I have lived and breathed wildlife and international politics and law almost every day for the past 33 years. As an international negotiator and independent academic with a PhD in wildlife policy and law, my words have been tuned to inform policy audiences in over 20 different international conservation processes. I haven’t stood on pulpits or sought awards or media. Mine has been the path away from the limelight, researching, writing, a negotiating to secure better outcomes for wildlife across the world.
After losing my home, farm, and wildlife sanctuary to the unprecedented and climate-driven Australian wildfires, I am dedicating the next decade to acting as an advocate for communities (human and non-human) affected by unfolding climate chaos. With this change of focus, I have joined the Planet Politics Institute, to reflect this radically new direction for my life and writing in the period to come.
Professionally, my career has been a winding path of focused international battles.
I campaigned for a park to protect southern right whales at the head of the Great Australian Bight and I drafted and lead negotiations to secure the largest whale and dolphin protection agreement across the Pacific Islands region, supporting the Pacific Islands and Territories governments to face down the pressure of the Australian and US governments in the region.
I wrote the proposal that secured two non-government organisations (NGOs) being accredited with consultative status to the UN Economic and Social Council. I designed the process and secured the rights of NGOs to have standing in the UN Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). I also wrote three landmark reports on the relationships NGOs have with the CMS, as well as the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, including the critical importance of including Indigenous Peoples in decision-making processes.
With my husband, Geoff Prideaux, I campaigned to prevent oil and gas exploration threatening my island home with noise and oil pollution, and have supported Geoff to write and secure the adoption of the world’s first international guidelines for Environmental Impact Assessments for Marine Noise–generating Activities. Along the way, we deeply influenced the shape and process of the new Australian agency for Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management.
I worked within a core team who secured the protection of more than twenty species in international legal processes, ensuring they could not be legally hunted or traded and that their habitat must be protected. I have championed the rights of animals in internal UN law and I have drafted and led the negotiations for the first international twelve-year programme of work for cetaceans. I have secured the focused attention of CMS on the urgent issue of devastating levels of aquatic wild meat harvesting, and now serve as the Chair of the Convention on Migratory Species Aquatic Wild Meat Working Group. I am also a Member of the IUCN WCPA Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group, and the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Area Taskforce.
My writing has followed a similar path, reacting and responding to the evolving campaign threads in my professional life. I have published four books:
FIRE: A Message from the Edge of Climate Catastrophe, Wakefield Press, 2023
Tales from the River: An Anthology of River Literature (with Donna Mulvenna), Stormbird Press, 2019
Birdsong After the Storm: Averting the Tragedy of Global Wildlife Loss, Stormbird Press, 2018
Global Environmental Governance, Civil Society and Wildlife, Routledge, 2017
All Things Breathe Alike: A Wildlife Anthology, (with Donna Mulvenna and Jessica Groenendijk), Stormbird Press, 2018
And one chapter for a Dark Mountain anthology:
Birdsong in the Bardo, Dark Mountain, Requiem, Issue 19, Spring 2021 (pp 38-45)
Along the way, I have published my shorter musings online through openDemocracy, Global Policy, Live Encounters, AlterNet, Wildlife Articles, Dark Mountain, and Ecologist (listed the the right-hand column). My academic articles, policy briefings, and technical papers are listed below.
- International species conservation policy
- Ecological justice and ecological governance
- Global civil society in ‘track one’ and ‘track two’ international diplomacy.
Environmental impact assessment guidelines for offshore petroleum exploration seismic surveys. Prideaux, G. & Prideaux, M. 2015. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal
Wildlife NGOs: From Adversaries to Collaborators. Prideaux, M. 2015. Global Policy, 3, 4: 379-388
Wildlife NGOs and the CMS Family: Untapped Potential for Collaborative Governance. Prideaux, M. 2014. Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy. 17, 4: 254-74.
Proactive Cetacean Conservation in the Midst of ‘Data Deficiency’: Progress of the Convention on Migratory Species Cetacean Agreement in the Pacific Islands Region. Miller, C. & Prideaux, M. 2013. Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy. 16, 1: 41-56.
Beyond the state: Building regimes for species protection in all oceans. Prideaux, M. 2003. Hawke Research Institute, University of South Australia.
Discussion of a regional agreement for small cetacean conservation in the Indian Ocean. Prideaux, M. 2002. California Western International Law Journal. 32: 101-38.
Policy briefings, technical papers, intergovernmental documents, and formal statements
Formal statement, Australian Senate Inquiry into Australia’s Faunal Extinction Crisis, September 29, 2020
Conservation Collaboration: Strengthening the Relationship between CMS and its NGO Partners when the world needs us the most. Prideaux, M. and Mulvenna, D. 2019. UNEP/CMS/COP13/Inf.33, 13th Convention on Migratory Species Conference of the Parties
Considering Collaborative Governance: Nongovernmental organisations, the Convention on Migratory Species and the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. Prideaux, M. 2015. Indo-Pacific Governance Research Centre, Issue 1, August 2015
Ramsar and Wetland NGOs: A Report of the World Wetland Network for Ramsar CoP12. Prideaux, M., Rostron, C. and Duff, L. 2015. UK: World Wetland Network/Australia: Wild Migration
A Natural Affiliation: Developing the Role of NGOs in the Convention on Migratory Species Family. Prideaux, M. 2014. UNEP/CMS/COP11/Inf.15, 11th Convention on Migratory Species Conference of the Parties
A Community Consultation Model for Offshore Petroleum Exploration Proposals. Prideaux, M. and Prideaux, G. 2014. Australia: Wild Migration
Seismic Seas: Understanding the impact of offshore seismic petroleum exploration surveys on marine species. Prideaux,G. and Prideaux M. 2013. Australia: Wild Migration
CMS Resolutions adopted during the 10th CMS Conference of the Parties related to Cetaceans and their habitats in the Pacific Islands Region. Prideaux, M. (for the CMS Secretariat) 2012. CMS/PIC/MoS3/Doc.6.1, 3rd Meeting of Signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding for the Conservation of Cetaceans and their Habitats in the Pacific Islands Region
The role of ecological networks for conserving cetacean habitat in the Pacific Islands Region. Prideaux, M. (for the CMS Secretariat) 2012. CMS/PIC/MoS3/Doc.6.2, 3rd Meeting of Signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding for the Conservation of Cetaceans and their Habitats in the Pacific Islands Region
Analysing Gaps and Options for Enhancing Elephant Conservation in Central Africa. Lindsay, K., Joyeux, C., Prideaux, M. and Cobb, S. 2011. UNEP/CMS/COP10/Inf.10.27, 10th Convention on Migratory Species Conference of the Parties
Towards a CMS Global Programme of Work for Cetaceans. Prideaux, M. 2011. UNEP/CMS/COP10/Inf.10.31, 10th Convention on Migratory Species Conference of the Parties
Migratory Marine Species. Prideaux, M. (for the CMS Secretariat) 2009. UNEP/CMS/COP9/Inf.9.26, 9th Convention on Migratory Species Conference of the Parties
Facilitating greater collaboration between CMS Cetacean Agreements. Prideaux, M. (for the CMS Secretariat) 2009. CMS/PIC/MoS2/Doc.8.2, 2nd Meeting of Signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding for the Conservation of Cetaceans and their Habitats in the Pacific Islands Region
Please note: I do retain Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, but rarely visit them. My social interaction is now focused through Instagram.