Don Valley West

Hoping to better equip herself as an instrument for change on environmental policy, Amanda studied International Relations and French Literature at Concordia University and spent several years familiarizing herself with the forestry industry and its effect on the fiscal, political, and socio-economic landscape of northern communities and indigenous populations.

She presently holds concurrent certifications with the United Nations for 'Working in Natural Disasters' and 'Working in Complex Emergencies' and is a consultant in times of international crisis when natural disasters hit. It was through mangrove reforestation efforts in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 that she was truly moved by the power of involving local communities in environmental restoration efforts. More specifically, how raising awareness of the economic and social importance of preserving wildlife populations and their habitats may, as a result of coordinated action, become firmly embedded in national policy on biodiversity, sustainable development, and climate change agreements.

In 2015, she established the Cambodian Centre for Biodiversity in the lower Mekong Basin of Cambodia, which contains three of the most important tributaries to the Mekong: the Se Kong, Se San, and Srepok Rivers. Among the many development projects they have since undertaken is an expansive native plant nursery that aids afforestation efforts by growing the trees and vegetation necessary to replenish the diminished forest cover in key wildlife corridors between protected areas.

Because of her work with inter-tidal coastal ecosystems and their preservation within Cambodia, Amanda was invited by the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) to attend the International Conference on Sustainable Mangrove Ecosystems in Bali, Indonesia in 2017. The conference was organized jointly with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia and the International Society for Mangrove Ecosystems (ISME), with the collaboration of many external partners such as the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

Amanda is a Search and Rescue Engineer by trade and a member of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, serving on the Heavy Urban Search and Rescue committee. In her spare time —when she's not busy advocating for forest stewardship councils and fighting for land rights— she is most at home when she is far from the city, working with her daughter on their newly established farm.