Rikkert has been with IFAW since 2008. His focus lies on stopping the illegal trade of high-value wildlife species and products (like ivory) and better protection of the African elephant. His mission is to activate policy and decision makers in Europe in supporting conservation projects in Africa. He seizes every opportunity to advocate for action to combat wildlife crime and to protect critical elephant landscapes in Africa.
One of his focus areas is the Horn of Africa, a region that is both used as a source and a transit route for wildlife products and live animals. Via the Horn of Africa specimens are smuggled to consumers in the Mid-East and further into Asia.
Rikkert also focusses on a safe natural reintroduction of wolves to the Netherlands. In collaboration with IFAW Germany he initiates projects to create support amongst critical stakeholders for the return of this predator after 150 years of absence.
Besides his work for IFAW Rikkert is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Moroccan Primate Conservation Foundation. This organization aims to protect the endangered Barbary macaque in Morocco against poaching and habitat destruction.
In his previous job he managed the policy department of AAP, Sanctuary for Exotic Animals. In this capacity he initiated the Dutch ban on wild animals in circuses and other forms of entertainment, and the so-called positive list for exotic animals.