Prince Emmanuel de Merode is an anthropologist and conservationist and, since 2008, Director of the Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to which office he was appointed by the Congolese Government. Despite vagaries of civil war, insurgencies and extreme commercial predations upon the natural wonders of the Park, Emmanuel has worked tirelessly and courageously to protect the Park’s precious but endangered wildlife and habitat and to direct his staff of several hundred park rangers. In 2014 Emmanuel survived an attempt on his life when ambushed by unidentified gunmen. Despite serious injuries he returned to his duties within weeks. For more on Emmanuel’s work at Virunga view the film Drillers in the Mist.
Jigmi Yoser Thinley has served on three occasions as Prime Minister of Bhutan, most recently from 2008 to 2013, when he was the first person to hold that position after the inception of democracy in Bhutan. In a distinguished career he has held other high offices of State including Foreign Minister and Home and Cultural Affairs Minister; as the Permanent Representative of Bhutan to the United Nations and as the country’s ambassador to several European countries and to the EU.
Jigmi Thinley is a leading proponent of the Bhutanese concept of Gross National Happiness, which tracks indicators such as environmental conservation, cultural preservation and good governance in addition to economic measures such as GDP, to demonstrate a holistic indication of a country’s development. He has been instrumental in raising GNH to a global level of recognition. Jigmi Thinley is the recipient of numerous domestic and international awards, most recently the 2015 Outstanding Individual Award at the World Forum for Ethics.
Asian elephants are integral to Bhutan’s rich eco diversity. Jigmi Thinley shares STAE’s hope that they will remain protected from commercial exploitation by tourism, illegal hunting and habitat loss.
For over 50 years Dr Chinny Krishna’s has been a voice of immense courage, integrity and influence across India and beyond for the wellbeing of Asia’s precious wildlife and all animals. Dr Krishna is Chairman Emeritus of the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations and co-founder and former Chairman of the Blue Cross of India. He is a director of the CPR Environmental Education Centre in India. As the former Vice-Chairman of the Animal Welfare Board of India he is amongst the foremost advocates for the cause of elephants and other endangered species across the subcontinent. Dr Krishna has received numerous prestigious awards for his dedicated work for animals and is widely lauded as “the grand old man of animal welfare in India”.
STAE is privileged to have Patrons of such distinction and renown supporting its work.
Duncan read law at Bristol University where he was Vice-President of the Debating Union. He is a prominent corporate litigation lawyer described in Legal 500, the leading peer and client review directory of recommended lawyers, as “indefatigable” and is named as “the client’s champion.” Duncan has a longstanding interest in animal welfare causes. He was Chairman of the McNair Inquiry and Report on the welfare of farmed animals, commissioned by the RSPCA. Duncan is an experienced public speaker whose audiences have included the Cambridge Union, the Chartered Institute of Bankers and many campaigning and interest groups. In recent years he has been regularly invited to address All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Animal Welfare and on Endangered Species regarding the plight of Asian elephants . In 2016 Duncan addressed a large audience at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on STAE’s policies, a presentation described by the Chairman as “dramatic and shocking.” In 2017 Duncan was part of a small, key group representing 220 charities and MPs in presenting a letter to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street demanding abolition of the UK ivory trade. A proposed ban was announced immediately. Duncan frequently publishes on animal welfare issues of national interest. He is also the author of a series of best-selling humour books.
Virendra has been the Member of Parliament for Ealing Southall since 2007. He was born in India and educated at the London School of Economics. He speaks fluent Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu. He is former Chairman of the Indo-British All-Party Parliamentary Group, Vice-Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils, a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health and a member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights. Virendra has made official overseas visits as an MP to numerous countries including various regions of India, Mauritius and South Korea. He has had a lifelong concern for the wellbeing of the wildlife of India and its natural environment.
Stanley read Greats at Exeter College, Oxford. He has worked in senior positions at the World Bank and at the European Commission and is a former Member of the European Parliament. Stanley is widely travelled and a renowned author and expert on environmental and welfare issues. He has received both the RSPCA’s Richard Martin Award for Outstanding Services to Animal Welfare and the Greenpeace Award for Outstanding Services to the Environment. Stanley is published regularly in the national press. His books include Where the Wild Things Were: Travels of a Conservationist.
Peter Collins is a qualified solicitor practising in the insurance industry in the City of London. He has been an active member of several major animal welfare charities for many years. Peter has played important roles in campaigns against the abuse of EU citizens’ taxes to fund bullfighting fiestas in Europe, the dog and cat meat trade in Asia, dog fighting, the live export trade, and exposing the health consequences for humans arising from the abuse of farm animals in their rearing, transport and slaughter. He has also been closely involved in the campaign to show the link between those who commit cruelty to animals and those who express violence to other people. Peter is a regular and effective correspondent with politicians and companies throughout the world.
