WAZA Officially Endorses IUCN Presidential Candidate 

Posted: 11 March 2021

Humanity is at a crucial crossroads. Though there has been some positive progress in biodiversity conservation in some areas, the natural world is still largely under threat. Much more needs to be done to address these issues and drive sustainable and actual change. Biodiversity is facing a dual crisis of rapid climate change and unprecedented biodiversity loss.

With more than one million species at risk of extinction, and the lives of humans inextricably linked to the health of the planet, we need action and strong leadership. Which is why, for the first time in the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (WAZA) 86-year history, we are endorsing a candidate for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Presidency.

WAZA and the IUCN Species Survival Commission invited the three Presidential Candidates, Razan Al Mubarak, Malik Amin Aslam Khan and John Gwilym Robinson, to speak on the Reverse the Red webinars in 2020, to hear their thoughts on biodiversity conservation, their vision for the IUCN Presidency, and to introduce them to the Reverse the Red movement.

While we believe all three to be strong candidates, WAZA is officially endorsing Razan Al Mubarak for the IUCN Presidency. 

Ms Razan Al Mubarak

Ms Al Mubarak has over 20 years of progressive conservation experience, leading a large government agency, an NGO focused on citizen engagement, and an international philanthropic organisation. She is the Managing Director of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD) – the largest environmental regulator in the Middle East, as well as Managing Director of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and Managing Director of Emirates Nature-WWF.

Her life-long love of nature has seen her dedicating her career to wildlife conservation. She has been a strong advocate and supporter of the IUCN for nearly two decades and is committed to making the IUCN the foremost scientific authority on environmental matters. Her fresh perspective and vision for the IUCN Presidency, which aims to involve collaborative work with all constituencies, youth and local communities, with a focus on sustainable development, is vital and aligns with what WAZA and the IUCN Species Survival Commission hope to achieve with the Reverse the Red movement.

Razan Al Mubarak performing a laproscopy on a turtle before release

In her role on the Board at Al Ain Zoo, Ms Al Mubarak experienced first-hand the important role of zoos in outreach and global conservation efforts. She played an instrumental role in managing the collaboration between the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Fossil Rim Wildlife Centre, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, and the Zoological Society of London to successfully reintroduce the scimitar-horned oryx into Chad

WAZA is confident that Razan Al Mubarak will be an outstanding leader as IUCN President and will play a pivotal role in leading the IUCN in the critical decade that lies ahead for conservation. WAZA believes that Ms Al Mubarak represents a much-needed new style of leadership for global conservation, and will be able to inspire, empower and unite people in this role.

Razan Al Mubarak speaking at the IUCN SSC Leadership meeting

We would like to encourage our WAZA members, who are also members of the IUCN, to vote for Ms Al Mubarak in the upcoming IUCN Presidential Elections in September.

To learn more about Ms Al Mubarak, please visit her website here: razanalmubarak.com

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world.

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