Mountainfilm

Allan Savory

Allan Savory

After decades of successful work as a resource management consultant on four continents, Allan Savory garnered much-deserved, wide attention and admiration for his March 2013 TED talk on how to fight desertification and reverse climate change. Born in Rhodesia, southern Africa, he pursued an early career as a research biologist and game ranger in the British Colonial Service of what was then Northern Rhodesia (today Zambia) and later as a farmer, game rancher, politician and international consultant, based in Southern Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe). In the 1960s, while working on the interrelated problems of increasing poverty and disappearing wildlife, he made a significant breakthrough in understanding what was causing the degradation and desertification of the world’s grassland ecosystems. His early results in reversing land degradation in a manner that made — rather than cost — money were impressive. But, as he often states, his failures were equally impressive. After serving as a Member of Parliament in the latter days of Zimbabwe’s civil war and as a leader of the opposition to the ruling party, he was exiled in 1979 and emigrated to the United States, where he continued his work through nonprofits Holistic Management and the Savory Institute. He now splits time between the U.S. and Zimbabwe with wife, Jody Butterfield.