CCAHD: Who we are

The CCAHD’s legal entity is a Foundation (‘Stichting’) under Dutch law, with its seat in Amsterdam,  the Netherlands.  The CCAHD Foundation is guided by a Management Board and a Supervisory Board which are both composed of international and Sousa teuszii range country members.  Board members receive no remuneration for their work for the Foundation. They may receive compensation for expenses made (article 3.3 of the Articles of Association).  The Foundation is supported by a Secretariat, which is currently based in the Netherlands.

  • Maximin Djondo, Chair: Maximin has extensive expertise in wetland and marine ecology as well as aquatic ecosystems services and ecosystem management. He is currently the Executive Director of Benin Environment and Education Society (BEES NGO) in Benin where he provides programmatic and technical support for the conservation and restoration of wetland ecosystems, nature conservation and biodiversity management in deltas. Maximin has managed several projects that have involved analysis of environment threats, biodiversity loss, adaptation and mitigation to climate change, as well as aquatic wildmeat and community-based research and conservation.  He is the representative in Africa for the World Wetland Network, Coordinator of the Benin wing of Delta Alliance, a member of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management and the CMS  Aquatic Wildmeat Working Group.  He is an active member of CCAHD working group 9, and convenes working group 10.
  • Peter Schelvis, Financial Director: Peter is a Dutch Certified Public Accountant and spent his working life in the airline transport sector. He retired after 41 years in KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Air France-KLM in april 2018. He has extensive experience in audit and control, governance , risk management, information technology and Supply Chain Management. Peter is the financial founding father of the Delta – Air France–KLM Transatlantic Joint Venture. He also served as a Board Member in the 3 KLM Pension Funds during 12 years. His professional interests include integrity of reporting, working under good governance and adequate risk management. He aims to ensure that the CCAHD operates transparently and in compliance with all relevant rules and regulations, especially with regards to finances.
  • Aristide Takoukam Kamla:   Aristide is the founder of the African Marine Mammal Conservation Organization (AMMCO).  His PhD focused on African manatee conservation genetics and feeding ecology, and his current work includes cetacean and turtle research and conservation in Cameroon.  Aristide is a member of CCAHD working groups 1 and 4.
  • Caroline Weir: Caroline has been involved with cetacean research since 1995, focusing on ecology, baseline population assessments, acoustics, and the mitigation of anthropogenic impacts. Her PhD at the University of Aberdeen was titled Ecology and conservation of cetaceans in the waters between Angola and the Gulf of Guinea, with focus on the Atlantic humpback dolphin (Sousa teuszii). She has carried out pioneering targeted field studies of Atlantic humpback dolphins in Angola, Guinea and Senegal. In addition to being one of the founders of CCAHD, she is a member of the IUCN SSC Cetacean Specialist Group and the CMS Aquatic Mammals Working Group. Caroline patricipates in all CCAHD working groups.  Fore more information see https://www.ketosecology.co.uk/.
  • Judicael Regis Kema Kema:  Regis has been working in the field of marine and coastal conservation in Gabon for almost 10 years, starting with WWF where he was involved various marine research and conservation projects, and then moving to Gabon’s National Parks Agency (ANPN) where he currently manages 6 marine and coastal protected areas. Regis is a co-founder of ONG Aquatic Species, the first marine-focused NGO in Gabon. He is also pursuing a PhD on cetaceans in Gabon with a focus on Sousa teuszii. Regis is a co-convenor of working group 2, and a member of working groups 3 and 6.  In June 2021 he organised a government stakeholder meeting in Gabon to promote conservation planning for Sousa teuszii, which has spurred cross agency and NGO collaboration for the species.
  • Nicola Hodgins: Nicola has worked with international charity, Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) since 2005 and has extensive expertise on small cetaceans, strandings and collaboration with local researchers, predominantly throughout Africa and Asia. Nicola leads WDC’s work on the global capture of small cetaceans for food, bait, trade and traditional uses (both deliberate hunts and the utilisation of bycaught individuals), and represents the organisation at various fora including UNEP’s Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Since 2010, Nicola’s research has focused on the biology and conservation of Risso’s dolphins in Scottish waters. Nicola is a member of working groups 1, 2, 3, 6, 9 & 12.
  • Tim Collins: Tim has worked with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) since 2002. Although now based in Kenya, he coordinated WCS marine mammal work in Congo, Gabon and Angola for over 10 years, focusing principally on Atlantic humpback dolphins, humpback whales and mitigating threats to cetaceans in general. He continues to promote work in this region, returning whenever he can. Tim leads on a humpback whale telemetry programme in Kenya and a project focusing on the overlaps between underwater noise and marine megafauna In the Western Indian Ocean. He also maintains strong links to cetacean research and conservation efforts in the Northern Indian Ocean, particularly those for Endangered Arabian Sea humpback whales. He is the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group Africa Coordinator, a member of the IUCN IMMA taskforce, a member of the Convention of Migratory Species Scientific Council Working Groups on Aquatic Mammals and Aquatic Wild Meat. Tim is Convenor of CCAHD working group 1 and participates in all other working groups.
  • Hans Eric Kuipéri: After having started his career as a lawyer in private practice in The Netherlands, Hans Eric held senior management positions in legal, commercial and finance at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines for nineteen years. Prior to founding the boutique executive search firm FRESHE, he was partner at the global executive search organisation, Amrop, for seven years. Hans Eric served as (non-) executive board member at various organisations and holds a master’s degree in Civil and Notarial Law from Leiden University, The Netherlands.

