Tom Clements





I am a passionate conservationist who has designed, led and managed biodiversity, climate change and development policy initiatives and programmes for two decades, mostly in Southeast Asia, but with experience in Africa and South America. This includes 16 years (2001-2008 and 2012-2017) based in Asia, where I led programmes and worked with host country governments and partners (Brazil, Cambodia, Central Africa, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Timor-Leste). Through this period, I have witnessed and documented the profound changes that our society and consumption is causing to the natural world. Yet I have also seen that if civil society, private sector and governments can come together, it is possible to achieve a different development trajectory, one that benefits both people and nature.



I am interested in how incentives for environmental conservation operate and affect human behaviour across multiple scales and different institutional arrangements. Over the past 10 years I have worked on the design, implementation and evaluation of conservation and development projects throughout Southeast Asia, including community conservation, Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) type mechanisms, land reform and protected area management. My experience has taught me that there are no panaceas in conservation and development, and that achieving locally-appropriate solutions requires an in-depth understanding of how incentives, motivations and politics operate across multiple scales.



My research focuses on understanding the impacts of conservation and development projects, and how project design affects the behaviour of local people, government institutions, and organisations. This includes application of rigorous impact evaluation methods to investigate both environmental and social outcomes of conservation interventions. I use a combination of quantitative and qualitative tools to then understand the changes in local attitudes, behaviour and institutions that led to the observed outcomes. Finally, we have used of behavioural economic games to investigate how people respond to different environmental policies.




2017-2020. Senior Director – Europe, Wildlife Conservation Society. WCS’s senior programmatic representative in the UK and Europe. Led the development of the EU’s strategic approach to conservation in Asia (Larger than Tigers). Principal Investigator on a grant from the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) Measuring impacts of conservation interventions on human wellbeing and the environment in Northern Cambodia.

2014-2017. Regional Director, Wildlife Conservation Society. Managed and provided strategic direction for WCS’s Southeast Asia Archipelago programme, covering WCS’s Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Southeast Asia Marine programmes.

2012-2013. Director, Wildlife Conservation Society – Cambodia Program. Managed the Cambodia Country Programme and led on the development of a new Southeast Asia regional policy program for WCS.

2008-2012. Research and Policy Advisor, Wildlife Conservation Society, UK. Developed a long-term research program to analyse the relationship between human well-being and conservation in Cambodia and Tanzania with Imperial College London and University College London, funded by ESRC-DFID.

2008-2012. PhD, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge. Thesis: Money for Something? Investigating the effectiveness of biodiversity conservation interventions in the Northern Plains of Cambodia.

2009-2011. Advisor, Forestry Administration, Royal Government of Cambodia. Lead advisor on the development of the REDD+ and forest policy in Cambodia.

2002-2008. Technical Advisor, Wildlife Conservation Society – Cambodia Program. Designed and managed a 7-year full-size UNDP-GEF project aiming to establish effective models of biodiversity conservation across the Northern Plains landscape of Cambodia.

2000-2002. Researcher at Oxford Forestry Institute, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford. Forestry Research in the Brazilian Amazon, Malaysia, the Philippines and the UK.

1997-2000. BA (Hons) Biological Sciences, Oxford University. 1st Class. Undergraduate research project on mahogany in the Brazilian Amazon.




Beauchamp, E., Woodhouse, E., Clements, T. and Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2018) “Living a good life”: conceptualizations of well-being in a conservation context in Cambodia. Ecology and Society, 23 (2).

Beauchamp, E., Clements, T. and Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2018) Exploring trade-offs between development and conservation outcomes in Northern Cambodia. Land Use Policy, 71, 431-444.

Beauchamp, E., Clements, T. and Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2018) Assessing Medium-term Impacts of Conservation Interventions on Local Livelihoods in Northern Cambodia. World Development, 101, 202-218.

Woodhouse, E., Homewood, K.H., Beauchamp, E., Clements, T. et al. (2017) Understanding human well-being for conservation: a locally driven, mixed-methods approach. pp. 97-122. In Bunnefeld, N., Nicholson, E. and Milner-Gulland, E.J. (eds) Decision-Making in Conservation and Natural Resource Management: Models for Interdisciplinary Approaches. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Fry, B.P., Agarwala, M., Atkinson, G., Clements, T, et al. (2017) Monitoring local well-being in environmental interventions: a consideration of practical trade-offs. Oryx 51 (1), 68-76.

