Jeff Sayer

Professor of Conservation and Development, James Cook University

Jeff Sayer is a British ecologist who began his career as a wildlife researcher in Africa. He subsequently worked on conservation programs in many African and Asian countries before moving to IUCN to direct their tropical forest conservation program. Throughout his many years working in the field he was confronted on a daily basis with the realities of the lives of poor rural people trying to make a living in the wildlife rich areas around parks and reserves.  His life’s work has centered on the problems of improving the livelihoods of those people whilst maintaining the environmental values of the areas where they live. In 1993 he was appointed founding director general of CIFOR which allowed him to live in Indonesia for the following 9 years. He is now a Professor of Conservation and Development at James Cook University in Cairns, at the Center for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science, splitting his time between Indonesia and Australia. Prof. Sayer’s interest in integrated ecosystem and landscape approaches to meeting development and environmental goals grew whilst he was at CIFOR. During the past decade he has written extensively on landscape issues and has helped to develop the scientific underpinnings of landscape approaches to resource conservation. He now has several doctoral and master’s students working on these issues, mainly in Eastern Indonesia but also in the Congo Basin where he has maintained a long-term involvement.