Global conservation group elects first ever president from China

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China Environmental Protection Magazine, Jeju, Korea

Mr. Zhang Xinsheng from China was elected as the new president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world's oldest conservation organization. This marks the first time in its 64-year history that the IUCN has chosen a president from East Asia.

In his speech seeking the office at the IUCN's World Conservation Congress in Jeju, South Korea, Zhang Xinsheng said that he would energize IUCN’s internal and external partnership if elected. To promote conservation and sustainability in innovative ways will be central to IUCN’s agenda, he said.

He told this reporter after giving his speech Sept. 10, the grave challenges humanity is facing in biodiversity had led him to devote himself to biodiversity and nature conservation.      

Zhang Xinsheng served as vice minister of for education in China from 2001 to 2009, and as a member of Harvard Business School’s board of directors from 1997 to 2000. He also served as chairperson of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee from 2003 to 2004, and as chairperson of the executive board of UNESCO from 2005 to 2007. He co-founded and become the executive chairperson in 2009 of Eco-Forum Global, a Chinese NGO committed to a more sustainable world.   

 

章新胜当选IUCN主席

 

章新胜在世界自然保护联盟(IUCN)的世界自然保护大会(World Conservation Congress)上当选为新一届理事会主席。章新胜是IUCN成立64年以来首位出自东亚地区的理事会主席。

章新胜是中国教育部前副部长,中国生态文明论坛的创始人之一、秘书长。他还曾担任联合国教科文组织执行委员会主席,中国联合国教科文组织全国委员会主任等职位。

按照世界自然保护联盟竞选要求,章新胜经过三轮激烈的角逐,及赴世界自然保护联盟八大地区,与众多会员互动,演讲并回答问题,出席候选人公开辩论会,以及最后大会的竞选演说等程序,最终获胜。

章新胜在9月10日发表完竞选演说后曾向记者表示,中国和全球在生物多样性和自然生态保护领域面临的严峻挑战促使他参加竞选,他希望在自然生态保护领域做出自己的积极贡献。

目前,世界自然保护联盟在中国共有21个会员。世界自然保护联盟于20世纪80年代初进入中国,2003年建立中国联络处,2012年建立中国代表处。

章新胜在当选后表示,他将积极推动实施IUCN未来四年的保护战略,并将重点关注三大优先领域,即1)推动自然及其服务功能的价值评估,并促进其保护;2)建立针对自然的最佳治理,确保有效及公平的利用自然;3)探讨以自然为本的解决方案,以更好的应对气候变化、粮食安全和发展等全球挑战。