New president named to WWF’s international board
GLAND, Switzerland, Nov. 21, 2017 – Pavan Sukhdev, the former head of the United Nations Environment Program’s Green Economy Initiative, has been named as the new president of WWF’s international Board. Sukhdev replaces outgoing president Yolanda Kakabadse, who steps down at the end of this year after eight years in the position.
The announcement came at WWF’s international board meeting on Sunday. Sukhdev served as special advisor and head of UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative from 2008 to 2011, working in partnership with numerous international and national bodies to deliver UNEP’s influential report “Towards a Green Economy.”
“Pavan Sukhdev is a true thought leader in sustainability and a highly influential voice among policy makers. I am delighted that WWF will have such a respected personality as its next President,” Kakabadse said.
The board president may serve up to two consecutive or non-consecutive four-year terms. The president also chairs WWF International’s Council, being an advisory body constituted of the chairs of the boards of the national entities that constitute the WWF network.
Sukhdev was study leader (2008-2011) on the landmark project TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity), a global study commissioned by the G8+5 and hosted by UNEP. His work on sustainability and the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity has won him international acclaim, including the prestigious Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development and the Blue Planet Prize. He is the founder-CEO of GIST Advisory, a specialist consulting firm which helps governments and corporations discover, measure, value, and manage their impacts on natural and human capital. In recognition of his continuing work in helping governments and corporations transition towards a Green Economy, UNEP appointed Sukhdev as the UNEP goodwill ambassador in the year 2012. He was also selected as the “Personality of the Year” by Environmental Finance in 2010.
Marco Lambertini, director-general of WWF International, said: “I am delighted to welcome Pavan Sukhdev as the next president of WWF International’s Board. Pavan’s passion and knowledge of the interdependence between economic and natural systems connect perfectly with WWF’s higher ambition for impact, at a time when biodiversity and natural resources are under unprecedented pressure, but also at a time when recognition of the crucial role of natural systems to our well-being, social stability and economic development has never been greater.
“I would also like to thank and congratulate Yolanda Kakabadse who, for the past eight years, has served as president of the international board of WWF. Yolanda’s wisdom, passion and unwavering support have helped steer WWF through an exciting evolution as we strive for greater ambition and impact, and work toward our vision of a future where people and nature live in harmony.”
Speaking after the board meeting, Sukhdev said he was honoured to be asked to take over the presidency of the board:
“I am delighted to be joining WWF at such an exciting time as the organization emerges from a significant transformation and is defining new ways of working to make a difference at a scale that matters, to redefine humanity’s relationship with the planet. This generation and WWF have a huge opportunity to build a sustainable future for all and momentum is on our side.”
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