Bas leads WWF’s work on wildlife conservation in Africa, focusing primarily on elephants, great apes, and rhinos. The most exciting part of protecting these charismatic, flagship species is that by protecting those, the protected areas and wider ecosystems on which they depend are also protected. His work entails landscape planning, protected area management, law enforcement, community-based natural resource management, and the monitoring of species populations over time and space. Given the current poaching crisis on the continent, a particular focus is given to reinforcing protection efforts in WWF’s priority landscapes and fighting wildlife crime.
Bas first started working in Africa in 1996 doing large mammal and socio-economic baseline surveys. These surveys laid the foundation for the creation of the 3,700 sq. mile Minkebe National Park, one of the last strongholds for the African forest elephant.
From there, Bas led the Gamba program along the coast of Gabon, home to the world’s most important nesting site for leatherback turtles, surfing hippos and elephants on the beach, followed by positions as conservation director for Gabon and for the Central Africa region. Before joining his wife in the US in 2014, he led the joint WWF/TRAFFIC Central Africa wildlife crime initiative based out of Yaounde, Cameroon.