Jeffrey McNeely, USA

16 April 2012 | Article

After spending 30 years at IUCN before retiring as Chief Scientist in 2009, I have continued to work on protected areas issues with the Global Environment Facility, the Governments of Japan and Tanzania, the Asian Development Bank, and many others.

Building on my field experience (12 years in Asia), administrative experience in organizing two World Parks Congresses (Bali, 1982 and Caracas, 1992), and publications and conference presentations on protected areas (in over 80 countries), I now hope to draw on my work on other aspects of sustainable development (economics, biodiversity, invasive species, agriculture, law, diplomacy, forestry, energy, water, and climate change, among others) to help make protected areas essential to modern societies.

Recognizing the cultural importance of nature, I support ongoing work on protected areas for urban people and for those living in and around protected areas. I see major challenges for protected areas in a time of rapid changes in economic conditions, climate, and human demographics, all of which will contribute to conflicts over land and resource use. As WCPA Chair, I would work closely with the IUCN Protected Areas Programme, IUCN Members, the other five Commissions, the relevant international agreements (especially CBD) and others to address such challenges.

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