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
Barbara has worked in international wildlife conservation and animal welfare for three decades and on every continent. A lifelong passion and deep sense of kinship with nature has been the guiding principle and a driving force throughout her life.
A zoologist by training, she obtained her Ph.D. studying bat-eared foxes in the Serengeti at the University of Cambridge, before taking up a postdoctoral position at the University of Oxford. She has worked as an advisor, consultant and chief executive for wildlife conservation and animal welfare groups around the world and in marine bycatch mitigation in the New Zealand civil service since 1995.
Her work on the introduction of cat and dog skins from China to the UK and Germany was critical in achieving an EU-wide import ban on these products.
One of the highlights of Barbara's career was working in association with His Holiness the Dalai Lama to initiate the Tibetan Conservation Awareness Campaign (TCAC) in 2005, which led to a mass boycott of wildlife and animal products by the Tibetan nation. 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."
Ole J Liodden
Ole is an acclaimed wildlife photographer, author, expedition leader and conservationist. His exceptional images have earned him many international awards.
Ole has always been interested in nature conservation and sustainable resource management. He became a full time photographer in 2003 after earning a Masters degrees in Natural Resource Management, Resource Economics and Environmental Politics from the University in Ås in Norway. He also studied Wildlife Management, Ornithology and Mammalogy at the University of Fairbanks in Alaska.
Ole uses his compelling photography to draw much needed attention to environmental problems, specifically in marine ecosystems and the Arctic.
In 2015, Ole launched the Polar Bears & Humans project. His latest book of the same name brings together unprecedented, detailed and new information about polar bear populations, trophy hunting and the alarming rise of international exports of polar bear skins to Asia. The Polar Bears & Humans initiative is about doing something about this problem.
"Most polar bear conservation projects only consider the threat of climate change and global warming. Polar bears have become the main symbol for global warming, and big conservation campaigns are published with images of polar bears. It is very important to protect the Arctic environment to secure the ecosystem with drifting ice for Arctic animals, but it is also important to protect the animals themselves. Humans directly killing polar bears, on the other hand, is rarely mentioned as a significant threat.
One of the most important questions to ask is: has polar bear hunting in previous decades been sustainable ? It is important that we answer this question honestly. The information I have collated in my book 'Polar Bears & Humans' will help decision-makers and the public to understand the bigger picture of the challenges polar bears are facing, what we can do about it, and why we have to act now."