UK National Ecosystem Assessment Follow-on.
SUE GREGORY – Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI)
Sue has over a decade of experience working on marine issues at South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands. She has been the Marine Environment and Fisheries Manager for GSGSSI since April 2017, overseeing the day-to-day operation of South Georgia’s fisheries and working with a range of stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of these world class, MSC certified fisheries. She played a key role in the recent 5-year review of the SGSSI Marine Protected Area, and is a member of the UK delegation to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Prior to joining GSGSSI Sue worked as a fisheries ecologist on the South Georgia Project at the British Antarctic Survey for eight years, which included overwintering on South Georgia, spending considerable time on commercial fishing vessels as a scientific observer, and conducting research surveys.
MIKE DURNFORD: – Environmental Risk Manager, St Helena Government.
Mike Durnford moved to St Helena in 2009 following a 23 year career in the Royal Air Force. He is employed as the Environmental Risk Manager for the St Helena Government. His primary role is delivery of waste management strategy and operations.
Since 2015, when he assumed responsibility for waste management, the service has seen significant development including; improved services to the public, annual waste prevention campaigns, improvements to public access and recycling at Horse Point Landfill Site, improved waste management communications and staff development with career enhancing opportunities. Mike has a passion for waste and resource management and is resolute in embedding circular economy across Government, to contribute towards the sustainable island. He has personally utilised 64 ADT tyres from airport construction for a rock fall/landscaping project and utilised over 2000 Windhoek Beer bottles as decorative lawn edging at his home on the island, to prevent these wastes being landfilled. Mike looks forward to discussing waste management constraints on a small island and hosting a delegates visit to Horse Point Landfill Site.
HELENA BENNETT: Director of Tourism, Enterprise St Helena – St Helena Island.
Helena Bennett holds professional and technical qualifications in auditing, systems, internal control, finance, risk management, good governance. With her personal interests revolving around the environment as a keen scuba diver, amateur marine activist and photographer; Helena was drawn to the tourism industry believing her professional skills and personal passion for the environment could contribute towards the development of the island’s tourism industry. Helena have been working in the tourism sector for the last five years, with a promotion from a managerial role to director in 2017. Helena is complimenting her current role with a post graduate diploma in tourism and hospitality management. Helena strongly believes that our natural environment is the key product for St Helena to establish itself as a successful but sustainable tourism destination.
JOANNA STOCKILL – Head of the Blue Belt Programme MMO.
I am passionate about the sea and have dedicated my career to making an impact in how the seas are managed now and into the future. I have 18 years’ marine sector experience including conservation, protected areas, spatial planning, sustainability and natural resource management working both in the UK and internationally within the private and public sectors. I joined the Marine Management Organisation in 2012 and led the delivery of the first Marine Spatial Plans for England before joining the Blue Belt Programme in 2017 as Head of Integrated Marine Management. I have recently taken on the role of Head of the Blue Belt Programme at the MMO.
DR DIMITRIOS BORMPOUDAKIS – Research Assistant at School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent.
Dr Dimitrios Bormpoudakis is an interdisciplinary environmental scientist with a strong background in quantitative analysis and GIS. He has a PhD from the School of Anthropology and Conservation at the University of Kent in Canterbury, and is currently working at the same institution as a research associate on a variety of projects. In the past, he has worked for projects funded by the European Union, the Department of Food, Agriculture and Rural Affairs, as well as several NGOs and private businesses. His research has two main streams. Firstly, mapping and quantifying species distributions, ecosystem services and soundscapes in England and Greece, using both traditional and innovative (crowd-source data, machine learning) approaches. Secondly, he is interested in the political ecology and the science-practice interface of conservation. Most recently, he has been working on mapping and quantifying cultural ecosystem services in islands of the South Atlantic (Falkland Islands, St Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha).
NICHOLAS CONNER – Senior Principal Economist, Office of Environment and Heritage
Nick is an environmental economist with over thirty years’ international experience in natural resource management, including economic and social impact analysis, environmental-economic accounting and ecosystem service valuation. Nick has worked in Government terrestrial and marine conservation agencies, and in pro bono and consultancy work with international environmental organisations, especially the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Nick is currently Senior Principal Economist with the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage in Sydney, Australia.
