Young Cousteau floats IUCN’s boat

12 July 2011 | International news release

Dedicated marine conservationist Pierre-Yves Cousteau has joined IUCN’s global team of Goodwill Ambassadors.

As someone who has both a great passion for conservation and enormous popularity with audiences of all ages around the world, Pierre-Yves is lending his influential voice in support of IUCN’s vision of “a just world that values and conserves nature”.

“The oceans are being degraded at an alarming rate, says Carl Gustaf Lundin, Director of IUCN’s Marine and Polar Programme. “There is no time to waste in improving the way we manage the marine environment. Pierre-Yves Cousteau, with his passion and integrity, is a fresh and engaging force that will boost our efforts to save the blue planet.”

Goodwill Ambassadors work hand-in-hand with IUCN to raise public awareness and popularize solutions to global environmental challenges, acting as high-level spokespeople.

A diving instructor and ocean-lover, Pierre-Yves is following in the footsteps of his father, world-renowned explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who died in 1997.

Last year, Pierre-Yves founded Cousteau Divers (www.cousteaudivers.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the marine world. Cousteau Divers brings the legacy of Jacques-Yves Cousteau to life, helping divers all over the world contribute to the study and conservation of our oceans and seas.

After studying biochemistry and space studies, both at masters level, Pierre-Yves worked as an intern for NASA in the search for microbial life in extreme environments. He then worked at the European Space Agency as a graduate trainee in science coordination for biology experiments carried out on the International Space Station.

Pierre-Yves explains how his passion for marine conservation was ignited:

“I was nine years-old when I went on my first dive, in the Caribbean. I saw a shark, which seemed very large at the time (perhaps because I was quite small). I remember being torn between fear of this impressive predator and the curiosity of admiring such a beautiful animal. After some hesitation, curiosity won over, and I swam with the shark, in awe of its majestic beauty. Knowledge can help us overcome fear, and curiosity is a wonderful engine of creation.”

Coming from different parts of the world and representing a variety of disciplines, IUCN Goodwill Ambassadors have one thing in common: they are passionate about the environment and use their talents to support IUCN's mission. Pierre-Yves joins American singer-songwriter Alison Sudol and Japanese singer Iruka as fellow Ambassadors.

“I hope that by joining together the unique insight that the diving community has into the state of the marine world with IUCN’s expert networks on marine conservation, we can promote sound decision making regarding the oceans,” says Pierre-Yves.

For more information contact:

Gillian Eborn, Media Relations, tel +41 22 999 0233, e. gillian.eborn@iucn.org

Brian Thomson, IUCN’s Deputy Director of Global Communications
Tel. +41 22 999 0251; Mobile: +41 79 721 8326, e. brian.thomson@iucn.org