Moses Mapesa is the new IUCN WCPA Regional Vice Chair for East and Southern Africa

11 April 2012 | News story

I pledge to serve diligently in this position as per the terms of reference and in the interest of conservation in the region and globally, particularly in light of the ever increasing and changing threats and challenges to nature conservation.

I have always found the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and other commission networks very helpful in my career and am honored to be nominated and appointed to serve as Regional Vice-Chair for Eastern and Southern Africa. This comes after my recognition in 2008 by IUCN with the Fred Packard Parks Award.

I have had a close relationship with nature ever since childhood. As a student in secondary and high school I joined the Wildlife Clubs of Uganda and went on to study Forestry Management at University. Having decided on a career in wildlife conservation, I joined the Uganda National Parks Service in 1988 as Research Officer, undertaking vegetation change studies in the park while doing a Masters in Environment and Natural Resource Management.

I later served in different national parks in various capacities, including community outreach, tourism development and park planning. I moved onwards to headquarters after the national park service was changed to the Uganda Wild Authority as Head of Planning, then Director of Field Operations and ultimately Chief Executive Officer till 2010.

All through this time, I joined and maintained a network with protected area managers in Africa and globally through IUCN, AWF, WWF, WCS, UNEP, UNESCO and protected area donors like EU, USAID, GTZ and World Bank, learning about protected area experiences and best practices.