The Walker Institute is delighted to welcome Dr Andrew Bennett CMG, BSc, DTA, MSc, DSc, FRSA, President of the Tropical Agricultural Association, on to our Board.
Dr Bennett is a tropical agriculturalist, with over 50 years experience in international development, international negotiations, research, environment, livelihoods and disaster management. Over the course of his career he has worked in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Pacific and the Caribbean in a wide range of public and private sector positions. He was Director, of Rural Livelihoods and Environment for the British Department for International Development (DfID) where he was responsible for professional advice on policy and programmes in the fields of livelihoods, natural resources, environment, sustainable development and research. Andrew was also part of the negotiations for the Montreal Protocol and the Earth Summit in Rio.
Dr Bennet is an alumnus of the University of Reading, having gained a Masters at the University and was fortunate enough to have Professor Hugh Bunting as his mentor in the late 80s.
The focus of Dr Bennett’s work ultimately moved towards an interest in rural livelihoods, and following his retirement as a civil servant, he founded and ran the Syngenta Foundation for 6 years. He currently sits on the Boards of a range of organisations including the International Baccalaureate Organisation, the Africa Fellowship Trust, and Crop Innovations; he is also a Director of the Doyle Foundation.
Dr Bennett had this to say about his appointment to the Walker Board:
“Climate change is the biggest challenge we face. Any solutions, by necessity, will have to be interdisciplinary in nature. The world can become environmentally sound, but in the end if larger countries like the USA and China along with newly emerging economies continue to grow in wealth and population, whilst simultaneously rejecting commitments to climate change negotiations, it will be near impossible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“The Walker Institute has an opportunity to inform us about the history of climate change, but also to provide us with the ways and means to successfully handle the adaptation agenda. Walker can look at the bigger picture, without being tied up in political negotiations and help equip society with the most effective strategies to cope.”