Philippe Chardonnet has been unanimously elected to Conservation Force’s Board of Directors. Philippe replaces Baron Bertrand des Clers who died unexpectedly in October 2006.
Philippe is the Executive Director of the International Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife (IGF) in Paris. The IGF is a very active foundation with ongoing projects in 38 African countries. It has projects around the globe from Brazil and Bolivia to Mongolia. It was founded by H.I.H. Prince Abdorezza who was recognized as the "greatest hunter in the world" by Craig Boddington and who received every conceivable award as proof of that fact. Baron Bertrand des Clers was IGF’s Executive Director for decades before Philippe replaced him in 2001. Philippe was groomed by the Prince and Bertrand to head the IGF and it was the expressed wish of both that Philippe replace Bertrand on the Conservation Force Board of Directors whenever Bertrand became unable to serve.
The IGF and Conservation Force have partnered on projects from Conservation Force’s inception. Bertrand des Clers, its past Executive Director, was a founding member of Conservation Force’s Board of Directors and took an active part in all phases of our development. The IGF funded the monthly printing of the World Conservation Force Bulletin until after Prince Abdorezza’s death. Yours truly, John Jackson, has served on IGF’s Board of Directors for nearly a decade. The IGF Board itself voted on whether Philippe should and could serve on Conservation Force’s Board of Directors and approved the continued cooperation.
Philippe is a charming Frenchman with a twinkle in his eyes much like Bertrand des Clers. He is a Ph.D. wildlife veterinarian, has been a licensed Professional Hunter and is as comfortable at darting and collaring giant Lord Derby eland and elephant as he is at releasing black rhino in Namibia’s communal conservancies. He is as comfortable in the field as in the office. He is the co-chair of IUCN’s Antelope Specialist Group and all which that entails. He authored the Chardonnet Lion Study, as it is commonly called (the correct title is Conservation of the African Lion: Contribution to a Status Survey, 2002). It remains the most exhaustive study of any large cat in the world and has no equal. Philippe and I together attended both African Lion Workshops in 2005 and 2006 where he provided an invaluable contribution to all.
Philippe was featured this year in Spotlight on SSC’s Unsung Heroes, an article in IUCN’s Species 45: January – June 2006 for his many conservation operations "ranging from wildlife management to rural development in Africa, Asia, South America and the South Pacific."
Philippe measures up to the uncommon stature of Conservation Force Board Members and has been serving on Conservation Force’s Board of Advisors for several years. This is a marriage made by those now in heaven that were truly great men and wildlife conservationists, H.I.H. Prince Abdorezza and Baron Bertrand des Clers.