Rob has been involved in wildlife and nature conservation for close to 50 years.
Rob established and co-chaired the UK Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (1995-2000) and served as Head of Wildlife Policy for the UK's Environment Ministry between 1994 -2000. He headed the country's delegation to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) and was the elected Chair of several UN conferences and committees.
In 2000, Rob joined the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as its Deputy Director. He was appointed Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) in 2004, where he led negotiations of 10 new regional species conservation agreements, including for whales, sea turtles, antelope, elephants, birds of prey, flammingos and sharks.
Since his official retirement, Rob has acted as an adviser for national and international conservation and environmental groups. In June 2019, as Co-Chair of the Campaign Against the Levels Motorway (CALM), Rob was instrumental in stopping the M4 bypass in Wales, one of the most environmentally damaging road developments in the UK. We are thrilled and honoured to have Rob on board of PNP!
"We are losing species at the rate of 20 a week. On land we lose forested areas the size of Portugal every year. 80 percent of terrestrial species depend on forests. At sea, a quarter of ocean species depend on coral reefs which could disappear completely within 25 years. The outlook for many, many individual animals and plants is grim.
We have to work together with what we have, to hold the line for wildlife wherever we can. It is in my view an obligation on humans to coexist with wildlife and not to damage them either collectively or individually without reasonable justification."
Dr Barbara Maas Founder & Chief Executive
Barbara has and delivered international wildlife conservation and animal welfare successes for three decades. A deep passion and sense of kinship with nature and animals have been the guiding principles throughout her life.
A behavioural ecologist and zoologist by training, Barbara worked as an advisor and chief executive for conservation and animal welfare groups around the world, and in marine protection in the New Zealand civil service since 1995.
Her work on the introduction of cat and dog fur from China to the UK and Germany was critical in achieving an EU-wide import ban on these products. Other highlights of her career include efforts to end the commercial exploitation of species such as rhinos, tigers, elephants, bears and whales, and the creation of marine protected areas to save New Zealand's endangered Maui and Hector's dolphins. In association with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Barbara initiated the Tibetan Conservation Awareness Campaign (TCAC), which led to a mass boycott of wildlife and animal products by the Tibetan nation in 2006.
Barbara was appointed Secretary for Environment and Conservation of the International Buddhist Confederation’s (IBC) in 2013 and was elected to join the IBC board in 2017. She was instrumental in facilitating the first Buddhist Climate Change Statement, which was presented at the Paris Climate Summit in 2015 and the Nalanda Declaration on Animals and the Environment.
"The actions required to successfully address today's growing environmental challenges strike at the heart of who we are and what our lives are all about - as individuals, nations and a species.
Humans have become the primary driver of species extinctions. We have dialed up the rate at which species are disappearing to around 1,000 times that of natural levels. A significant part of the environmental harm we are causing is simply the result of our growing numbers. Beyond that, what we consume and how much determines our impact on the world.
I believe that embracing and actively integrating ideas such as the universal interconnectedness of and a genuine affinity with each other and the natural world provides the solution to the most serious crisis we have ever faced."