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Masters in Conservation Leadership


Project overview

The GGRC was founded in the midst of Covid-19 to look for collaborative and innovative solutions to this and other global environmental crises. The collaborative will drive on-the-ground conservation impact by facilitating collaboration, awareness, and inclusive action.

We are building a collaborative network facilitated by an online platform where participants share knowledge, learn, and work collectively on the design and implementation of green recovery solutions.


Project aims

Our mission is to be a virtual platform where we inspire and engage people to learn from one another and work collectively for a green recovery from Covid-19 and beyond.

While doing this, we aim to maximise the potential of UCCLAN not only by bringing together and spotlighting more of our alumni and their diverse initiatives, but also by engaging them in a wider system of change aimed towards achieving a transformational green recovery.

We aim to launch transformative action for a healthy planet where people and biodiversity thrive by activating awareness, collaboration, and action.


Key activities

  • Over two years, we will launch, establish, and grow our platform.
  • We will create a shared learning opportunity where members and visitors benefit from active knowledge exchange with other peers to support and stimulate action resulting in a high impact for conservation.
  • We will facilitate connecting grassroot initiatives for inclusive peer-to-peer learning, link local solutions to wider national and global policy transformations, and grow our platform.
  • In an inclusive environment, peers will help each other navigate pathways to implement green recovery at global, national and local levels.
  • We will actively monitor and report our results in order to adapt, evolve and make a greater impact.


Expected conservation impact

GGRC contributes to the improvement of the environment and biodiversity as a result of increased awareness, collaboration and inclusive action on green recovery worldwide for a better quality of life for all generations.

  • Awareness: More people worldwide realise why protecting the environment and biodiversity is important while growing economically and are motivated to continue on a green recovery path.
  • Collaboration: UCCLAN members, conservation professionals, local community, government leaders, and the public worldwide are able to share motivation, resources, lessons and opportunities to make their voice and initiatives heard and respected, thus enhancing their ability to contribute to green recovery.
  • Action: Increased healing of the environment and biodiversity worldwide through reduced environmental threats, effective policies, redirection of funds, and equally represented communities. 


Expected outputs

Some Key GGRC Outputs include:


  • An increasing number of people use the information from the GGRC platform.


  • An increasing number of people. initiatives, UCCLAN members and their network actively participate and connect to the GGRC network.
  • An increasing number of people and initiatives are linked in their green recovery efforts via the GGRC.


  • An increasing number of local communities and youth groups are able to communicate their needs and get support in their green recovery efforts facilitated by GGRC.
  • An increasing uptake of green recovery practises e.g., sustainable agriculture as supported by GGRC.


Project team

Ravi Prasad  (2016-17)

Monitoring, Reporting and Oversight Analyst for Resilience and Sustainable Development, UNDP Pacific Office

I am co-leading the GGRC project. After graduating from the Conservation Leadership MPhil course, I volunteered as the regional coordinator for the UCCLAN Oceania region and am currently a council member. I have worked as the Field Team Lead for the World Mosquito Program from 2018 to 2020 where I managed a team of 20 multidisciplinary staff implementing ecosystem-based management of dengue, Zika and chikungunya in oceania. I’m currently working as the Monitoring, Reporting and Oversight Analyst for the Resilience and Sustainable Development (RSD) team of the UNDP Pacific Office where I am overseeing the Implementation and quality assurance of more than 50 programmes and projects in fifteen countries amounting to around USD 200 million.

Rosalind Helfand (2018-19)

Founder, PAJE Consulting

Conservation Leadership MPhil in 2019. Based in Los Angeles, California, I’m the Founder of PAJE, a consultancy formed to collaborate, advise, and advocate at the nexus of social justice, wellbeing, and the restoration and recovery of biodiversity and our climate. I collaborate with communities, nonprofits, and governments to create and implement innovative, intersectional policies and programs. From campaigns to coalitions, my goal is to bring people together across issues, including environmental justice, protecting nature, and equity. I’ve contributed to global discussions on “collective crisis leadership” with UCCLAN, and researched local environmental leadership with Jacaranda School in Malawi. I am a UCCLAN delegate to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and also successfully led a coalition campaign to engage California as the first US subnational government observer to the CBD.

Lucia Norris-Crespo (2016-17)

Independent Consultant for Conservation and Sustainable Development

I work on sustainability, conservation, and inclusive circular economy. I have advised local and national governments for sustainability and gender policy. I have worked at Sustainable Development and Climate Compatible Development projects since 2009. I was the WWF Galapagos Public Policies Officer and the first WWF Ecuador M&E Officer.  I  co-designed and implemented a current inclusive circular economy program to improve the well-being of grassroots recyclers connecting them to the private sector. Additionally, I was responsible for establishing a Jocotoco Foundation private reserve in Galapagos to protect the Galapagos Petrel, and I am a Jocotoco board member. I researched collective actions for resilience in Galapagos after Covid-19 and was part of the team that created the Galapagos Hub for Sustainability, Innovation and Resilience. I believe that the future is local; strengthening communities is vital to building resilience after Covid-19 and preparing for climate change shocks. (CL MPhil, 2017)

Carolina Soto-Vargas (2016-17)

Leader of the Participatory Science and Traditional Knowledge research group. Humboldt Institute, Colombia.

