About me

In 1990, after four years of working as an architect in Oxford and London, I decided that designing commercial office buildings wasn’t my thing. I took some time off, and travelled around Southeast Asia for a year. By the time I came back to the UK, my friends had become eco-warriors.

I got involved with the anti-road campaign at Twyford Down. I was arrested several times for protesting against the destruction of two Sites of Special Scientific Interest. I was one of the 70-odd protesters, who were sued by the government for £1 million. The government lost the case, I’m delighted to say.

Unfortunately the road through Twyford Down was built, but the protests at Oxleas Wood, Solsbury Hill, Leytonstone, Newbury and others led to the government shelving its ridiculous road building plans.

In 1996, I studied forestry at the Oxford Forestry Institute, which helped me to understand better (but not agree with) practitioners of modern scientific forestry. My MSc thesis was titled, “Reforestation in Vietnam in the context of the globalization of the pulp and paper industry” and is available here.

I worked for two years with TERRA, an NGO based in Bangkok which works in Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. TERRA aims to support local communities rights to make their own decisions about their environment. My main job was coordinating and producing TERRA’s magazine “Watershed”.

I’ve worked on several reports and articles with NGOs, including the World Rainforest Movement, Oxfam Mekong Initiative, SinksWatch, The Corner House, Friends of the Earth International, Rainforest Foundation, Robin Wood, Urgewald, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and FERN.

Since October 2008, I have been working on REDD-Monitor, looking at the developments in the world of “avoided deforestation”.

In 2006, I wrote a report with Timothy Byakola of of Climate and Development Initiatives about a carbon offset project at Mount Elgon in Uganda: “A funny place to store carbon“. The story was subsequently reported on by (among others) Forbes magazine and Zembla TV in the Netherlands: CO2 Alibi.

In 2007, I worked on a report for urgewald called “Banks, Pulp and People“, and we set up a website: pulpmillwatch.org.

In 2008 I completed a report for World Rainforest Movement: “Plantations, poverty and power: Europe’s role in the expansion of the pulp industry in the South“. The report was downloaded more than 10,000 times in the six months after it was posted on WRM’s website.

In 2010, I wrote a report for FERN, about the awarding of an EU Ecolabel to a company belonging to Asia Pulp and Paper – one of the most destructive pulp and paper companies on the planet: “EU Ecolable allows forest destruction: The Case of Pindo Deli“. (For those who find a 25-page report too long, here’s an article by Fred Pearce in the Guardian: “The deflowering of the EU’s green logo.”)

I also contribute to the FSC-Watch.org website, which documents the problems with the Forest Stewardship Council. And since 2016, I’ve worked on the Conservation Watch website.

Everything I’ve written here is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

You can contact me by clicking here.

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