Nonie Coulthard.


  • 1982 - 1987: PhD Ecology/ Animal Behaviour University of Aberdeen
  • 1981 - 1982: MSc Ecology University of Aberdeen
  • 1977 - 1981: BSc (Hons) Zoology 1st Class University of Dundee

Selected Employment

Over 25 years experience in biodiversity conservation/ natural resource management, international development and capacity building, principally in Africa.

West Africa Partner Development Officer, RSPB

Aug 2014 - present

Main activities/responsibilities

  • Support to governance, organisational management, capacity development and conservation programmes of BirdLife International Partners in West Africa (including Conservation Society of Sierra Leone, Society for the Conservation of Nature in Liberia, Ghana Wildlife Society, Nigerian Conservation Foundation and other Partners in francophone West Africa)
  • Support to the West Africa Sub-Regional Office of the BirdLife Africa Partnership (in Accra, Ghana) to strengthen capacity and conservation effectiveness across the BirdLife Africa Partnership
  • Focus on BirdLife and RSPB priority conservation issues in the region/ along the East Atlantic Flyway (including Migrants, Tropical Forests and Important Bird Areas/ Key Biodiversity Areas): liaison, communication, partnership working and capacity development to underpin and support these programmes
Consultant (international development; biodiversity conservation; natural resource management; Protected Areas & capacity development)

1995 to 2014

Main activities/responsibilities

  • Project design and proposal preparation (Logical Frameworks, funding applications, UNDP-GEF and UNEP-GEF PRODOCs, UK Darwin Initiative, DGIS, other bi- & multi-lateral agencies); in country as part of multi-stakeholder project preparation teams/ missions and home based.
  • Policy and research analysis and writing; project monitoring, review, mid-term and EOP evaluation.
  • Clients including UNDP/ GEF, UNEP/ GEF, WCMC, BirdLife International and Regional Partners, IUCN, WWF, Imarisha Naivasha (Kenya), CMS (Dugong MoU Secretariat), CEPF. UNDP/ GEF consultant in Ecosystems and Biodiversity, Land Degradation, Adaptation: Regional Consultants’ Roster for Africa (2013-present).

Key competencies and skills

  • Life-long nature conservationist committed to finding biodiversity conservation and natural resource management solutions by working with people and communities to meet social and livelihood needs
  • International development, capacity building, biodiversity, natural resource management, Protected Areas
  • Team-worker; excellent people and communication skills; wide cultural experience working with stakeholders (local communities, NGOs, civil society, private sector, governments, agencies, donors); many different countries
  • Strategic approaches: priority-setting; programme planning and management; full project cycle: concept, to design, fund raising, implementation; reporting, monitoring and evaluation; specific expertise in design and use of Logical/ Strategic Results Frameworks and results-based/ adaptive management
  • Strong research, analytical, problem solving skills; pragmatic and good at finding workable solutions; good at synthesis, report writing and meeting deadlines
  • English mother tongue; excellent written English; fluent French speaker and communicator

Examples of recent publications

  • CEPF (2016) Guinean Forests of West Africa Hotspot Ecosystem Profile. Lead/ joint author on 3 chapters. Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. See
  • Imarisha Naivasha (2012) Imarisha Naivasha First 5-Year Sustainable Development Action Plan (SDAP) for the Lake Naivasha Basin. Naivasha, Kenya. See