James Sawyer

James Sawyer

Global Programme Director
World Animal Protection
Country: United Kingdom


James is an experienced executive in the animal welfare and conservation field with over 14 years of disaster and emergency experience. He holds an MSc in Emergency planning and disaster management and is the co-author of the books Animal Management and Welfare in Natural Disasters and Standard Operating Procedures for Staff Working in Disasters.

Recently James has been Executive Director of IFAW UK where he oversaw the development of a new European strategy for disaster management and animals and provided strategic advice to the programme.

James has worked at World Animal Protection (formerly WSPA) as Global Programme Director where he developed and led a team focusing on disaster managements, achieving successes including aid to four million animals in more than 100 disasters, policy success within the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and national level policy change in several countries. James set up and led the ARCH coalition for animal welfare response for the Haiti Earthquake as well as attending many of the major disasters during this period as well as overseeing teams in 4 regions who worked in all areas of the disaster cycle.

James is an expert in remote area management and has led 14 expeditions including two first explorations of the interior of the North Negros Natural Park in the Philippines and the Andravory forest in Madagascar.

James is a trustee of the British Animal Rescue and Trauma Association and a special advisor to Blue Green Future and Ecoflix.

Sheltering and Evacuation of People and Animals

Disasters demonstrate repeatedly there remains planning and response challenges in the evacuation of people with their animals. Whether this be pet owners, peri-urban livestock, hobby farmers or commercial farmers. While behavioural studies and real experience demonstrate the lengths people will go to to evacuate with their animals, or refuse to relocate without them, the provision of adequate planning and resourcing around sheltering and evacuation for animals is poor. This issue causes problems for search and rescue teams, human sheltering professionals, humanitarian, municipalities and governments alikeand yet sees little attention. This session will explore the challenges of this topic, pointing to key consideration and solutions for emergency planners.