IUCN specialist to deliver Keynote Address at WAZA Conference

Date: 2017/10/02


Jon Paul Rodriguez joins WAZA Conference programme


IUCN Specialist to Deliver Keynote Address at WAZA Conference


The Chair of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission, Jon Paul Rodriguez, will deliver the opening keynote address at the 72nd World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) Annual Conference next month in Berlin.


Rodriguez’s presentation will examine whether the IUCN and its long-standing connection with zoos and aquariums makes an impact on global conservation efforts. 


The IUCN and WAZA have worked together for decades to increase public awareness of conservation issues and improve access to research carried out in zoos and aquariums. WAZA has been a member of IUCN since 1950 and has established strong links between the IUCN Species Programme and the IUCN Species Survival Commission.


“Zoos and aquariums are the forefront of conservation efforts and by working in collaboration with organisations such as the IUCN Species Survival Commission, we can further in-situ and ex-situ conservation efforts and research activities,” said Doug Cress, Chief Executive Officer of WAZA.


Rodriguez was appointed Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission(SSC) last year and is responsible for leading the science-based network of more than 10,000 volunteer experts from almost every country of the world. The IUCN Species Survival Commission compromises over 140 Specialist Groups, Red List Authorities, Task Forces and Sub-Committees. Working in close association with IUCN’s Global Species Programme, SSC’s major role is to provide information to the IUCN on biodiversity conservation, the inherent value of species, their role in ecosystem health and functioning, the provision of ecosystem services, and their support to human livelihoods. 


Rodriguez joined the IUCN in 1991, when he became a member of the Captive Breeding Specialist Group (now called Conservation Planning Specialist Group). In 1996, he started working with national Red Lists, which eventually led to his appointment as Chair of the National Red List Working Group between 2003 and 2009. In 2009 he was named Deputy Chair of SSC and theme leader of the Red List of Ecosystems Working Group of the Commission for Ecosystem Management.


He has won numerous awards for his environmental and conservation efforts, including the prestigious Whitley Award for Bird Conservation, as well as the Premio Fundación Empresas Polar “Lorenzo Mendoza Fleury,” the major award provided by a private institution to distinguished Venezuelan scientists.


Prior to this he co-founded the Provita conservation NGO in Venezuela. He was awarded a Fulbright scholarship for a PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University. He has also authored and co-authored more than 160 publications and peer-reviewed articles.


Other speakers at the 72nd WAZA Annual Conference include Darrel Webber, Chief Executive Officer of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Erik Solheim, Executive Director of United Nations Environment programme, John Scalon, Secretary-General of CITES, and many more leading zoo, aquarium, welfare and conservation experts.


The 72nd Annual WAZA Conference will take place from 15-19 October in Berlin, at the Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm Hotel and is hosted by the three facilities that comprise the Zoologischer Garten AG: Zoo Berlin, Aquarium Berlin and Tierpark Berlin. For further information, please visit: www.waza2017. For the most up to date conference agenda, please visit: bit.ly/2yI6omd


> to overview