Peter Crane

Head of Visitor Services for Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA)

Pete Crane is Head of Visitor Services for Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) managing a team of nine that works with partners to make a visit to Britain’s largest National Park an outstanding and sustainable experience.  The work covers; outdoor access, education, inclusion, volunteering and visitor information & interpretation. CNPA owns no land or buildings so all improvements to the visitor experience are done in partnership. The National Park has seen a 25% increase in visitor numbers since designation in 2003. Prior to this Pete managed a Country Park located north of Edinburgh that received 400,000 visits a year.

Elliott Lorimer

Principal officer for Forest of
Bowland Area of Outstanding
Natural beauty (AONB)

Elliott has over 20 years' experience working in a range of roles in protected area management and rural development.  Since 2011, he has been based in the north-west of England, working as the Principal Officer for the Forest of Bowland AONB; managing the work of the Partnership and the small team tasked with delivering the area's Management Plan.  

He holds an Honours Degree in Environmental Science and Masters Degree in Rural and Regional Resources Planning (European Rural Development).  He is also the Chair of North Lancashire and Bowland LEADER Local Action Group, responsible for managing EU LEADER rural development funds. When not working, Elliott enjoys travelling within the UK and overseas, spending time with his family and getting outdoors to go fell running, walking and bird watching.

Carol Ritchie

Executive director
EUROPARC Federation

Carol hails from Scotland. Having studied  a Bsc Hons in  Biology and, Geography and a Msc in Ecology,  it was a natural progression  to work as a Teacher, Ranger and Park Manager and  somehow in the blink of an eye, gathering almost 30 years experience essentially connecting people and places. Currently, she is the Executive Director of the EUROPARC Federation , leading  an international team working on diverse topics with relevance to protected areas management. 

Jukka Siltanen

M.Sc. in Computer Science
from University of Tampere, Finland,

M.Sc. in Environment and Natural Resources 
from University of Iceland

Jukka Siltanen has an M.Sc. in Computer Science from University of Tampere, Finland, and an M.Sc. in Environment and Natural Resources from University of Iceland. In his thesis for the latter degree he studied the economic impact of national parks in Iceland, using the Snæfellsjökull National Park as a case study to test the methodology in the Icelandic context. His research showed that economic impact of national parks and nature-based tourism is very significant in Iceland in terms of local impact and tax revenue, and contributes to a considerable number of jobs linked to visitor spending in connection with the protected areas.

Rita Johansen

World Heritage Coordinator

Vega Archipelago World Heritage

Mrs Rita Johansen, site coordinator Vega Archipelago and managing director Vega World Heritage Foundation, is responsible for local management and involvement, dissemination and information. That includes collaboration with stakeholders, NGOs, schools, national and regional authorities. The work has led to a revitalizing of the Eider tradition and the cultural landscape, development of new activities and a big increase in the number of visitors. 

Mrs Johansen was one of the local enthusiasts taking initiative to get Vega Archipelago nominated for world heritage status, both to protect the values and initiate local value creation. Her background is in journalism, nature interpretation, arts and crafts.

Dr. Miguel Clüsener-Godt

Director a.i.

Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences

Secretary a.i.

Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme Natural Sciences Sector, UNESCO

Dr Clüsener-Godt is German and has a Ph.D. in Biology/Ecology from the University of Osnabrück in Germany. Moreover, he has a PhD. Honoris causa of the University of Para, Belem, Brazil.

He is the Director a.i. of the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences in UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, and he is the Secretary a.i. of the Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB), which manages the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

He is also responsible for the World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves, Coastal Zones and Small Islands, the REDBIOS Network in the East-Atlantic, the Amazonian Biosphere Reserve Network and the Asia Pacific Co-operation for the Sustainable Use of Renewable Natural Resources in Biosphere Reserves and Similarly Managed Areas.

He is the Division’s focal point for the UNESCO Category II "International Centre on Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves, Two Coastlines United by their Culture and Nature" , located within the premises of the Abertis Foundation in Castellet I la Gornal, Spain, which was established in November 2013 and officially inaugurated in April 2014.

Within UNESCO/MAB, he published the World Atlas of Mangroves, in cooperation with FAO, ISME, ITTO, UNESP/WCMC, UNU/INWEH and TNC in 2010. Finally, he is a co-author of the Policy Brief on “Securing the Future of Mangroves”, 2012.

In March 2016, he organised in Lima in cooperation with the Government of Peru the 4th World Congress of Biosphere Reserves, of which emanated the Lima Declaration of the MAB Programme and the Lima Action Plan for the MAB Programme and the World Network of Biosphere Reserves 2016-2025.

Within the Division, he is also supervising the UNESCO Global Geoparks Programme and the Unite for Disaster Risk Reduction.