Founder and Managing Partner
Althelia Climate Fund GP
Before the launch of Althelia Ecosphere, Christian’s professional background was in commodity structured finance and trading, serving most recently as Director of Environmental Markets & Forestry within the corporate and investment banking division of BNP Paribas. He joined the bank in 2005 to co-manage and develop the client base for environmental products, leading BNP Paribas’ early movement into the forest and land-use space, with a particular focus on Africa and Latin America. Amongst his achievements was the creation of a financing framework for African forest carbon projects with Wildlife Works LLC that led to the creation of the Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project in Kenya.
Before joining the bank, Christian took time out of his professional career to pursue an MSc in Conservation Biology from the Durrell Institute of Conservation & Ecology at the University of Kent (Canterbury). During his time there, he focussed extensively on the nexus between social, economic and environmental challenges. Post-graduate field work was conducted in Botswana on human-wildlife conflict and perceived trade-offs between land use decisions such as small-scale pastoralism, large scale animal husbandry and wildlife conservation in a water-challenged Kalahari landscape. This experience on the ground, along with additional community-level voluntary work conducted in South Africa and Kenya over a one and half year period, highlighted for him the growing importance of securing economically sustainable sources of finance for conservation, as well as the inescapable interdependence between the wellbeing of wildlife and natural ecosystems on the one hand, and growing human populations on the other. A desire to find long term solutions for these pressing challenges were the initial seeds for the concept of Althelia Ecosphere.
In addition to his work with Althelia, Christian serves as a board member for the Earth Innovation Institute (earthinnovation.org) and is a UK trustee for Kenyan NGO Amara Conservation (amaraconservation.org). Christian is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, has contributed as a guest lecturer at Imperial College London and London Business School, and served as a delegate to the Rio Dialogues as part of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio in 2012.