The initial team started with our founding philanthropist, Sheikh Adel Aujan and Derek Littleton, our current Director of Conservation and Law Enforcement. To date 30% of our original ranger and scout teams still remain with Luwire.
Derek Littleton – General Manager and Director of Conservation and Law Enforcement
Derek is a third generation Zimbabwean. His career began with Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management, moving to the Wildlife Unit of the Forestry Commission which managed the game rich indigenous forests of Western Matabeleland. During this period he played a significant role in setting up the early Tcholotcho CAMPFIRE program. This dealt with Human Wildlife Conflict. It gave rights to communal communities to manage and sustainably benefit from their wildlife resources. Derek was also very active in successful anti-poaching operations. The Rhino Wars ushered in a dark period where despite a hard fight, those rhino not lost had to be translocated to Intensive Protection Zones, depriving the forests of these iconic animals. This experience has greatly influenced Derek’s approach and resolve in securing the elephants of Niassa.
Derek’s friendship with Sheikh Adel – which lasted for 30 years – resulted in a move to private sector safari and anti-poaching and finally to Mozambique and the incredible Niassa Reserve. Derek inherited a blank canvas and cherishes the incredible privilege of being engaged in conservation on scale. The horrendous Mozambican civil war created an almost complete skills vacuum in the bush. Derek has had to train his local team from scratch.
Derek considers his work a vocation, and believes in practical and robustly Africa proof solutions for conservation. He lives in Luwire with his wife Paula who serves as Luwire’s Deputy General Manager and Head of Community Development.
Paula Ferro – General Manager and Director of Community Development
Paula is Colombian but grew up in Ecuador. Her conservation and tourism management experience dates to 2002. Paula is Deputy General Manager and Director of Community Development and has been dedicated to Luwire since 2005. She speaks four languages fluently – English, Spanish, Portuguese and French!
Paula was educated at the International French School in Quito and completed an Honours Degree in Biology at the University of Montpellier in France. She followed on with three Masters degrees in Ecology, Animal Production in Tropical Areas (specialising in human-wildlife conflict) and Ethno Ecology. Paula went on to enjoy various field experiences. She was head researcher in the Parque do Pantanal, a conservation area in Brazil’s Pantanal ‒the same size as the Niassa Reserve ‒ where she focused on conflicts between livestock and jaguars. She worked as a volunteer for the Foundation Internationale pour la Sauvegarde de la Faune. Finally, the Natural History Museum of Paris posted her to Niassa. Under extreme conditions, Paula walked and plotted the substantial trade routes and human movements within the Niassa Reserve, on foot and often alone.
Paula has a special interest in helping women from the local communities to become economically self-sufficient through pottery, knitting and other alternative livelihoods. Paula is based in Luwire with her husband Derek Littleton.
Paul Buckley – Chairman
Paul Buckley is an ardent conservationist and Chairman of the Luwire Wildlife Conservancy.. He also sits on the Board of the African conservation NGO Space for Giants. He is well travelled across Africa with notable adventures across Northern Kenya, Southern Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Africa and Mozambique. Paul’s main commercial interest is a business he founded in 2006 – First Avenue Partners LLP, a leading global advisory and capital placement business focused on private funds and private companies. Paul is based in London and is married with four children.
Abdulla Aujan is the Executive Chairman of Aujan Group Holding with commercial interests across a variety of sectors: beverages and snacks , hospitality, real estate, and packaging materials. Aujan is a prominent foreign investor in Mozambique. Abdulla is the son of the late Adel Aujan who was Niassa’s first concessionaire from 2000. Abdulla carried on after his father’s passing in January 2017. He has made it his personal goal to transform Luwire into a secure and independent wildlife conservation project. Abdulla is based in Dubai.
Derek Littleton – General Manager and Director of Conservation and Law Enforcement
Derek is Luwire’s General Manager and Director of Conservation and Law Enforcement. His background includes Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management where he managed the game rich indigenous forests of Western Matabeleland and played a significant role in setting up the early Tcholotcho CAMPFIRE program and in successful anti-poaching operations. Derek’s friendship with Sheikh Adel resulted in a move to private sector safari and anti-poaching and finally to Mozambique and the incredible Niassa Reserve. Derek inherited a blank canvas and has built Luwire’s tea and infrastructure from scratch.
Oscar is a Mozambican entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of Asset Developers, a diversified investment firm with interests in real estate, hospitality and facility management. He is also a director and co-founder of Malawi Moringa, a superfood company specialized in quality control, branding, processing, bulk wholesale and online retail distribution of Moringa related products. He is also affiliated with 4YouSee Arenas, a digital signage technology company which provides software, content design and managerial solutions for corporate TV and Digital Out Of Home Networks. 4Yousee Arenas focuses on football stadiums and other sports venues.
Prior to his return to Maputo, Oscar was a lead project manager at ProNatura International in Paris, providing management and organizational support for ‘Our Planet Reviewed’ a program for the exploration of the natural world that aims to acquire new flora and fauna knowledge in the regions of the planet where the greatest biodiversity has remained largely unexplored.
