Asiatic Black Bear Expert Team Co-Chair
Originally from the UK, Matt has been living in Southeast Asia since 2001. He has been working with wild animals for over 25 years, initially in zoos and wildlife parks but for the past 15 years his work has been focused on combatting the illegal wildlife trade. As Chief Executive of Free the Bears, he is responsible for overseeing projects and partnerships in six countries throughout Asia, developing world-class bear sanctuaries, training local teams to provide optimal care and promoting environmental awareness in some of the world’s least developed countries. Matt believes that long-term conservation of wildlife in Southeast Asia will only be achieved through a combination of strengthened law enforcement and improved environmental awareness. To this end his work is increasingly focused on developing capacity for local researchers to fill gaps in our understanding of wild bears, support and training for government-led law enforcement teams, and fostering public support for conservation initiatives through innovative education programmes.