In 2018 Eduardo Goncalves was diagnosed with a rare neurological illness, TB, and a multi-organ immune disorder disease. It left him disabled, and he was forced to retire as CEO of a major national charity.

So he set up the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting (CBTH) instead … !

In the space of just a few months, he has made trophy hunting probably the biggest animal welfare and conservation issue in Britain. CBTH’s investigations have exposed how some of the world’s most endangered species are being cruelly killed for fun in their thousands.

Eduardo has brought together leading politicians of all political persuasions in support of a ban on trophy imports into the UK. The campaign is backed by national newspapers such as the Daily Mirror and The Times, and some of the country’s best-known public figures, conservation groups around the world, and church and business leaders. Every single national political party included a ban on trophy imports in their 2019 General Election manifestos. A ban was announced in the 2019 Queen’s Speech, and the government held a public consultation on ban proposals which finished in February 2020. The campaign is backed by international figures including William Shatner and Leonardo Di Caprio.

Eduardo is currently leading an international campaign to close a loophole in CITES wildlife trade laws which controversially allow trophy hunters to shoot critically endangered animals. The campaign is supported by dozens of conservation groups as well as Members of the European Parliament across the EU and political parties. He is also working with wildlife and animal welfare groups across Europe to ban hunting trophy imports throughout the EU, and is assembling a group of lawyers and senior politicians to push for an international treaty banning all trophy hunting around the world.

Previously, Eduardo set up SOS Lynx – a successful campaign group launched to stop the extinction of the Iberian Lynx. The animal, which is Europe’s only endemic big cat, is the world’s most endangered feline. Its population crashed to less than 100 in 2000, of which only 28 were breeding age females. It seemed destined to be the first extinction of a big cat on earth since the sabre-tooth tiger disappeared in pre-historic times. SOS Lynx campaigned tirelessly for national and international authorities to support an emergency breeding programme. Since then, hundreds of Iberian Lynxes have been reintroduced back into the wild, and the species is no longer classed as critically endangered.

Eduardo co-wrote ‘The Algarve Tiger’, the first book ever written about the Iberian Lynx which tells the dramatic story of its plight, and what needs to happen for it to survive in the long-term. Eduardo is also co-author of ‘The Fox, The Hound and the Human’ which tells the story of ongoing illegal fox cub-hunting in Britain, and how as many as 10,000 fox cubs and 3,000 hounds are killed each year by hunts in the UK. He has created a wildlife refuge in southern Portugal for otters, beech martens, badgers, genets, mongoose and wild boar.

Whilst CEO of the League Against Cruel Sports, Eduardo led a successful campaign to stop plans to bring back fox-hunting. He also helped persuade the government to increase jail sentences for dog-fighting after leading a major undercover investigation which revealed how criminal gangs across Europe were breeding and shipping dogs into the UK for organised fights with prizes of up to £50,000.

His wide-ranging career includes spells as a House of Commons researcher, radio presenter, investigative journalist, and the director of a government department in the Middle East. In the run-up to the Paris Climate Summit, Eduardo was International Communications Director at The Climate Group – an influential organisation set up with the support of the then Prime Minister Tony Blair, as well as business and political leaders from around the world. The Climate Group’s campaign led to the organisation being deemed one of the most influential players in the climate negotiations. Its work with partners brought together a mass coalition of over 1 million businesses and state and regional governments in support of the ambitious deal that was eventually agreed by world leaders.

At the Paris Climate Summit with California Governor Jerry Brown and heads of government

Prior to this he spent several years with WWF, working first on forest conservation and then on sustainability. He is an expert on cork forests (Eduardo owns and manages a small cork woodland in Portugal), and coordinated WWF International’s “One Planet Living” initiative. He is author of The WWF Pocket Book of One Planet Living, and helped develop the first global footprint calculator for consumers.

As a Director of Abu Dhabi’s Environment Agency, he led the UAE government’s ‘New 7 Wonders of Nature’ bid. Despite strong competition from the Amazon, the Great Barrier Reef, Kilimanjaro and 400 other contenders, the UAE’s BuTinah Island came runner-up (to the Amazon) – and won the award for “best campaign”.

Worried at the growth of racist abuse aimed at immigrants in the UK, in 2015 he became the first-ever General Election candidate of Portuguese origin to run for Parliament, standing in Rugby where a popular Portuguese restaurant had recently been fire-bombed.

When he left University, Eduardo produced and presented the first-ever dedicated environmental news slot to be broadcast on UK commercial radio before working as a journalist with some of Britain’s leading titles, including the Sunday Times, Guardian and Observer. He was approached by various newspapers after a stint at CND where he was not only the organisation’s official spokesperson but also investigated and exposed some of the most startling revelations about the nuclear age. This included the cover-up of an accident involving a nuclear bomber at Greenham Common (which forced the government to release a report showing radioactive contamination in the local community that it had kept secret for over 40 years) and – perhaps more shocking still – details of Britain’s secret programme of radiation experiments on human guinea pigs.

Speaking in Parliament about dog-fighting

He is co-author of Blueprint for a Nuclear Weapon-Free World – which won the support of a number of Nobel laureates and nominees – and The Campus Connection, a book which revealed widespread and sometimes secret military research going on in British universities.

He is an accredited animal-assisted therapist, has been practising permaculture for 25 years, and supports West Ham Utd and Sporting CP.

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