DSC 1544

Schannel van Dijken

Conservation International

Bi-cultural New Zealand Dutch/Samoan, van Dijken is a marine ecologist and senior environmental professional with over 20 years of experience across 15+ geographies, including Antarctica, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific. He is a Marine and Heritage Director for Conservation International, National Geographic Explorer, and Polynesian voyager that intimately understands the challenges of our oceans and its communities. His extensive Pacific voyages, national engagements, and field work inform his work with a history of success in designing conservation solutions, fostering/expanding marine protection, leading scientific expeditions, and developing effective cross-cultural partnerships.

He is recognized for spearheading and mainstreaming innovative culture-based environmental education solutions, enabling local storytelling and weaving Indigenous knowledge with science, policy and technology for island-driven conservation impact. Leveraging his experience across diverse fields, scales and strategy design, his thought leadership and insights have guided regional, national, and community-led initiatives. With demonstrated ability in securing multi-million dollar partnerships, designing and managing complex projects, van Dijken thrives on adapting to challenges and on the ground action. He is committed to perpetuating the natural and cultural heritage of our shared Ocean planet.