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Professor Lee White

Director, National Parks Service (ANPN) of Gabon

Professor Lee White CBE is head of Gabon’s National Parks Service (ANPN). Appointed in 2009 by President Ali Bongo Ondimba, he has overseen the development of ANPN from a nascent parks authority with under 100 employees to a professional parks management agency employing over 800 staff, including a dedicated national parks “gendarmerie” - an armed police force. In addition to managing Gabon’s National Parks and terrestrial protected areas, ANPN has taken a lead role in the fight against illegal fishing and coordinated the planning process which resulted in the creation in January 2018 of 20 marine protected areas covering 27% of Gabon’s EEZ. 

Professor White is an honorary professor at the University of Stirling, who was awarded a CBE in 2011 for services to conservation in Central Africa. His career in the West and Central African forest belt spans 35 years. As a scientist he has published over 100 scientific articles and book chapters and authored and edited 15 books on the ecology and conservation of the African rain forest.

As head of ANPN he is a police officer responsible for the respect of the parks and forestry laws, with hundreds of officers under his command. He has played a key role in the fight against poaching and other illegal natural resource use in Gabon. He is an advisor to the President of Gabon, and a “Chevalier” in the National Order of Merit.