Simon Addison

Advisory Board Member

About Simon Addison

Simon Addison is an expert on climate change adaptation, sustainable development and environmental management, especially in complex contexts affected by conflict, displacement, environmental degradation and drought. 

Simon has over 20 years’ experience supporting marginalised communities to manage social, economic and environmental risks, especially in the Greater Horn of Africa. This experience includes work with major NGOs and academic institutions as a manager, technical expert and researcher on a variety of issues such as climate change adaptation, resilient livelihoods development, biodiversity conservation, disaster management, women’s empowerment, governance and human rights. His country experience includes work in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Somalia, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Zimbabwe, Malawi, India, East Timor and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and he has led regional initiatives across the Horn, East and Central Africa.

Simon Addison is currently employed as a Climate Change Adviser at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) based in Ottawa, Canada. In this role, Simon provides expert technical advice on issues of policy and practice to both the executive leadership team and country programmes.

At the global level Simon leads IFAW’s engagement on climate related policy issues, including policy influencing associated with the UNFCCC CoP process. In this capacity he provides expert advisory support to the Africa Group of Negotiators and MENA region countries on issues relating to nature, biodiversity and climate change. Simon leads analysis of emerging trends in climate policy for IFAW, with a focus on how to ensure biodiversity protection and wildlife conservation are included in climate policies and action plans at national and international levels, and the integration of nature based solutions to climate change into conservation management.

Programmatically, Simon advises conservation managers on the integration of climate risk management into their operations, including the use of climate-smart conservation, resilient landscape management and locally led adaptation approaches. He supports country teams to redesign conservation management strategies and develops technical guidelines for addressing climate change (mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage) through effective conservation management practices. In this capacity, Simon is supporting the transformation of IFAW’s elephant conservation programme into a transnational programme to create climate resilient landscapes from Zimbabwe to Kenya, in which people and wild animals can thrive together, despite the pressures they face from climate change. 

Simon is also a Senior Associate at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in London, where he provides expert technical support to IIED staff and projects on issues relating to climate governance and finance. Until 2022 Simon was IIED’s Principal Researcher for Climate Governance and Finance, during which time he managed a growing portfolio of research and policy work on issues relating to local climate finance delivery, locally led adaptation, climate resilient governance and loss and damage.

Before IIED Simon worked for nearly 20 years as a programme manager, technical advisor and researcher in the fields of sustainable development, disaster risk management and humanitarian response for major NGOs and research institutions, notably as Regional Programme Quality Lead in East Africa and Humanitarian Programme Coordinator in Uganda for Oxfam, and as Policy Programme manager and Senior Research Officer at the University of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre. 

Simon holds Masters degrees in Geography and International Development from the Universities of Oxford and Melbourne, and has conducted research on the political ecology of internal displacement crises at the Universities of Oxford and Manchester. He has held research posts at the Universities of Oxford and Manchester, City University of New York (CUNY), the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London and York University in Toronto, and is currently a doctoral candidate at York University, where he is conducting research on private sector investment into Nature Based Solutions to climate change in the Global South.