Simon Addison joined IFAW in 2023 as the organization recognized the increasing need to take climate change into account in our work, and to make the case for wildlife conservation as a vital solution to the climate crisis in international policy circles.
Simon came to IFAW following over 20 years working on issues at the intersection of climate change, sustainable development and disaster management, primarily in Africa. With experience that ranges from running large scale humanitarian responses in conflict settings for Oxfam and leading policy work for Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Centre, to training 12,000 farmers in Kenya to adopt agroecology and integrated landscape management or leading research and international advocacy work on climate governance and finance for the International Institute for Environment and Development in London, Simon has spent most of his career supporting marginalised communities to manage social, economic, and environmental risks.
Simon is bringing this diverse wealth of experience to bear in his role as an adviser to IFAW’s teams on the ground and by leading our international engagement on climate policy.
Collaborating closely with our team in Eastern and Southern Africa, Simon is gathering evidence to show how IFAW’s Room to Roam initiative is not just protecting elephants and their habitats, we are building climate-resilient landscapes for both animals and people to thrive in the face of climate change and other threats. He is also supporting country teams to integrate climate change into their conservation management strategies by applying approaches like climate-smart conservation and integrated landscape management and advises our programme teams on how to ensure that our community engagement activities enable community members to adapt to climate change through that adoption of climate-resilient livelihoods activities.
On the policy front Simon leads our analysis of emerging trends in climate policy, with a focus on ensuring that biodiversity protection and wildlife conservation are included in climate action plans at national and international levels. He is particularly keen to highlight the valuable role that wild animals play in carbon sequestration, and how wildlife conservation can help create climate resilient landscapes in which people can thrive economically alongside wildlife. Simon aims to elevate these vital themes in global forums hosted by the African Union, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, and more.
Simon holds master’s degrees in Geography and International Development from the Universities of Oxford and Melbourne. He conducted research on the political ecology of internal displacement crises in Africa at the University of Oxford and has held research posts at the Universities of Oxford and Manchester, City University of New York (CUNY), the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, and York University in Toronto. He is currently a doctoral student at York University, where he is researching the political ecology of private sector investment into nature based solutions to the climate crisis.
Principal Researcher, climate governance and finance, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
Global Technical Advisor on resilience and disaster risk reduction, Trocaire
Kenya Country Programme Director, Trocaire
Regional Programme Quality Lead, Horn, East and Central Africa region, Oxfam
Senior Research Officer, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford
Uganda Country Humanitarian Coordinator, Oxfam GB
MA Development Studies, University of Melbourne
MA Geography, University of Oxford
Post-graduate certificate on Climate Change and Development, SOAS University of London
PhD student, Environmental Studies, York University, Toronto