Oscar is dedicated to bridging wealth creation and investor returns with community uplift by tackling social, economic and environmental issues.
Andy Pitts Tucker
Andy has volunteered his time to conservation in Africa for over 10 years. More recently, he established PT Conservation Ltd., taking a more direct role supporting conservation initiatives with business development and financial sustainability best practice. Andy has worked on projects in Namibia, Kenya, South Africa and Mozambique. He currently works for Apex GreenLight where he is establishing an ESG rating tool for private companies. Apex is a global financial services provider looking to play a leading role in embedding ESG metrics into investment decision making. Andy lives in the South of England an is married with three children.
Professor David Macdonald CBE
David is a British Zoologist and Conservation Scientist holding DPhil and DSc research degrees from Oxford and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE). He is Founder and Director (1986) of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) at the University of Oxford, internationally regarded as a global leader both in conservation research and as a hub for training graduate conservationists. He created the Recanati-Kaplan Centre’s International Postgraduate Diploma in international Conservation Practice which trains aspiring conservationists from less developed countries and which in 2011 was awarded the Queen’s Award for Higher education by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Professor Macdonald has won numerous international awards and accolades for his research and engagement with public policy (including the highest awards of both the American and British societies for mammalogy, and appointment to an A.D. White Professorship at Large at Cornell University) and has been instrumental in popularising biology through his films and writing. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to Science in 2010. David has a strong record of public service, having been on the Board of almost every major conservation body – WWF, FFI, ZSL, WWT, RSPB and Chairman of Earthwatch. In the UK, he was the founding Chairman of Natural England’s Science Advisory Committee and was the Chairman of the UK’s government Darwin Initiative for a decade. Currently he is advisor to the School of Wildlife Conservation at the African Leadership University, a Trustee of Chester Zoo and Chairman of Action for Conservation, a new education charity taking conservation into schools.
Zahara is the CEO and Co-Founder of Grosvenor Capital (“GroCap”) headquartered in the UAE with a focus on Impact Investing and to drive investment into Emerging Markets, particularly Africa. Prior to starting her own company, Zahara was one of the founding members of Invest Africa, UAE Chapter and has advised Governments, Family Offices and Corporates on their expansion into Africa. Zahara is currently based in Dubai, and is driving to shape the Impact Investing narrative across the GCC. Furthermore, Zahara has worked on key philanthropy and impact campaigns with HRH The Prince of Wales, The Princes Trust and Mosaic International network. She is a trustee of Jaago Foundation, where she opened her first school in Chittagong, 2012. Zahara has a passion for education and developing sustainable livelihoods. Zahara formally chaired The Princes Trust Junior Associated Programme. Currently, Zahara Heads the Steering Committee for Football for Peace, GCC. Zahara was named Impact Investing Entrepreneur 2019 and has a passion for community building which is her focus for the Luwire Conservation Project.
Nick has been actively involved in African conservation for some twenty years. He has been a trustee of Tusk Trust, the UK-based conservation charity, since 2011 and has previously been on the boards of Save the Rhino, the Selous Trust in Tanzania and the Milgis Trust in northern Kenya. He is extremely widely travelled in Africa, having visited 25 countries there, including making several expeditions. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Nick’s abiding passions are Africa’s wildlife, its wild spaces and its people, along with his long-distance swims for conservation, not to mention his 3 children and partner, Akhtar, all of whom share his love of the continent. He lives in London and works in African private equity.
Grahame Wilson retired after ten years’ service from the Zimbabwe Army in December 1980.Since that time he has worked extensively throughout Africa. Grahame has assisted with several conservation projects and currently is working with The Conservation and Community Investment Alliance as a consultant. Grahame is based in Johannesburg . He is married with two children.
Matthew Rice is one of Africa’s leading conservation managers. Over 30 years he has played an integral part in the establishment of Africa’s two most successful community-based conservation programmes – Namibia’s community conservancies and northern Kenya’s Northern Rangelands Trust. He also managed a large portfolio of projects for Fauna & Flora International. Matt has been involved with Niassa Reserve for 18 years. During this time he led the creation of the Chuilexi Conservancy within the Reserve. Made up of four contiguous concessions and at 1.8 million acres, it is Africa’s largest private sector managed, non-consumptive conservancy. Matt has conservation experience across 16 countries in Africa and has spent extensive periods living in Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and South Sudan. Matt currently works for Conservation Capital, a company specialising in developing financial and business driven solutions for conservation areas. Matt presently leads its African Concessions initiative and the company’s technical involvement in multiple public-private partnerships assignments across Africa.
Alan Watts received his degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University in 2002. After working as a biologist for a year, he applied his skills to the oil and gas industry and made his first trip to Africa in 2003. Since that time, Alan has worked and/or lived in numerous countries in Africa, primarily focusing on Environmental Compliance, Health and Safety, Conservation, and Community Engagement. He has been supporting Luwire since his very first visit to the concession in 2010. Alan is an associate director of the nonprofit Conservation and Community Investment Alliance (CCIA) based in South Africa, and the managing director of CCIA-USA. Alan and his family split their time between Hermanus, South Africa, Houston, Texas, and Los Angeles, California.