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Anita van Breda

Senior Director, Environment and Disaster Management

Anita van Breda
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Anita has a knack for starting from scratch. As a masters’ candidate at Yale, she initiated the School of Forestry and the Environmental Studies’ first Center for Coastal and Watershed Systems. And when she saw the need and opportunity for WWF to build relationships with humanitarian aid organizations to reduce disaster risk and vulnerability, she stepped up to start the organization’s humanitarian partnership work.

Anita works with local and global humanitarian aid agencies, including the American Red Cross, to ensure that WWF’s conservation work is applied to disaster recovery and reconstruction in areas such as those impacted by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. “By applying environmental conservation to humanitarian agendas, we can rebuild together to preserve both livelihoods and natural resources.” Today, with a more scaled up team, Anita is working with humanitarian aid and government institutional policy to advance green disaster recovery from an integrated human and environmental standpoint

The partnership with the American Red Cross has opened the eyes – and doors – of other agencies. “It’s a great day when you get that kind of acknowledgment – and when it creates more demand for a greener and more long lasting, disaster response,“ says Anita.
“By working together we can rebuild communities and the environment upon which they depend, to be stronger, more sustainable, and more resilient to future disasters.”

In The News

Community Based Adaptation – Under African Skies

America Adapts Podcast interviews Anita Van Breda (18:08) on the importance of incorporating environmental and natural resources management into disaster response and recovery.

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More on Anita

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Senior Director


  • MES - Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
  • BA - Biology, Environmental Management Certificate, George Mason University
  • Participatory Rural Appraisal Certificate - Clark University

Areas of Expertise

  • Environmentally responsible disaster recovery
  • Green livelihood reconstruction
  • Marine and coastal conservation policy
  • Community-based marine protected areas and fisheries management
  • Participatory Rural Appraisal
  • Asia, Pacific Islands, and the Caribbean


Advisory Board Member for the Energy and Environment Unit on the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)


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