John Richard Sandbrook

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Richard Sandbrook "environmentalist: born Bath 13 August 1946; Managing Director, Friends of the Earth UK 1974-76; Director of the Non-Governmental and Marine Programme, International Institute for Environment and Development 1976-80, Vice-President for Administration 1980-83, Vice-President for Policy 1983-86, Executive Director (Europe) 1986-89, Executive Director 1989-99; OBE 1990; Treasurer and Vice-Chairman, Plantlife 2002-05, Acting Chief Executive 2005; married 1970 Mary Wray (two sons); died London 11 December 2005...

"After Sandbrook left IIED in 1999, he helped to establish the sort of creative partnerships he believed were necessary if poverty and environmental decay were to be successfully tackled. One of these, a spin-off from the Johannesburg Earth Summit in 2002, was a United Nations project, Growing Sustainable Business. This aims to get businesses to invest in development projects both for their own good and that of the poor. Another project which Sandbrook chaired, Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor, has brought together Thames Water, WaterAid, WWF, Care International and others in a scheme which hopes to deliver clean water and sanitation to 10 million people over five years. Incremental change, in Sandbrook's view, was always better than none at all.

"For much of his career, Sandbrook's opinion and advice was sought by senior figures in government, especially in the Overseas Development Administration and its successor, the Department for International Development. He also advised various industries, and performed a similar service for the Prince of Wales, acting in tandem with the Prince's more overtly environmental adviser, Jonathon Porritt. He was a founding trustee of Forum for the Future and adviser to Save the Children...

"From 2002 until earlier this year he was Vice-Chairman and Treasurer of the conservation charity Plantlife, and recently its acting chief executive. From 1999 to 2003 he was also a non-executive director of the Eden Project in Cornwall, and he did much to shape its development. He always maintained his links with Friends of the Earth." [1]

Richard Sandbrook Trust

"A group of Richard’s colleagues and family are exploring the possibility of setting up a charitable trust in Richard’s name to continue to develop some of the ideas that Richard worked on so tirelessly through his whole life.

"This group, chaired by David Runnalls (President of International Institute for Sustainable Development), comprises Tom Burke (Imperial College London), Jonathon Porritt (Co-founder Forum for the Future), Benjamin Sandbrook, Martin Sandbrook, Tim Smit and Caroline Digby (Eden Project) and Camilla Toulmin (Director International Institute for Environment and Development).

"Once it has been legally established, the trustees intend to invite many of the organisations and individuals that Richard was associated with to participate in the development of its activities. If you are interested in being involved or being kept informed, please can you either complete the registration form or send your contact details to This will ensure that you are included in the database for further communications.

"The Eden Project has plans to convert farmhouses on the edge of its site to house the Sandbrook Centre, creating a unique meeting place reflecting Richard's remarkable gift of bringing people together who normally do not talk to each other and are then surprised to find they have much in common.

"The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is piloting an international fellowship programme providing funding for up to 15 mid-career professionals to spend time at IIED and reciprocal visits to partner institutions, to be known as the Richard Sandbrook Fellows.

"Plant Talk magazine is planning a special commemorative edition in memory of Richard in December, taking a decidedly ‘Richard’ look at the world combining conservation with development, commerce and hope. Can you contribute?

"Forum for the Future awards the Richard Sandbrook Memorial Prize to the leadership candidate judged by peers as “most likely to succeed”." [2]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. Richard Sandbrook, independent, accessed April 22, 2009.
  2. Richard Sandbrook Trust, Richard Sandbrook Trust, accessed April 22, 2009.