A conversation with IUCN Patron and environmental legend, Maurice Strong on his 85th birthday

29 April 2014 | Article

For more than half a century Maurice Strong, IUCN Patron and former IUCN Councillor, as much as anyone on the planet, has been the torchbearer for the cause of sustainable development – as visionary, humanist, teacher, businessman and diplomat, as well as champion global thought and action leader.

His crowning achievement was to curate and manage the 1992 Rio Earth Summit which brought together more than 100 Heads of State to forge a landmark Agenda 21 based consensus, which changed the course of our planet and its people towards a better and brighter future. This in addition to being Secretary General to the first United Nations Conference on Environment in 1972 and the first Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme.

This video was created by Barbara Pyle and Frank Melli to show the measure of the man and the enduring, game-changing nature of his thinking, action and teaching. 

The video has been released today, 29 April, to mark Maurice Strong's 85th birthday with the support of Felix Dodds and Geoffrey Lipman on the launch of the Maurice Strong University Network. This aims to carry his ideas to a global audience through the medium of travel and tourism, which he has always recognized as a force for positive change.

"Maurice Strong has inspired the environment and sustainable development agenda on the global stage for the last 50 years," says IUCN Director General, Julia Marton Lefevre. "IUCN is privileged to have him among our distinguished Patrons of Nature, and I am personally fortunate to consider him a great friend."