- Russell A. Mittermeier, Conservation International's President has been elected as Regional Councillor for North America and the Caribbean during the 3rd World Conservation Congress that is being held in Bangkok, Thailand. The IUCN Council is the principal governing body of IUCN.
The Council is responsible for the oversight and general control of all the affairs of IUCN. The work of the Council focuses on providing strategic direction for the activities of the Union, the discussions of specific policy issues and the provision of guidance on finance and the membership development of the Union.
"After 30 years of involvement with IUCN in various capacities especially through it's largest volunteer network, as chair of the Primate Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union Species Survival Commission (IUCN/SSC), I am delighted to have this opportunity to look at the big picture of the IUCN and be engaged in critical management issues of this globally important organization" said Dr. Russell Mittermier. "IUCN is a major international player and one of the most important bodies for dealing with the environment in general and other international issues."
The IUCN members include 77 States, 114 government agencies, and 800-plus NGOs. More than 10,000 internationally-recognized scientists and experts from more than 180 countries volunteer their services to its six global commissions. Its 1000 staff members in offices around the world are working on some 500 projects. For more than 50 years this 'Green Web' of partnerships has generated environmental conventions, global standards, scientific knowledge and innovative leadership.
At the World Conservation Congress, voting members of IUCN elect the President, Treasurer, Regional Councilors and the Chairs of IUCN's Commissions to form the Council. Elected Council members hold office from the close of the World Conservation Congress to the close of the next ordinary session of the Congress. IUCN's 1000-strong membership meets every three to four years at the World Conservation Congress (the Union's General Assembly) to express their views, guide the Union's policy and approve its program.
Dr. Mittermier is a recipient of the Order of the Golden Ark from His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands (1995) and the Order of the Yellow Star from the Government of the Republic of Suriname (1998), among many other awards. Dr. Mittermeier received his B.A. from Dartmouth in 1971 and his Ph.D. from Harvard in Biological Anthropology in 1977. His publications include eight books and over 225 papers and popular articles on primates, reptiles, tropical forests and biodiversity; he is responsible for publishing the journal Primate Conservation and for Conservation International's Tropical Field Guide Series and has conducted field work in more than 20 countries.
III World Conservation Congress of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) the main functions of the World Conservation Congress are to: define the general policy of IUCN, make recommendations to governments and to national and international organizations on any matter related to the objectives of IUCN, and to receive and consider committee reports. The Congress further provides a forum for debate on how best to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.