  • Grant Abel, Chair: Grant is the Director of Life Sciences at the Seattle Aquarium. Prior roles include twelve years at Ocean Park Hong Kong as General Curator and Director for Animal Care, and six years at the Shimonoseki Marine Science Museum (Kaikyokan) in Japan as Curator for Marine Mammals. Grant serves as a co-chair of Conservation Planning for the IUCN SSC Cetacean Specialist Group and helps to drive Integrated Conservation Planning for Cetaceans (ICPC). Grant also served as an Advisor for the National Marine Mammal Foundation during the 2017  VaquitaCPR emergency actions to help protect the vaquita (Phocoena sinus) in Mexico. He convenes CCAHD working group 12 (fund-raising), and participates in working group 7.
  • Edem Eniang: Edem is a professor of Wildlife Resources, Conservation, Herpetology and Protected Areas Management at the University of Uyo, Nigeria and is also the founder and Director of Research and projects at Biodiversity Preservation Centre (BPC) Nigeria, a nonprofit organization. Edem is a member of multiple IUCN SSC species specialist groups, as well as Executive Director of the Coalition of Biodiversity Conservationists of Nigerian (CBCN), a rallying point for Conservation NGOs and government bodies. Although relatively new to cetacean work, he is keen to apply his experience in species conservation at the national and international level to conservation of Sousa teuszii. He is an active member of CCAHD working groups 1, 2 and 6.
  • Lindsay Porter:  Lindsay is based in Hong Kong and has more than 30 years of experience working on a variety of marine mammal species. With a particular focus on coastal and riverine populations of cetaceans, Lindsay has worked on several different species of Sousa, particularly those populations found in Asian waters.  Lindsay is active member of the South East Asian Marine Mammal association and the Asian Marine Mammal Strandings network and sits on a variety of science and conservation organisation boards She is a member of the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group and the Convention of Migratory Species Scientific Council- Aquatic Mammals and Aquatic Wild Meat Working Group. Lindsay is currently the Vice-Chair of the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission. Lindsay is an active member of working groups 1,2,3,6,9,10, and 12.

  • Gianna Minton, General Secretary: Gianna started her career in the field of education in the 1990’s, but has been working in the field of marine mammal research and conservation since 1999. Gianna’s PhD focused on the unique non-migratory humpback whales of the Arabian Sea, and she has conducted field-based cetacean research in Oman, Malaysia and Gabon. She is now based in the Netherlands, where she continues to collaborate with colleagues in her three former homes, and is also involved with cetacean conservation projects with WWF, the IWC and the IUCN. Gianna is a member of the IUCN Marine Conservation Committee, the IUCN-WCPA Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force, and is a Deputy Chair of the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group. She is co-convenor of CCAHD working group 2, and participates in all the other working groups.
  • Cedrick Fogwan, Social Media Coordinator:  Cedrick works with the African Marine Mammal Conservation Organisation (AMMCO) in Cameroon, and recently obtained a Masters degree focusing on the status of Atlantic humpback dolphins in Cameroon.  He contributes weekly posts to the CCAHD Social Media Platforms.
  • Yandeh Salleh Muhammed, Communications Advisor:  Yandeh is based in The Gambia where she founded and coordinates the Gambian Marine and Environmental Initiative (GMECI).  She works as a conservation communications expert, advising organisatiosn around the globe on the most effective strategies to promote conservation among different stakeholder groups, particularly in Africa.
  • Jacobien Viets:  Jacobien is a lawyer based in the Netherlands with a lifetime of expertise on legal and adminsitrative matters. She volunteers with the CCAHD to provide legal and administrative advice and support related to due diligence, contracting, and much more.

Wider partnership and Working Groups:

Over 70 individuals and organsiations from 15 of the 19 Sousa teuszii range countries and beyond participate in an email forum and 11 working groups focusing on different aspects of work towards the conservation of Atlantic humpback dolphins.  These were established to evaluate and prioritize the actions needed to implement conservation projects on the ground, and to create the resources and capacity needed for local stakeholders to engage in research, monitoring, awareness-raising, and conservation planning.  The outcome of these working groups’ systematic prioritization of conservation actions can be found in this report.  The CCAHD is now working to raise funds and implement those priority activities.

The current CCAHD working group themes and convenors are as follows (Note that since their original creation, some working groups have been dissolved or combined).  For more information please contact The CCAHD Secretariat and/or the relevant working group convener: