Heather oversees UNEP-WCMC’s portfolio of work on inclusive conservation and area-based conservation in the wider land and seascape. This includes supervising the management of the World Database on ‘other effective area-based conservation measures’ (WD-OECM). This new database documents measures that fall outside the definition of a protected area, but nevertheless make important contributions to conservation. In addition, she manages partnerships and data for the Pacific region in the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), alongside data on protected areas under the governance of indigenous peoples, local communities, private organisations and individuals. Heather is an honorary member of the ICCA Consortium and a member of IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (and its specialist group on privately protected areas and nature stewardship, and task force on OECMs). She has given guest lectures to undergraduates on Anglia Ruskin University’s Social Policy BA course.
Heather’s earlier work at UNEP-WCMC involved managing the global registry of territories and areas conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities (ICCA Registry), helping to maintain the WDPA, and contributing to the 2014, 2016 and 2018 Protected Planet Reports. She has a Masters in Biology with Conservation and Biodiversity from the University of Sheffield.
Heather is leading the Centre’s work on building a database of OECMs. The database, which complements the WDPA, enables progress towards international conservation agreements to be more accurately tracked.
Together with Edward Lewis, Heather is leading on the development of the 2020 Protected Planet Report. This fifth edition in the series is timed to coincide with the close of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011 – 2020, and will assess whether target 11 of the strategy has been met.
Heather is working to improve the data in the WDPA for the Pacific region, supported by the BIOPAMA programme, in collaboration with national partners, IUCN and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). She is also working to address the lack of data on privately protected areas, and protected areas under the governance of indigenous peoples and communities, in the WDPA.