Born: Aprill 11, 1959. He has a background in Agricultural and Development Economics. Following post-graduate studies in the former USSR, he began his career in 1984, as a high school teacher in Kenya, where he taught Agriculture, Mathematics and Physical Education for 4 years. In 1988, Tommy moved with his family to the UK, where he began practicing Yoga for, as a means to dealing with the challenges of living in London with a famioly of 3 children, at the time. During Chirstmas 1990 and New Year 1991, Tommy stayed in a Yoga Ashram in Maharashtra, India, where for the first time, he experienced the transformative power of a daily practices of chanting, asanas, selfless service, meditation and observance of silence. Tommy left India, transformed and with a strong desire to return to his home country. In 1992, one year after the onset of civil conflict in Sierra Leone, Tommy founded the Environmental Foundation for Africa (EFA) as a charity in the UK, to create awareness about the environmental impacts of the conflict and the unregulated and destructive mineral mining industry which fuelled the conflict, and to empower the local people to protect the integrity of nature. In 1995 Tommy moved back to Sierra Leone where he set up a pilot program of land reclamation and reforestation until 1997, when the deteriorating security situation made further work impossible. He moved to Liberia in 1997 and established the EFA’s Liberia Program, to address the environmental impacts of hundreds of thousands of refugees and the internally displaced in Liberia. From 1998 Tommy traveled extensively in the West Africa sub-region studying and reporting on the nature and extent of the threats to the Upper Guinea Forest Ecosystem. In 2016, he joined BirdLife International as Team Leader for the Guinean Forests of West Africa, Regional Implementation Team, supporting biodiversity conservation action in 11 countries across West and Central Africa.
Tommy is a member of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication since 1996 and currently a member of IUCN-CEC’s Global Steering Committee, serving as its Regional Chair for West and Central Africa. He is also an alumni and Senior Associate of the Cambridge University’s Climate Leadership Program. In 2003-2007, Tommy was a member of the United Nations Security Council’s Panel of Experts monitoring economic sanctions on Liberia, with the specific task of assessing the socio-economic, ecological and humanitarian impacts of the sanctions.
During all the years of service to mother nature, continued practice of yoga and doing the best to apply the teachings and principles from his practices, have been the centre-piece of his personal, family, professional and social life. In 2018, Tommy completed the month-long Yoga Teacher Training Certification at the Sivananda Ashram in upstate New York, and has been offering yoga classes in Sierra Leone, while working to create a training facility for promoting the teaching and practice of Yoga in Africa.
Conference: Spirituality in Nature
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