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Charles Besancon

BA in Anthropology, State University of NY

MS in Recreation Resource Mgmt., University of Montana

Charles lends his expertise mostly to developing countries in developing conservation policy, planning, monitoring, and sustainable finance. He does this through project development and management, leading capacity building and training programs and through membership in various boards, commissions and task forces. His progression from focusing on site-based approaches to large landscape and transboundary conservation has been a logical evolution in his work as he has embraced the ecosystem approach and systems thinking.

 Charles’ 24-year conservation career and travel has brought him in touch with managers, scientists and NGOs around the world in more than 60 countries. For the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal, he coordinated the LifeWeb Initiative to bring conservation finance to developing countries, facilitated intergovernmental negotiations and led training and capacity building activities to achieve better conservation outcomes on protected areas, endangered species, transboundary conservation, and more. For 6 years, he headed the Protected Areas Programme at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge England where he led the global monitoring of all national parks and protected areas and produced the first global Protected Planet Report.

Charles has a MS from the University of Montana in Recreation Resource Management and an BA from the State University of NY in Anthropology. He is a visiting fellow at the University of Montana’s Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy, a member of the Executive Committee for the Conservation Finance Alliance and a senior advisor for the IUCN Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group and holds membership in several IUCN Commissions. He currently works as a consultant and lives in Missoula Montana.