Members of IUCN are celebrating the announcement of their new president, Ashok Khosla from India. He was running against Purificació Canals and Carlos Manuel Rodríguez in the presidential run-off at the world’s oldest and largest environmental network, held at its World Conservation Congress in Barcelona.
Ashok Khosla will take over the position from outgoing President Valli Moosa, who took up the post four years ago at IUCN’s previous World Conservation Congress in Bangkok, Thailand.
IUCN is a democratic union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and some 10,000 volunteer scientists in more than 150 countries. Meeting in Barcelona for their Members’ Assembly, which runs till tomorrow, members vote on IUCN’s programme of work for the following four years, electing the IUCN President and Council, while also managing the business affairs of the Union.
“Given its critical role in maintaining life - and the systems that support life - conservation of biodiversity now needs at least the same level of attention that other global environmental issues have garnered,” says IUCN’s new President, Ashok Khosla.
“This will have to be mobilized not only by international agencies and governments but also by the scientific community, civil society and the public at large,” adds Khosla. “We must form new partnerships among the best institutions to bring together their different insights and to generate meaningful solutions that deal effectively with the inter-related issues of population, natural resources, environment and development.”
Ashok Khosla is Chairman of Delhi-based Development Alternatives, a social enterprise devoted to promoting commercially-viable, environmentally-friendly technologies for rural communities in the global South. He was earlier a director in the United Nations Environment Programme.