Mark van der Wal | Senior Expert Ecosystems & Extractives

Knowing from a very early age that he wanted to become an ecologist, Mark van der Wal, after acquiring his BSc in Education (1985 Health care & Biology) obtained his MSc in Biology /Tropical ecology from the University of Amsterdam (1989). Following his passion he started out by doing ecological work in the Netherlands a.o. badgers and partridges.

After these early years he spent 14 years in the tropics, often working on the development, conservation, conflict interface. These years took him from Colombia, to East Indonesia, to Cameroon and Honduras, working in areas from coastal conservation, to large mammal inventories, to protected area management, to WHS conservation priority assessment.

From 2004 his base has been the IUCN NL office in Amsterdam where he started out as the coordinator for the Tropical Rainforest Grants Programme. From 2004 onwards he coached, mentored and supported a large number local conservation programmes and initiatives around the globe.

At IUCN NL he is the focal point for the interface conservation & the extractive industry. He has 15+ years of experience in working with civil society on improved governance of the natural resource base. Mark is part of the Crises Management Team and has the role of confidential councilor. He is IUCN CEESP Commission member.