Renowned conservation leader Carlos Drews will bring a special international perspective to Geraldton next month when he delivers his keynote presentation at the 2017 WA Threatened Species Forum.
Dr Drews, Executive Director of the Jane Goodall Institute-USA (janegoodall.org), said he was looking forward to “connecting the global-to-local dots” in Western Australia at the Forum from September 7-8. Dr Drews formerly served as the director of the World Wildlife Fund’s global Species Program.
A native of Columbia, Dr Drews has worked on a rich variety of species conservation initiatives throughout his career, including efforts to elevate international wildlife crime to a serious crime on a global scale during his time at WWF. He currently leads a team of more than 250 conservation professionals in Africa and the USA at the Jane Goodall Institute.
Dr Drews said he was thrilled to be a keynote speaker at the 2017 WA Threatened Species Forum.
“I am excited to be finally visiting the Southwest Australia Biodiversity Hotspot,” he said. “It has such a global reputation and I’ve been looking forward to coming here for many years.”
“Australia is like another planet with its unique and fascinating wildlife and yet, concern for species is a uniting theme all around the globe.
“As humans, our tendency to seek connections with nature is common to all and while it sometimes needs a bit more activation and nourishing, in principle it is there in all of us.
“The WA Threatened Species Forum is a catalytic force that activates the seeds of hope in so many of us who care about species conservation.”
Joining Dr Drews as a keynote speaker at the Forum will be Penelope Figgis, the Vice Chair for Oceania of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.
Ms Figgis has long been involved in conservation organisations in Australia, having spent 17 years as Vice President of the Australian Conservation Foundation and periods on the governing councils of the Australian Bush Heritage Fund and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW. She received an Order of Australia award for her services to conservation and the environment in 2006.
She said she was delighted to be meeting with her Western Australian colleagues in Geraldton.
“Western Australia is a dramatic and grand state, and home to some of the great natural areas left on Earth,” Ms Figgis said.
“It is famous for the immense diversity of its flora and unique wildlife, however we all know there are many challenges in safeguarding these wonderful national natural assets and all of the values which they generate.”
This will be the second time the WA Threatened Species Forum will be held in Geraldton, with the inaugural event in 2015 bringing together more than 180 people with a common concern for WA’s animals and plants.
Field trips and networking sessions will be conducted as part of the Forum.
To view the full program, or to register, please visit the WA Threatened Species Forum 2017 website.