Madhulal is an experienced veterinary surgeon with a distinguished record of academic achievement. He holds various post graduate qualifications and distinctions. Madhulal has particular expertise in all aspects of the proper management and treatment of Asian elephants. He has been appointed to leading roles as a veterinary surgeon and manager of various highly regarded projects directed to improving standards of elephant welfare and good husbandry and the dissemination of knowledge and information of these across several range states of India. He has also been instrumental in building networks with government departments, veterinarians, elephant owners and mahouts aimed at raising awareness of improved welfare standards. Madhulal is the author of and a contributor to many learned papers on the healthcare and management of Asian elephants. He is an accomplished speaker at international symposiums on these topics. In 2008 Madhulal was awarded the prestigious Eco Warrior Award by the Vice President of India, and also WORLD’s Wildlife Conservation Award. He is fluent in English, Hindi and Malayalam.
Cameron is a barrister practising law at leading chambers in London. Whilst at Durham University and bar school, Cameron spent his free time volunteering with elephant sanctuaries across South East Asia, which provide care and rehabilitation to Asian elephants rescued from trekking, logging and circuses. Cameron has witnessed firsthand the cruelty to which Asian elephants are subject for the entertainment of tourists. These experiences fuelled his passion for conservationism and ethical tourism. Cameron volunteers his considerable research, forensic and advocacy skills to further STAE’s objectives in ending the brutal practice of pajan and promoting ethical and sustainable elephant tourism.
Alexander is the first grandson of former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. He was educated at Eton and at universities in France and Scotland. He was a journalist and reporter and subsequently held senior positions on several major national newspapers, and was Chairman of Macmillan Publishers Limited. He is a former Member of the European Parliament and was also Master of a City livery company. Alexander remains active in national and European politics and in conservation and animal welfare issues. He has been awarded a number of honorary degrees from British universities.
Linda is a highly experienced animal welfarist and business leader, having spent over 30 years as a consultant in information technology and business solutions for leading global companies such as IBM, Oracle, P&O, Ford and Cisco. Linda has also been actively involved for many years in various animal welfare enterprises and is currently serving her third term as a Trustee of RSPCA. She is the founder and CEO of Animal Kind.
Ian is a tropical field biologist and conservationist, known globally for his work with mountain gorillas and elephants. He has spent 40 years in research and conservation for the protection of endangered species and their forest habitat and in explaining their interdependence and importance to the environment. Ian was instrumental in helping to achieve the ban on the international ivory trade. He was awarded the OBE by the Queen for services to conservation in 2006. He served as Ambassador for the UN Year of the Gorilla in 2009, and has been Ambassador for the UNEP Convention on Migratory Species since 2010. Ian holds various honorary degrees and also a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in recognition for his work on more than 100 documentaries and films. Ian is a leading proponent of virtual ecotourism.
Peter read economics and law at Trinity College, Cambridge and is a qualified lawyer. He is the Chief Policy Advisor of Compassion in World Farming, and works for STAE in his personal capacity. In 2004 Peter was the joint recipient of the highly prestigious RSPCA Lord Erskine Award in recognition of a “very important contribution in the field of animal welfare”. Peter has played a leading role in winning the EU bans on veal crates, battery cages and sow stalls as well as a new status for animals in EU law as sentient beings. He has written comprehensive legal analyses of EU legislation on farming animals and of the impact of the WTO rules on animal welfare. Peter is lead author of the recent study by the FAO reviewing animal welfare legislation in the beef, pork and poultry industries. He has written well-received reports on the economics of livestock production and on the detrimental impact of industrial farming on the resources – land, soil, water, biodiversity – on which man’s future ability to feed itself depends.
Andrew is a highly experienced zoo keeper, specialising in elephants. Since graduating in Applied Zoology, he has occupied senior positions at leading zoos in the UK and overseas. He was formerly Head of the Elephant Section at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and has recently been appointed to a similar role at Twycross Zoo. Andrew has extensive experience in the care, management and medical treatment of captive elephants, including advanced techniques in both protected and free contact systems, in positive reinforcement techniques, enrichment and correct veterinary procedures. He has also worked at an elephant rescue centre in Thailand. Andrew lectures extensively on animal science subjects including conservation issues facing Asian elephants, and is published regularly in leading professional journals domestically and internationally.
Jameela is a journalist, feature writer and editor who holds a BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism degree and NCTJ accreditations from Bournemouth University. She contributes regularly to national newspapers, magazines and online publications. Jameela also has extensive experience working in strategic communications on the press relations, celebrity liaison and digital communications desks at several big charities. In 2016 Jameela wrote an interview feature on Duncan McNair for The Big Issue magazine in the north of England, STAE’s first cover story. In 2017 she gained STAE a feature in The Huffington Post, one of its most read online articles to date. As Head of Communications at STAE, she oversees STAE’s media and campaigns, and coordinates its busy team of social media volunteers. Jameela witnessed the cruel treatment and veterinary neglect of captive Asian elephants at tourist attractions whilst travelling in South India. This experience sparked her determination to help increase public awareness of the plight of Asian elephants.
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