I have worked for over 40 years, mainly in Africa (and Asia and the Americas), and in over 20 countries with a focus on nature-based solutions and community based natural resource management that emphasizes local decentralized governance, respect for local and indigenous knowledge and institutions, and on learning. My work has embraced community conservation, dryland natural resource management, collaborative management, Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR, as an early pioneer in the 1990s), agroforestry, and ecosystem risk assessment and how this can support ecosystem-based approaches to adaptation and disaster risk reduction. I am a strong proponent of participatory approaches to environmental and livelihood security focusing on customary and local knowledge and institutions, and with local and national institutional capacity building, together with rights (governance, accountability, representation). I have been a pioneer of community/village environmental action planning approaches at local and landscape levels (e.g. Sudan, Somaliland, Uganda); and of FLR (Shinyanga, Turkana in East Africa in the 1980s). I have worked with and lead work on the Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) as major entry point for ecosystem risk assessment for climate change (especially ecosystem-based adaptation and disaster risk reduction), other risks (e.g. conversion, degradation, invasives), environmental safeguards, land/water use and economic planning. I firmly believe in focusing on local learning for influence in terms of action learning and research on governance, community conservation, benefit sharing, natural resource management, forest conservation, and linkages with economic growth (and livelihood improvement). I have published widely, with emphasis on practical lessons, experiences and learning with a focus on how rural people can benefit from conservation.