How is WCPA organised in Oceania

For the period 2009-2013 the WCPA Chair reorganised the Commission to have one Vice Chair for the IUCN region of Oceania. However, to reflect the vast distances and differences in land tenures and socio economic factors, as well as the great difficulty of getting people together across such a large region in a voluntary network, the Oceania Vice Chair has appointed Deputies in the Pacific Islands and New Zealand.

The Australia/New Zealand Region currently has some 350 members with the majority in Australia. New Zealand and the Pacific have fewer members but membership is building in the Pacific. The ‘tyranny of distance’ and cost make it difficult to have close contact but hopefully we shall have a strong showing of members at this years World Parks Congress.

The network includes many of the leading figures in biodiversity conservation, protected areas policy and management from government, academia, non-government organisations and consultancies. Although the network has traditionally included senior people with a capacity to volunteer, WCPA has committed to goal of increasing membership among younger conservation professionals who show strong potential to be future leaders.

WCPA in Australia has along with other IUCN Commissions strongly benefitted from the reactivation of the National Committee for IUCN in recent years which has brought with it many opportunities for Commission member participation in meetings.

Penelope Figgis

Penelope Figgis AO


Penelope Figgis AO has been Vice Chair for Oceania since 2005. She is also the Director of the Australian National Committee for IUCN.

A political scientist, Penny has been a senior member of the environment movement for thirty years, including over seventeen years as Vice President of the Australian Conservation Foundation. She has written and lectured on protected areas and World Heritage, innovative nature conservation and sustainable tourism. She has served the boards of the Australian Tourist Commission, the Sydney Olympic Park Authority, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Uluru National Park, Board Member of the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Council, Landcare Australia, Jenolan Caves and NSW Environment Protection Authority.

She has been honoured for her life in conservation by various awards including being made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her services to conservation and the environment in 1994 and in 2006 receiving one of Australia’s highest honours, Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for service to the environment, nature conservation and sustainable tourism.


4 Woolcott St.,Waverton 2060 NSW
Ph: 61 2 99225275
Mob: 0416 364 722 

Email: penelope.figgis@ozemail.com.au

Easter Galuvao

Easter Galuvao


Easter is currently the Biodiversity Adviser at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmment Programme (SPREP). Some of her key responsibilities include providing strategic advice and technical support to Pacific Island Countries on the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its related programmes, coordination of the Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, review and implementation of National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plans (NBSAPs) including the review and monitoring of the Action Strategy for Nature Conservation and Protected Areas in the Pacific Islands region.

She is Samoan and has worked for the Government of Samoa for six years in the areas of environmental management and planning, biodiversity conservation and parks and reserves. Another nine years of her professional career was spent with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Multi-country office in Samoa managing various biodiversity, environment, energy and climate change programmes in the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau including regional projects.


Easter Galuvao
Biodiversity Adviser
Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme
P.O Box 240
Apia, Samoa
T: +685 21929 ext 265
Fax: +685 20231 

Email: easterg@sprep.org   ecgaluvao@gmail.com

Kathy Walls

Kathy Walls


Kathy has been a member of IUCN’s WCPA for nearly twenty years and has contributed to many global marine conservation initiatives. She is one of IUCN’s ocean experts, is the Marine Regional Coordinator for the Polynesia sub region and a technical adviser for World Heritage initiatives.

Kathy is a Council member of the New Zealand Marine Sciences and co-leads a portfolio group on MPAs, established to advise the Council on current and emerging MPA issues. She was the Vice-President of the Society in 2004 – 2006. She has worked on ecosystem based management and species conservation in Fiji and Samoa and on MPAs in New Zealand. Currently she is a senior adviser on invasive species with the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. 


Email: kathy.walls1@gmail.com

WCPA Key contacts in Oceania

Oceania: Penelope.figgis@ozemail.com.au
Mountains and Connectivity: g.worboys@bigpond.com
Science and Management: m.hockings@uq.edu.au
Marine: jon.day@gbrmpa.gov.au
Law and PAs: ben.boer@sydney.edu.au
Economic valuation: nicholas.conner@environment.nsw.gov.au
Tourism and PAs: r.bushell@uws.edu.au
Conservation Planning: bob.pressey@jcu.edu.au
Caves and Karst: caveskarst.iucn@gmail.com
Healthy Parks Healthy People: jhopkins@parks.vic.gov.au
Young Leaders: Rebecca Koss (beccakoss@hotmail.com); Sudeep Jan (janasudeep@gmail.com)
Management effectiveness: fiona.leverington@uq.edu.au