Conserve has been founded by a core team of passionate conservationists who have devoted their entire careers to conservation.
They share the conviction that the needs of humanity and of wildlife can be reconciled by establishing conservation as a competitive land use.
Conserve fully recognises and embrace the value of diversity in all its facets (thoughts, cultures, gender, attitudes) as the only way we can truly develop fit-for-purpose solutions and unlock the full potential of human capital.
Bringing extensive experience in both the private and public protected area management sectors, Andrew has worked as CEO of both Welgevonden and the Sabi Sand Private Nature Reserves in South Africa. He joined African Parks in 2013, firstly as Operations Director, then as Conservation Director driving the growth and development of African Parks across the continent. After five years, he joined Conservation International (CI) as Senior Director of Conservation for Africa; then promoted by CI to Vice President of Strategy and Programs for Africa.
In March 2020 he turned his full attention to leading the development of Conserve, driven by a sense of urgency to address the crisis unfolding around vacant concessions.
Qualifications include an MSc degree in ecology from the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa). Andrew believes firmly that conservation must be part of Africa’s development agenda and is committed to promoting the value of the continent’s wildlife and wild places as a source of enduring value for her people.
Matt began with grassroots community conservation work in Namibia under the tutelage of Garth Owen-Smith, a globally acclaimed pioneer in this field.
This work was critical in establishing one of the most successful conservation programmes in Africa that today represents 86 conservancies covering 166,000 km². He later applied this experience in building Northern Rangelands Trust in northern Kenya. He was involved in the design, creation and executive management of Chuilexi Conservancy within Niassa Reserve in northern Mozambique – Africa’s largest tourism holding under private management; and initiating a new conservation programme for Fauna & Flora International in South Sudan. He has also been involved in diverse conservation contexts and projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Conservation at scale has been one of the hallmarks of Matt’s career.
Stephen brings a wealth of experience in conservation, wildlife management, ecotourism and business administration. He served as Executive Director of the Grumeti Fund, managing 160,000 hectares of wildlife-rich wilderness in the western corridor of the Serengeti Tanzania. Previously headed up the dynamic Sisheke Conservation Project: a public-private partnership to sustainably develop a 1.5-million-hectare community-owned conservancy on the Upper Zambezi River in southwest Zambia. Other past roles include: Operations Manager of Chifungulu Ltd, a Zambian-based eco-tourism company; Operations Manager of Wild Places Africa in the wild and remote Kidepo Valley National Park of northern Uganda. Qualifications include a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Duke University & University of Cape Town; a Masters of Wildlife Management from the University of Pretoria; and a Bachelor of Commerce (hons. Environmental Economics) from Stellenbosch University.
He is also a widely published environmental photo-journalist, featured in over 30 international publications, and is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in recognition of his ongoing work in conservation.