LEIGH MORRIS – Blue Marine Foundation, Consultant – Based on St Helena
Leigh’s 35+ years’ experience extends across production horticulture, botanic gardens, education and wider biodiversity conservation. Holder of an MSc in International Horticulture, Leigh managed commercial plant nurseries, before moving into education and training, including 10 years at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh working in plant conservation worldwide. Leigh was Director of Community Conservation at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, and was then Chief Executive of the UK National Land Based College. He undertook a Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) placement in Ethiopia, delivering upskilling on flower and vegetable farms and served a term as President of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture. Leigh has been a Trustee of the Marine Conservation Society since 2013 and since January 2018 has been based on St Helena, working as a consultant for the Blue Marine Foundation, which has included delivering on-island support for the Ascension Island Government’s new Waste Management plan. Leigh is involved in the strategy development for the St Helena National Trust and joined their Council as Vice-President in 2018. He carried out a Training Needs Analysis of St Helena agriculture in 2018 for the St Helena Government (SHG) and has commenced a programme to deliver the upskilling recommendations.
LOURENS MALAN – Terrestrial Conservation Officer, St Helena Island
Lourens is a habitat restoration ecologist and botanical horticulturalist, interested in the practicalities of conserving endangered island systems in particular with their heavily degraded habitats, and often without a complete picture of these island systems looked like.
Finding practical solutions that could slow or reverse further decline is a particular pressing topic across small islands, in the face of restrictive resources and increasing threats to rare and endangered island fauna & flora. Lourens look forward to share some of the successes and lessons learned within the cloud forest ecosystem on St Helena, and hope everybody will join on a guided tour to the cloud forest to see the work first hand.
KATE CHADWICK – Marine & Fisheries Scientist, Ascension Island
Kate completed a BSc in Marine Biology & Oceanography and went on to obtain an integrated Masters (MSci) in Marine Biology at the University of Southampton. During this time, she spent four years working as a Field Ecologist conducting terrestrial and freshwater surveys for protected species and interned with the Southern Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority (IFCA). Kate has worked in remote British Columbia collecting data on cetacean acoustics, with a primary focus on Orca and Humpback calls and photo identification work to assess site fidelity, social interactions and returns. In 2017 Kate secured her position as a Marine & Fisheries Scientist, working with the team to collect data that will feed into the upcoming MPA designation. The focus of her work is on Ascension’s inshore fish species, collecting and analysing data to elucidate life histories and their vulnerability to fishing. She has set up an Inshore Fisheries Advisory Committee (IFAC) to monitor and manage the recreational and sports fishing sector, in which members of the local community play a vital role.
NEIL FANTOM – Statistical Commissioner and Government Statistician, St Helena Government.
Neil Fantom is St Helena’s Statistical Commissioner and Government Statistician. He manages St Helena’s statistical program, which includes the five-yearly population census, regular household expenditure and business surveys, and a range of economic and social data. After obtaining his MSc in Statistical Science from University College, London, Neil joined the UK Government Statistical Service and the Department for International Development (DFID) in 1987, making his first visit to St Helena later that year to recalibrate St Helena’s Retail Price Index. His 30+ year career spans a range of experience in government statistics, including positions in the European Commission and the statistical offices of Botswana and Malawi. Before coming back to St Helena his most recent position was at the World Bank, where he worked for fifteen years helping governments around the world develop their statistical capacity, and managing the Bank’s highly regarded databases on global development and its ‘Open Data’ initiative.
SAM WEBER – Marine Ecologist, Ascension Island
Dr Sam Weber is a marine ecologist who began his scientific career working with the globally-important green turtle nesting colony at Ascension Island while studying for his doctorate at the University of Exeter. In 2011, Sam and his wife Nicola, also an ecologist, returned to Ascension for a 6-month project aimed at updating the population assessment for the green turtle: a visit that turned into a 5.5 year stay working for the Conservation and Fisheries Department of the Ascension Island Government (AIGCFD). As the senior conservation scientist for AIGCFD, Sam was responsible for developing the Department’s varied research and monitoring programme, which became increasingly focussed on generating the science to underpin fisheries management and marine protected area designation. In 2017, Sam and his family returned to the UK, and to the University of Exeter, from where he is currently coordinating the scientific programme for the Ascension Island Ocean Sanctuary project.