I am a biologist and completed the MPhil in Conservation Leadership in 2017. Since 2017, I have worked for the Humboldt Institute in Colombia, leading the Participatory Science and Traditional Knowledge research group. I have worked on several conservation projects, including five years as a program manager for the Northern South America Jaguar Program; I also worked as the environmental advisor for a project that brokered communication between indigenous communities of the Colombian Amazon and the Colombian government. I speak four languages and believe in the importance of communication, co-creation, and integration of various systems of knowledge in conservation. I love working with local communities and trying to propose new approaches to engaging people in conservation through meaningful participation based on ethics, justice, and equity, especially in areas with challenging conditions regarding violence and inequality.

Janet Taylor (2016-17)

Scientist, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, South Africa

I am a vegetation ecologist from South Africa and currently work for the local government in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. I have more than 10 years of research experience and my main focuses are on using research outcomes to provide management recommendations to land users for the sustainable use and conservation of the natural resources within the province. My research interests include bush encroachment, plant-animal interactions and savanna ecology. I completed an MPhil in Conservation Leadership through the University of Cambridge in 2017, and also have been awarded an MSc in Grassland Science from the University of the Free State (SA). I have been an editor of a magazine for the Grassland Society of Southern Africa and enjoy working together as a team.

Aditi Jha (2015-16)

Public policy and sustainability specialist, World Bank

I am a public policy and sustainability specialist who has developed and managed some of South Asia’s largest landscape conservation projects. At the World Bank, I work on framing India’s forest engagement strategy and on integrating environmental and social sustainability within multi-million dollar development projects in the agriculture, renewable energy, water supply and transport sectors. I’m also an advisor to UNDP on integrating sustainability within Ethiopia’s leather sector. Previously I held roles at IUCN, where I developed a course on hydrodiplomacy focused on the Himalayan region, and at UNESCO  where I managed the World Heritage Biodiversity Programme.

Iris Dicke (2013-14)

Policy Advisor, Den Haag, Netherlands

I currently work as a Policy Advisor for a political party in the Netherlands, which aims to develop policies based on an ecosystem’s perspective. In my role, I focus on strengthening biodiversity in urban and rural areas as well as how to structurally integrate biodiversity into policy and economy. Prior to this, I worked at an international development consultancy as well as a  forestry consultancy, focusing on research and analysis of natural resources policy and land rights. As a member of the University of Cambridge, Conservation Leadership Alumni Network (UCCLAN), I helped coordinate and develop a statement for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework for the Convention of Biological Diversity’s – Open-ended Working Group. Now, I like to further the call for a green recovery.

Noa Steiner (2016-17)

PhD Candidate, Kiel University

I am a current PhD candidate passionate about better understanding political decision making processes related to overfishing,  and the ways in which political,environmental , economic, social and cognitive factors play a role, for enhancing long term conservation gains. My previous educational background includes an MPhil in Conservation Leadership from the University of Cambridge in the UK, BSc in Life Sciences, an MSc in Desert Studies from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. I am also familiar with the  public sector, having worked in the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection, and civil society and having worked for international NGOs - BirdLife International and UNEP-WCMC. I am interested in learning and connecting interdisciplinary fields such as behavioral economics and cognitive psychology with nature conservation in order to better integrate insights within environmental policy, practice and research as enabling factors to support a rapid and effective transition into a more sustainable world.

Roberta Kamille Pennell (2016-17)

Technical Coordinator, Terrestrial, Wildlife Conservation Society

I began my career in conservation at a local organisation in Southern Belize, which implemented people-focused conservation and evidence informed conservation in and around terrestrial protected areas in development, management and leadership positions. I now work for Wildlife Conservation Society (Belize) as the Terrestrial Coordinator, responsible for the implementation of the organisation's terrestrial components of Belize's conservation strategy, ensuring thriving wildlife, wild places and healthy and productive ecosystems. I completed the MPhil In Conservation Leadership from the University of Cambridge in 2017 and it broadened my perspective on conservation. I believe everyday’s a good day for learning, I am excited to learn and showcase the great work being done in green recovery!

Website Development Team Leaders (integral team members who are not CL alumni)

Dana Dellus

Ux/ui designer, product designer

Iris Livneh

UX Designer and Researcher Buildots