International Selection Committee

The International Selection Committee consists of internationally renowned nature conservationists. The committee selects candidates for the Future for Nature Award and proposes winners to the board.

Saba Douglas-Hamilton

Saba Douglas-Hamilton is an award-winning wildlife filmmaker, TV host, and conservationist. As Chair of Future For Nature’s International Selection Com [...]

Read more...

Saba Douglas-Hamilton is an award-winning wildlife filmmaker, TV host, and conservationist. As Chair of Future For Nature’s International Selection Committee, she believes passionately in promoting young conservation leaders and securing a future for the wild world. Her life in Africa, and her work as a wildlife filmmaker, has led her to some of the remoter parts of the planet where she has observed rare and endangered species in their natural habitats and experienced the frontline of conservation first hand.

In 2000 Saba was talent-spotted by the BBC Natural History Unit and began her career as a wildlife filmmaker, hosting nine TV series including Secret Life of Elephants, Big Cat Diary and Unknown Africa, and over twenty-four wildlife documentaries. She directed two award-winning films for Animal Planet, Heart of a Lioness and Rhino Nights, which documented previously unknown behaviour for the first time.

Dr. Patrícia Medici

Patrícia Medici was one of the first winners of the Future For Nature Award in 2008. She won the Award for her outstanding conservation work on tapirs [...]

Read more...

Patrícia Medici was one of the first winners of the Future For Nature Award in 2008. She won the Award for her outstanding conservation work on tapirs in Brazil. This enabled her to take a critical step towards establishing the Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative. Since May 2013 she is part of the FFN committee.

For the past 20 years, Patrícia has been working for Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas, a Brazilian NGO, of which she was one of the founding members. Since 1996 she has been coordinating the Atlantic Forest Tapir Program in Brazil. In 2000 she was made chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Tapir Specialist Group (TSG), a network of over 100 tapir conservationists from 27 different countries worldwide. In 2008, Patrícia launched the Brazil-wide Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative (LTCI), which aims to establish tapir conservation programmes in other Brazilian biomes where the species occurs.

Dr. Masha Vorontsova

Masha established the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s office in the Russian Federation in 1994, then initiated a campaign which led to a ban on [...]

Read more...

Masha established the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s office in the Russian Federation in 1994, then initiated a campaign which led to a ban on the winter den hunt of hibernating bears. She helped expand the Orphan Bear Cub Rehabilitation Centre, which has rescued, rehabilitated and released more than 170 orphan bear cubs back to the wild.

Masha has also led campaigns resulting in the ban on the White Sea whitecoat harp seal hunt and the Sea of Okhotsk beluga hunt, as well as working to increase the penalties for poaching of tigers and several other endangered species listed in the Red Book of Russia. As part of the efforts by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to save the critically endangered western grey whale, Masha’s team helped ensure that offshore oil and gas pipelines were constructed around, rather than through, crucial feeding grounds near Sakhalin Island.

Dr. Annette Lanjouw

Annette Lanjouw is Vice-President for Strategic Initiatives and the Great Apes Program for the Arcus Foundation. In this capacity, Annette leads the wo [...]

Read more...

Annette Lanjouw is Vice-President for Strategic Initiatives and the Great Apes Program for the Arcus Foundation. In this capacity, Annette leads the work to ensure respect for and the survival of great apes and their natural habitat across their range in Africa and South-East Asia. The Arcus Foundation is the largest private funder of great ape conservation and sanctuaries in the world.

Annette served as the regional director for Africa and Latin America at Fauna & Flora International, and as international programme officer for the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. From 1993 to 2005, Annette was director of the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP), a partnership between the Worldwide Fund for Nature, African Wildlife Foundation and Fauna & Flora International, which has successfully worked to conserve and develop a supportive institutional and policy environment for integrated conservation in Central and East Africa. From 1990 to 1993, Annette was the programme coordinator for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Protected Area Regional Conservation Strategy across Central Africa.

Dr. Vivek Menon

Vivek Menon is an award-winning wildlife conservationist, environmental commentator, author and photographer with a passion for elephants. He is the fo [...]

Read more...

Vivek Menon is an award-winning wildlife conservationist, environmental commentator, author and photographer with a passion for elephants. He is the founder and executive director of the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), the regional director and adviser to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), a member of the Species Survival Commission of the IUCN, an adviser to the Marjan Centre at Kings College London and a board member of Minding Animals International.

In India, he is a member of the Advisory Council of the CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development, a member of four State Advisory Boards for Wildlife, and an Honorary Wildlife Warden of Delhi. He is also a member of the Indian Working Group of the Advisory Committee on World Heritage Matters, the National Project Steering Committee – Strengthening Regional Cooperation in Wildlife Protection in Asia, and the Project Elephant Steering Committee.

Dr. Simon Stuart

Simon Stuart is serving his second four-year term as chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission. In 2004 he completed the Global Amphibian Assessmen [...]

