uses diplomatic skills to promote global diversity, especially in island communities.

12 Otto Close, off Kirkdale, London SE26 4NA

Telephone: 44(0)208693 3584   Mobile: 44(0)7939 301 055


A current CV may be viewed or downloaded here.

The main skills are policy analysis, negotiating and lobbying, reporting and networking (fuller list below
*). BioDiplomacy interprets "diversity" to include the natural world's habitats and species and the diversity of human physical, cultural and social artefacts; eg products, languages, the built environment and social systems.

Biodiplomacy has five strategic objectives (and related activities):

1 To support GIN and the website as a global islands resource.

  • encouraging the governments and diplomatic services of all island and archipelagic states to regard the website as a key resource (also continental states with significant island communities and overseas territories);
  • providing material for the website, including policy discussions and reference tools, and encouraging others to do so;
  • helping to recruit new GIN partners

2 To promote better understanding of small islands and island communities.

  • Finding cost-effective ways (complementary to GIN's work) to compile and disseminate island-related material
  • Finding and funding an editorial team for a "World Atlas of Island Diversity"
  • Building links to overseas island community groups in the UK and throughout the Commonwealth

3 To spread awareness of island models of sustainable development.

  • Compiling examples of adaptive social evolution in island communities and relating these to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals;
  • Helping island communities prevent their marginalisation in national, regional and global policy-making on development, environmental and information issues

4 To improve access for island and other overseas communities to UK skills and resources concerning biodiversity.

  • Facilitating overseas contacts with the UK's biodiversity resources (with London, Edinburgh, Cambridge and Bristol as focal cities)
  • Helping to track and translate for non-bureaucrats HMG's development and environmental policy and funding processes

5 To promote UK involvement with environmental issues in China.

  • Developing initiatives which draw on UK and Chinese strengths
  • Helping organizations support China's natural and cultural diversity


BioDiplomacy started after Iain Orr (b. 6 December 1942) retired from the FCO on becoming 60.

His career included extensive work in China (Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai - Consul-General 1987-90), with other postings in Dublin, Wellington and Accra. His work in Environment Policy Department (1998-2002) centred on the UK's Overseas Territories. He organised the innovative conference A Breath of Fresh Air at London Zoo in 1999. A multi-media resource pack (about environmental issues in the UK's OTs) based on that conference won a Highly Commended award from the Geographical Association in 2002. As leader of the FCO's Biodiversity Team, he was closely involved in policy and project work on the CBD, CITES, the International Whaling Commission, forestry issues, the establishment of the World Conservation Monitoring Centre as part of the UN Environment Programme and arranging support by HMG for UNEP's Great Apes Survival Project.

BioDiplomacy is a consultancy with a difference. It is ready to undertake work associated with the range of skills* developed during a career in the diplomatic service in which China, islands and natural and cultural diversity wove a pattern as distinct as any tartan. So far it is an individual consultancy (that may change), but it can draw on an unusual range of collaborators with complementary skills from anthropology to zoology ( and many in between). BioDiplomacy's rates vary, responding to market signals and the opportunities to support BioDiplomacy's core values. References are available.
Current examples of Biodiplomacy work relating to its objectives include:

Reporting specific topics from the 3-4 March 03 Conference at London Zoo on "Biodiversity after Johannesburg"

Attending and reporting generally on the conference "A Sense of Direction" (Bermuda 22-27 March)

Promoting a collaborative project with Mark O'Connor (Australian environmental poet): Celebrating Fragments of Paradise - the Arts and Crafts and the Environment Charters in the UK's Overseas Territories

Preparing an analysis of the contribution of island states and territories to global biodiversity

Arranging the visit to the UK in April of Professor Wang Sung (Chinese Academy of Sciences), when he will deliver the 2003 Edinburgh Medal Address at the Edinburgh International Science Festival

Collecting material for a dictionary of the global environment and for a series of specialist anthologies: Albatross Alphabet, Cetacean Citations, Coral Reefs, Islands, London's Trees, The UK's Overseas Territories, Primate Personality. Offers to contribute material for any of these compilations are welcome: they are designed to be resources for all those trying to support good environmental governance and global biodiversity.

Diplomatic skills include:
policy formulation and analysis, negotiating, listening, lobbying, trade promotion, providing maps around bureaucracies in the UK and overseas, sourcing and validating information, networking, project writing and management, media and cultural work, scientific exchanges, promoting charities, meeting and accompanying overseas visitors and arranging and reporting on their programme for sponsors, organizing events (receptions, banquets, workshops, seminars, conferences, launches) and guestlists, speaking, sourcing other skills, fund-raising, fufilling representational and service roles from waiter to master of ceremonies, courtier or Ambassador; serving political masters by providing objective analysis and advice.


12 Otto Close, off Kirkdale, London SE26 4NA

Telephone: 44(0)208693 3584   Mobile: 44(0)7939 301 055