JILL KEYS – GB Non-native Species Secretariat, Overseas Territories Biosecurity
Jill Key currently works for the GB Non-native Species Secretariat as manager of the Overseas Territories Biosecurity Project. Before that, she spent 4 years on St Helena helping to strengthen the biosecurity programme in anticipation of air access. Previous experience includes over 30 years working on invasive species management and biosecurity around the world, including Africa, the Pacific Islands, Atlantic Islands and Galapagos Islands, with a particular interest in capacity building for oceanic islands.
DR REBECCA CAIRNS-WICKS, MBE, Coordinator of the St Helena Research Institute
Rebecca is the newly appointed Coordinator for the St Helena Research Institute. Taking on the role, established by the Education and Employment Directorate just three months ago, has been an incredible and unexpected opportunity. With a broad range of experience coupled with her passion for supporting people to grow in capability, knowledge sharing, inclusion, communication and community she finds it a great pleasure to be working as part of a dedicated team. Together they are building a collaborative organization founded in St Helena, by St Helena, for St Helena. Part of a growing network of territory-led sister organisations. Rebecca brings to the organisation 23 years of experience of life on the island, working within Government, non-government organisations, and the private sector in conservation, environmental management and planning, impact assessment, heritage and agriculture. She splits her time between the family farm, where she keeps busy breeding livestock, growing plants and restoring the garden and wider farm landscape for production and conservation, and the St Helena Research Institute.
SAM CHERRETT – CSSF Projects Lead, St Helena Government.
Since January 2019, Samantha has held the position of the St. Helena CSSF Projects Lead employed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Prior to this Samantha worked for the St. Helena Government in the Environment and Natural Resources Directorate. Most recently she has worked for ENRD in Marine Conservation and previously on externally funded Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Data Management and Mapping projects. Samantha recently project managed a Darwin Plus funded project entitled ‘Mapping St Helena’s Biodiversity and Natural Environment’. Samantha graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a BSc (Hons) in Earth Science in. In the UK she has worked as a GIS professional for local government and multi-disciplinary consulting engineers, predominantly working in environmental and geotechnical fields, before moving to St. Helena in 2014. In her spare time, Samantha is a keen scuba diver and also cares for juvenile and injured seabirds.
DEVLIN YON – Acting GIS Manager – ENRD, St Helena Government
Devlin’s current role is the Acting GIS manager in the Environmental and Natural Resources Directorate (ENRD) of the St. Helena Government – he has been a part of the St. Helena Government GIS team for the last six and half years since leaving school. During this time he has progressed from GIS survey assistant to his current role. His skills include cadastral and topographical surveying and GIS. The job takes him across the island to areas often little visited, and the transfer of what is seen and surveyed in the natural environment and landscape into data and maps that can be used for planning is something that is of special interest. Devlin also has an HNC in building and construction adding to his diverse skill set.
VANESSA THOMAS – WILLIAMS – Nursery Officer – Scotland Nursery, St Helena Government
Vanessa first started working for Conservation in 1987, known then as Agriculture and Forestry Department. She had the opportunity to work and learn from BEM George Benjamin until he retired in 1995. George was her mentor, who had a lot of knowledge of the endemic plant species grown in St Helena. In September 1999 Vanessa left the Island and worked on the Falklands for a few years and then in Sainsbury in the UK for a while. – In 2005 Vanessa started working for Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. In September 2008 she was seconded to the post of Nursery Officer at ANRD moving on to becoming a permanent member of Saint Helena Government. Vanessa is responsible for the delivery of the Terrestrial Conservation Section (TCS) nurseries’ programme in support of the EMD programme of management, protection and development of the Island’s endemic plant populations and naturally occurring habitats. She’s also responsible for seed collecting, storage, collection of propagation material of endemic species for horticultural activities.