West Asia Regional Councillors
Samira Omar Asem - Kuwait
Deputy Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee of Council
Dr. Samira Omar Asem has more than three decades experience in conservation of renewable natural resources at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR). Her career focuses on food technology and wildlife conservation as well as restoration and remediation of environmentally damaged terrestrial ecosystems.
Currently, she is leading the Kuwait Environmental Remediation Program of the United Nations Compensation Commission (UNCC), which has made a major contribution towards remediating and restoring war-damaged ecosystems.
She has been contributing to furthering IUCN’s Mission through collective and collaborative efforts with stakeholders, NGOs and Governmental institutions. As Chairperson of the IUCN National Committee of Kuwait, she has been involved in several activities at international and regional levels.
As a Regional Councillor, Dr. Omar would like to further extend her collaboration to work closely with Members of the IUCN in the West Asia Region and to enhance their contribution to biodiversity conservation. She is committed to fulfill her duties as Regional Councillor and to promote IUCN activities within the region. Dr. Omar’s mission is to support and assist Members of the IUCN to implement the IUCN Programme and to have a strong and active role in the region.
Malik Amin Aslam Khan - Pakistan
Vice-President of IUCN
I have had a very enriching and diverse interaction with IUCN throughout my career progression from a pure researcher to a policy practitioner and politician. This has allowed me to not only appreciate the strengths of this unique environmental movement, with its committed cadres and their selflessly devoted energy, but also critically observe its weaknesses in influencing global policy action on the environmental front.
This long interaction with IUCN ranges from working together on a host of environmental policy initiatives, partnering in the conservation of vanishing mangroves, promoting species preservation through trophy hunting in the Northern Areas of Pakistan and collaborating on the rescue of a threatened snow leopard cub “Leo” which is now the pride of the Bronx Zoo. All of this encapsulates a relationship harboring a deep understanding of IUCN and its complex working.
Looking into the future, I envision this truly unique organization transforming to fulfill its, yet unrealized, promise. IUCN urgently needs to improve its sync with the real world by strengthening its grass roots advocacy role while effectively influencing policy makers and avoid stagnating as a body preaching to the already converted. It has the potential to lead the world searching for a “green economy” - but what it requires is a strategic realignment to energize and channel the invaluable resources at its command. I hope to be able to contribute towards that.
Mohammad Shahbaz - Jordan
Chair of the Governance and Constituency Committee of Council
The essence of volunteerism has interested me ever since my early youth. In the context of the IUCN, I find myself entirely satisfied serving under the umbrella of conserving nature. In conservation self satisfaction is the key reason that makes us tick, hence, moving forward with the Union to new challenges.
In Barcelona, as a nominee for Council, I had my ideal dream manifested in my speech delivered during the elections. Later, I found reality forces its way, hence, one compromises some ideals.
Working as a Councillor (2008-2012), the focus was on my priorities to promote the Union, and to secure future engagement with the private sector, in addition to the membership of Palestine in the IUCN, following UNESCO’s approval of Palestine as a full member. The Private Sector Engagement Strategy is now being presented to the membership for approval.
My agenda for the coming period is galvanized in the following:
Enhance the visibility of the Union globally;
Contribute towards expanding the Union’s financial position;
Support Commissions, particularly in the budgetary framework.
My aim is an even better Union for nature.