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Dr Noelle Kumpel

Head of Policy at BirdLife International and Fellow of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, University of Cambridge

I have over 20 years’ experience in conservation research, project management and policy, including five years in the field in Africa and Asia. Specialising in tropical forest conservation, my interests include wildlife hunting and trade, sustainable livelihoods and use, protected area management and policy (including World Heritage), climate change (including REDD+), primary forests, biodiversity monitoring and indicators, commodity certification, environmental and social safeguards and sustainable development. Following a year surveying the forests of northern Vietnam and interdisciplinary doctoral and postdoctoral research on bushmeat hunting in West and Central Africa with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), Imperial College London and University College London, at ZSL I worked on biodiversity indicators with IUCN, co-managed the Africa Programme and then led its policy work, before joining BirdLife International in 2017. As Head of Policy, I oversee BirdLife’s support to international conventions (including the CBD, CMS, Ramsar, CITES, World Heritage and UNFCCC) and other global policy mechanisms, build the capacity of BirdLife’s national Partners in policy and advocacy, and manage projects in Asia-Pacific, Africa and Latin America with the support of the EC, GEF and other donors. In my spare time I sit on the UK government’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Advisory Group.


  • –present
    Head of Policy at BirdLife International and Fellow of the Cambridge Collaborative Initiative, University of Cambridge