Linking People and Nature
Will Self is a Full Memeber of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management CIEEM.
He is a trustee of Kilmartin Museum and Feedback Madagascar and chair of the Heart of Argyll Wildlife Organisation.
A passion for the outdoors and nature developed Will as a canoe lifeguard in his teens with holiday jobs in wildlife conservation, farming, fishing and tourism.
Following a Natural Resources BSc at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne Will was one of five selected as a researcher on the Royal Geographical Society, the Centre for Social Studies - Surat and Newcastle University Sardar Sarovar Dam Expedition, India in 1992. Will undertook participatory assessments of the changes in natural resource management and the effects of these changes on the resettled Adivassi from the Narmada Basin. (Their homes were being flooded by the Sadar Sarovar Dam Project.)
As Executive Officer for Project Trust on the Isle of Coll from 1992 – 1995 (Project Trust sends young people from the UK to live and work for a year in a community overseas where they learn from their host culture whilst contributing to it) he:
Used a 40 acre Hebridean croft as a tool to prepare volunteers for the agrarian communities they were to work in overseas.
Established and ran volunteer programmes in Pakistan, Brazil and Chile, visiting annually.
Researched and visited a programme in India.
Appointed national representatives, liaised with government ministries and embassies and identified and established projects.
Supervised staff and gave lectures and presentations.
Liaised with schools and colleges. Co-ordinated network of 200 interviewers.
Assimilated and edited news from each country into a biannual magazine.
As a researcher with Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, Northern Pakistan in 1996 Will worked with the MER Office (Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting) Will:
Analysed attitudes towards changes in animal husbandry using a range of participatory research methodologies.
Assisted staff in natural resource management components of community development projects.
At Feedback Madagascar (1996 – 2001) Will quickly made an impact in a challenging environment and was made Co-director.
Feedback Madagascar is a small international NGO. Working in close partnership with a Malagasy NGO, Feedback operates programmes for conservation and development. Projects focus on: relieving poverty through income generating activities (primarily in agriculture); improving the local stewardship of natural resources (especially rainforest); advancing the provision of education; and promoting primary health care.
Worked closely with local people in the design and implementation of projects.
Designed and managed a community agricultural development project.
Extensive liaison with international donors and local actors.
Established an agricultural training centre focusing on silk production for vulnerable women. See Sir David Attenborough praising the development of the programme in a short film clip of ‘Attenborough and the Giant Egg’
Established two independent NGOs and undertook extensive capacity building with staff.
Designed, developed and lead expeditions by dug-out canoe up the remote west coast of Madagascar to introduce visitors to development work and to raise funds.
Donors included IUCN, DFID (British Embassy), ICCO and USAID.
As the part time Project Officer for the Dalriada Project through 2009 and 2010 Will helped deliver multi-partner natural heritage and cultural heritage projects in Argyll. He was the lead for the Community History Project and primary contact in Heritage Access Network.
Will is married to and works closely with the painter Caroline Hunter.