An Interview with Michael Mutter, OBE – CHEC Governing Board Trustee

Michael Mutter is a qualified Chartered Architect and Town Planner with extensive international urban development experience, including long term on-the-ground experience in Nigeria, India, and most Commonwealth countries. It was only later – in 2011 that he has become a trustee for the Governing Board and has been able to do further work directly for the organisation.

Could you please tell us when you first became involved with CHEC and what attracted you to the organisation?

I am a former senior urban development adviser to the UK Government Department for International Development (DFID), and it was when working as an urban development adviser for DFID that I met Zena Daysh, the founder of CHEC. Zena Daysh convinced me to award DFID research contracts to CHEC, since they could be undertaken internationally with local groups on the ground that understood the human ecology of urban development. This role was confirmed during the time that both Zena and I were in respective positions advising the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), that figured so largely in CHEC’s influence on the world stage.

What field within human ecology are you particularly interested in?

I am particularly interested in the impact of urban development on the environment – because it is vulnerable.

What do you believe is CHEC’s biggest achievement?

Continuity. CHEC was founded in 1969, and the organisation has made a tremendous job across the Commonwealth during all these years.

This year, CHEC is focusing on education as a tool towards sustainability. Why do you believe education could be a key towards a sustainable future?

Education and understanding are fundamental issues for the environment and sustainability.

In your opinion, what environmental issues should CHEC continue to raise awareness of?

Somehow to include the issues surrounding the recent and current unprecedented rate of urbanisation has on the world’s environment, as amplified by Sir Mark Tully in the first Zena Daysh Annual Lecture in 2018, that was chaired by me.

Michael Mutter together with Eva Ekehorn and Sir Mark Tully at last year’s Zena Daysh Inaugural Annual Lecture, where Michael was the Chair of the event.