Simon Stuart, United Kingdom

16 April 2012 | Article

I worked in the IUCN Secretariat from 1986 until 2008, including as Head of Species Programme, Acting Director General, and, most recently, Senior Species Scientist. My intimate knowledge of the SSC, the Secretariat, and many IUCN Members places me in a unique position to advance IUCN’s agenda on species.

Since 2000, as a result of huge advances in the IUCN Red List, our understanding of biodiversity status and trends is now much improved. Despite some successes, we know that we are not stemming the loss of species, and the potential for biodiversity to provide sustainable benefits to people is being eroded. However, we now have a much more accurate understanding of how to address species loss.

To make headway in the face of such challenges, the SSC must work with a much broader set of partners than ever before to communicate the biodiversity conservation needs, design effective programmes, build political will, and increase the financial and human resources needed for conservation. It must also bring to bear the real power of its volunteer network. As SSC Chair, I would pursue these objectives at global, regional and national levels, in partnership with IUCN Offices, Commissions and Members.

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