In Garoua, Cameroon, there is a special training ground—the Paramilitary School for Wildlife Specialists. There, future wildlife experts learn first-hand how to manage a protected area and stop destructive practices such as poaching.
Before Céline Sissler-Bienvenu entered the program, no European had graduated from the school’s programs. By breaking down barriers, the world gained a fierce advocate for animal welfare—one who would empower communities around the world with what she learned.
In France, Céline started as a Project Assistant at the Office national de la Chasse et de la faune sauvage and focused on poaching pressure targeting some migratory bird species. Then, after experiences supporting international campaigns through the Bardot Foundation, she joined IFAW as a Campaigns Officer. Starting out, Céline plays a crucial role in the collaborative effort of IFAW’s European offices to successfully ban the import of seal products.
Today, as IFAW’s Director in France and Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa, Céline provides strategic vision on programs to support elephant welfare. The projects she runs or officers demonstrate IFAW efforts to end the internet wildlife trade and reduce the market for ivory. It also includes developing educational programs or animals translocations to reduce human-animal conflict. And finally, she is a longstanding participant of the CITES Conference of the Parties to ensure that the national strategy supports the needs she sees in her region.
Harkening back to her days in Garoua, Céline has developed grassroots training for rangers working in protected areas of Central Africa where poaching remains a significant problem. Like many of her colleagues at IFAW, Céline makes progress by combining local impact with international strategy.
Campaign Officer, Wildlife Trade/Seals/Elephants, IFAW France
International Campaigns Head Officer, Bardot Foundation France
Director, Eastern Europe Office, Bardot Foundation Romania
Project Assistant, Migratory Avifauna, Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage/International Fund for the Conservation of Wildlife France
Master of Natural Sciences University of Jussieu, France
Wildlife Specialist Diploma Ecole de Faune de Garoua, Cameroon