International expert to lead UK nature conservation advisers


Peter Bridgewater has been appointed as Chairman of UK and international nature conservation advisory organisation JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee).

3 September 2007
Dr Bridgewater was the Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands from 2003 until July this year, and before that Director, Division of Ecological sciences, UNESCO, and Secretary, Man and the Biosphere Programme between 1999 and 2003. Peter’s interests include the links between biological and cultural diversity, the management and conservation of coastal zones, landscape ecology and in particular, its role in sustainable development.Peter Bridgewater has been appointed as Chairman
Born in the UK and taught in Australian universities, he was Chief Executive of the Australian Nature Conservation Agency from 1990 to 1997, and then Chief Science Adviser, Environment Australia, and Supervising Scientist, Alligator Rivers Region from 1997 to 1999. In 1997, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Resource Management, honoris causa, from the University of New England. He has written over 200 publications on nature conservation, environmental governance and biodiversity issues.
His connection to UK nature conservation goes back to 1989, when he was Chief Scientist of the Nature Conservancy Council.
Deryck Steer, Managing Director of JNCC said: “We’re delighted to welcome Peter back to the UK nature conservation scene.  His knowledge of global biodiversity and international processes and agreements will be a huge asset to us and the Government. Having worked with Peter nearly 20 years ago and periodically since then, I know how valuable his strategic leadership will be to JNCC”.
Dr Bridgewater said: “JNCC is in a unique position to play a pivotal role in nature conservation on a global scale. I am keen to use my knowledge and experience of international conservation to help develop JNCC’s advisory role to Government. Across the UK we rightly have a focus on the issue of climate change, but we have to integrate biodiversity as a means to achieve wider socio-economic goals. In all its forms biodiversity can help us adapt to and mitigate against climate change. This is a key message that we can promote both nationally and internationally. I am looking forward to working with JNCC staff and other Committee members in supporting the UK’s leading role in managing these critical environmental issues.”
Notes to editors:
1. The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) is the statutory adviser to Government on UK and international nature conservation, on behalf of the Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside, the Countryside Council for Wales, Natural England and Scottish Natural Heritage. Its work contributes to maintaining and enriching biological diversity, conserving geological features and sustaining natural systems. 
2. Peter Bridgewater PhD Hon. DResMgmt h.c. FLS FIEEM CEnv does not hold any other ministerial appointments, and has no declared political activity.
3.  For further information and images, please contact JNCC’s Communications Team on 01733 866839, or email: