IUCN welcomes Obama's choice

24 December 2008 | News story

IUCN welcomes Dr. Jane Lubchenco as the future head of the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA, an active government agency member of and partner with IUCN, is a branch of the US government with a mission to understand and predict changes in Earth’s environment and to conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet economic, social, and environmental needs.

"This is a remarkable choice by President-elect Obama. Dr. Lubchenco truly understands the urgency of the threats facing the oceans today, from climate change, ocean acidification and overfishing to pollution," says Carl Gustaf Lundin, Head of IUCN’s Global Marine Programme. "She has been an outspoken advocate for an ecosystem-based management approach that includes strong protection as well as effectively regulated use."

Dr. Lubchenco is past-president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Ecological Society of America, a MacArthur Fellow, recipient of the Heinz Environmental Medal, served on the Pew Oceans Commission, and has worked closely with the IUCN and the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCAP) Marine for many years.

Dr. Lubchenco and the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO), for which she is a Principal Investigator, are also key partners of WCPA-Marine in their Protect Planet Ocean (PPO) initiative. Their world-leading work on the evidence-base for marine reserves is highlighted on the new PPO web portal launched at the 2008 World Conservation Congress in Barcelona where they introduced cutting edge vilualisation to show the effects of marine reserves.

"The appointment of Professor Jane Lubchenco as the future head of NOAA is indeed an inspired choice by President-elect Obama," says Professor Dan Laffoley, Marine Vice Chair of IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas. "She is one of our most respected and recognized ecologists with a worldwide reputation. The coming few years have never been more critical for the plight of our oceans and climate and all that we depend on them for our wellbeing. With her outstanding experience, skills and expertise we look forward to working with her in an new era of ocean conservation and management."

IUCN US Executive Director Scott Hajost says: ‘IUCN looks forward to working with Dr. Lubchenco and the new administration to stem the many threats facing our oceans and coasts in the years to come."