Read more...

Simon Stuart is serving his second four-year term as chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission. In 2004 he completed the Global Amphibian Assessment, which put the global phenomenon of amphibian declines and extinctions on the map. Simon’s involvement with Future For Nature stems from his commitment to raising up the next generation of conservation leaders.

Prior to his work for IUCN, Simon was the senior species scientist for both IUCN and Conservation International. From 1991 to 2000 he served as programme head of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, and from December 2000 to April 2001 as acting director-general of IUCN. Simon has undergraduate and doctoral degrees in conservation biology from the University of Cambridge.

Prof. Brian J. Huntley

Professor Brian J. Huntley is a conservation scientist with over 45 years of field research and management experience in many African countries. He has [...]

Read more...

Professor Brian J. Huntley is a conservation scientist with over 45 years of field research and management experience in many African countries. He has initiated and led to successful conclusion several major inter-disciplinary cooperative research and institutional development projects, and has visited over 50 countries as an invited speaker/reviewer of biodiversity conservation activities.

Following retirement as CEO of the South African National Biodiversity Institute, he is currently engaged as an independent consultant on conservation research and implementation projects in several African countries, like Angola, and in reviews of conservation projects around the world for various United Nations agencies.

Prof. Hugh Possingham

Hugh Possingham is an award-winning conservation scientist. He has published over 700 refereed research papers in the fields of applied ecology, popula [...]

Read more...

Hugh Possingham is an award-winning conservation scientist. He has published over 700 refereed research papers in the fields of applied ecology, population dynamics and conservation biology. His diverse career brought him to work as an academic in various prestigious institutions such as Stanford University, Oxford University, Imperial College and The University of Queensland, where he supervised over 90 PhD students.

In 2016, Hugh became the Chief of Scientist of The Nature Conservancy. In this role he coordinated the organisation’s scientific efforts in protecting more than 40 million hectares of land and thousands of kilometres of rivers worldwide. Most recently he was the Chief Scientist of Queensland, Australia, where he provided high-level strategic science, research and innovation advice to the Queensland Government on all scientific issues.

Currently Hugh divides his time between multiple initiatives to protect biodiversity (e.g. the Biodiversity Council, BirdLife Australia, Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Adelaide University Environment Institute and Accounting for Nature), and his position as the chief scientist of Queensland, Australia, where he provides high-level strategic science, research and innovation advice to the Queensland Government.

Dr. Mohammad Farhadinia

FFN Laureate ISC member

Mohammad Farhadinia followed his passion for wildlife and diverted his path of becoming a doctor to become a cheetah and leopard conservationist in Ira [...]

Read more...

Mohammad Farhadinia followed his passion for wildlife and diverted his path of becoming a doctor to become a cheetah and leopard conservationist in Iran. In 2001, he co-founded the Iranian Cheetah Society (ICS), a non-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation of cheetahs and other wild carnivores. After winning the Future For Nature Award, Mohammad established the Future4Leopards Foundation in 2013. Mohammad’s organisation aims to improve the conservation status of the Persian leopard with cutting-edge science, by controlling contagious diseases, and developing the capacity of conservation practitioners. With the foundation, Mohammad works to enhance anti-poaching and community engagement efforts, and create a pragmatic model for carnivore conservation in Iran.

Currently, Mohammad is also a research fellow at the University of Oxford and conservation science lecturer at the University of Kent. He is a member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and the British Ecological Society, the interim president of the Society for Conservation Biology and editor for several scientific journals. All the while Mohammad is actively involved with leopard and cheetah conservation in Iran and west Asia.

Els van Lavieren

FFN Laureate ISC member

Els van Lavieren won the Future for Nature award in 2010 for her conservation achievements in Morocco, where she founded and led the Moroccan Primate C [...]

Read more...

Els van Lavieren won the Future for Nature award in 2010 for her conservation achievements in Morocco, where she founded and led the Moroccan Primate Conservation Foundation, focusing on the conservation of the Barbary macaque in the Middle Atlas mountains.

Els is a primatologist, who specializes in conservation and illegal wildlife trade/ wildlife crime. Els has a BSc Hons in Wildlife management and an MSc in Primate Conservation at Oxford Brookes University. Els has been working for 8 years for Conservation International in Suriname and is currently Senior Technical manager of the Wildlife & Marine program and Biodiversity lead for the country office, and has worked with/ for Panthera on countering the illegal jaguar trade in Suriname, among many other wildlife conservation projects. Els is a member of the IUCN Neotropical Primate Specialist Group. She co-founded and managed the Spider Monkey Reintroduction Project Suriname from 2019- 2021 and also co- founded a new NGO; Wildlife & People Suriname. In 2024, Els will start up an initial 3-year primate research program in the Central Suriname Nature Reserve focusing on the Guiana black spider monkey (Ateles paniscus) focusing on the impact of subsistence hunting and pet trade.