“As we steadily approach the halfway mark in 2022, we proudly report significant progress across all of our projects, with major milestones having been achieved as a result of hard work, sacrifice, and persistence over the last two years whilst we battled through the global pandemic. It is a time of positivity for FLP and we look ahead with great anticipation towards the second half of 2022 as we continue to work towards not only our project objectives but the ambitions of the organization as a whole. I would like to personally thank my co-founders Jinesh Shah, and Matthijs Strietman for their contributions and wish them both well as they move on to other sectors and projects, respectively. In the same breath, I am proud and pleased to welcome both Laura Suckley and Dr. Sara Thornton to the FLP board of trustees. Their combined experience and expertise in freshwater conservation, field research, socio-ecological systems, community engagement, ecological consultancy, tropical peatland ecology, zoology and animal biology, and much more, set the tone for an exciting step forward for Freshwater Life Project as we continue to make our stamp and build our reputation in the world of freshwater and inland aquatic conservation. It is with my utmost respect and appreciation that I welcome both of these outstanding individuals to the Freshwater Life Project team”. – Chris Englezou (Chairman of the Board of Trustees)
In January 2020, we welcomed Laura Suckley to the FLP team under the role of project manager for our inner-city pond project. Under Laura Suckley’s management, despite two years of an unprecedented global pandemic, the project made remarkable headway. In the aftermath of a challenging period, in 2022 we began to really see the fruits of Laura’s labour and perseverance as we were able to finally push ahead and work closely with a number of community groups, respected contractors, and local councils to establish several new wildlife ponds and other habitat types in urban and residential environments that have received enthusiastic praise and approval by local beneficiaries. Laura has been able to secure funding from local authorities and other sponsors that have been crucial in producing tangible outcomes for this project. Her extensive experience in community engagement, particularly in a conservation context, and within urban and rural environments, as well as knowledge of ecological surveying, marketing strategy, commercial partnership management, and her diverse field research experience in Peru, Botswana, and elsewhere, have enabled her to contribute greatly towards the performance of the teams she has worked in. She has consistently been an asset to the FLP team and her appointment as a trustee will only serve to broaden her horizons and those of the charity.
Dr. Sara Thornton
Having spent the last 12 years dedicating her life to conservation, Sara has gained extensive experience in tropical peatland conservation. She has first-hand experience of the solutions for and complexities of human-nature relationships and is also passionate about finding ways to make conservation and research more equitable, ethical, and caring. She has published and contributed to substantial scientific research documenting the importance of freshwater conservation from the perspectives of species, habitats, and the experiences of local communities, and those of women working in conservation. Sara has been successful in securing consistent financial support for her research over the last decade and will bring her knowledge and experience in how to be successful in sourcing funding, as well as contributing an informed and wider perspective on what project criteria or research constitutes a priority for funding by FLP. Sara’s biocultural approach and conscious understanding of the significance and effectiveness of inclusive conservation demonstrates an empathy and understanding that correlates strongly with the Freshwater Life Project ethos and we welcome this openly with enthusiasm, but also with excitement for the outcomes we can expect to achieve with her support going forward.