After three decades at Wetlands International, I am still inspired about the work I do in developing integrated wetland conservation and sustainable development programmes. Over the last 30 years, I have supervised the implementation of major programmes across our global network on the wise use of wetlands and the protection of peatlands for sustainable livelihood development, the safeguarding of biodiversity and the maintaining of ecosystem services.
In 1986, I founded our Indonesia Programme, which has since transformed into our biggest office in Asia. In the early 90s, I served as Programme Director of the Asian Wetland Bureau and supported the establishment of offices in Thailand, Cambodia and China as well as oversaw the establishment of our offices in Russia, Ukraine and West Africa.
I started my international career with studies of peat swamp and tropical coastal ecosystems and waterbirds in Indonesia and Malaysia. I have degrees in Nature Conservation from the University of Wageningen and in Biology and Tropical Soil Sciences from University of Utrecht.
I am inspired by the beauty and mystery of wetlands, the fantastic diversity of wildlife and plants, and to see how local people’s livelihoods and cultures are intertwined with this natural heritage. One of my hobbies is nature photography, including macro photography of the jewels of wetland fauna: dragonflies.