Travers, H., Clements, T. and Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2016) Predicting responses to conservation interventions through scenarios: A Cambodian case study. Biological Conservation, 204, 403-410

Carrasco, L.R., et al. (2016) Five challenges to reconcile agricultural land use and forest ecosystem services in Southeast Asia. Conservation Biology, 30(5), 962-971.

Clements, T. and Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2015) The impact of PES and Protected Areas on local livelihoods and forest conservation in Northern Cambodia. Conservation Biology, 29(1), 78-87.

Travers, H., Winney, K. Clements, T., et al. (2015) A tale of two villages: An investigation of conservation-driven land tenure reform in a Cambodian Protection Forest. Land Use Policy, 43, 186-196.

Woodhouse, E., et al. (2015) Guiding principles for evaluating the impacts of conservation interventions on human well-being. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Series B, 370, 20150103.

Clements, T., et al. (2014) Impacts of protected areas on local livelihoods in Cambodia. World Development, 64(S1), S125-S134

Milner-Gulland, E.J., et al. (2014) Accounting for the impact of conservation on human well-being. Conservation Biology, 28, 1160-1166.

Ingram, J.C., Wilkie, D.S., Clements, T., et al. (2014) Evidence of Payments for Environmental Services as a mechanism for supporting biodiversity conservation and rural livelihoods. Ecosystem Services, 7, 10-21.

Clements, T., et al. (2013). An evaluation of the effectiveness of a direct payment for biodiversity conservation: the Bird Nest Protection Program in the Northern Plains of Cambodia. Biological Conservation, 157, 50-59.

O’Kelly, H., et al. (2013). Identifying conservation successes, failures and future opportunities; assessing recovery potential of wild ungulates and tigers in eastern Cambodia. PLoS ONE, 7(10), e40482.

Gardner, T.A., et al. (2013). A framework for integrating biodiversity concerns into national REDD+ programmes. Biological Conservation, 154, 61-71.

Clements, T., et al. (2013). Vultures in Cambodia: population, threats and conservation. Bird Conservation International, 23(1), 7-24.

Evans, T., Arpels, M. and Clements, T. (2012). Pilot REDD activities in Cambodia are expected to improve access to forest resource use rights and land tenure for local communities. pp. 73-82. In: Naughton-Treves, L. and Day, C. (eds) Lessons about Land Tenure, Forest Governance and REDD+. UW-Madison.

Travers, H., Clements, T., Keane, A. and Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2011). Incentives for Cooperation: the effects of institutional controls on common pool resource extraction in Cambodia. Ecological Economics, 71, 151-161.

Clements, T. (2010). Reduced Expectations: the political and institutional challenges of REDD+. Oryx, 44, 309-310. (invited editorial).

Clements, T., et al. (2010). Direct payments for biodiversity conservation: comparison of three schemes from Cambodia. Ecological Economics, 69, 1283-1291.

Nicholson, E., et al. (2009). Priority research areas for ecosystem services in a changing world. Journal of Applied Ecology, 46, 1139-1144.

Rawson, B.M., Clements, T. and Hor, N.M. (2008). Status and Conservation of Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbons (Nomascus gabriellae) in Seima Biodiversity Conservation Area, Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia. pp 387-408. In: Lappan, S., Whittaker, D. and Geissmann, T. (eds) The Gibbons: new perspectives on small ape socioecology and population biology.

McShea, W.J. et al. (2005). Finding a needle in the haystack: Regional analysis of suitable Eld’s deer (Cervus eldi) habitat in Southeast Asia. Biological Conservation, 125, 101-111.

Bailey, N, et al. (2003). Modelling soil series data to facilitate targeted habitat restoration: a polytomous logistic regression approach. Journal of Environmental Management, 67, 395-407.

Brown, N.D., Jennings, S.B. and Clements, T. (2003). The ecology, silviculture and biogeography of mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla): a critical review of the evidence. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 6, 37-49.