Razan Al Mubarak's vision for the IUCN is built on a fresh, energetic commitment to working closely with all constituencies, especially youth and local communities. To that end, Ms Al Mubarak recently met with more than 225 young conservationists from the United Arab Emirates for an interactive dialogue on the intersection of politics and conservation - and how to better protect our planet and ourselves from future pandemics.
In an op-ed in Gulf News, Ms Al Mubarak wrote: “It was inspiring to see that during this unprecedented pause brought on by the pandemic, young people from across the UAE understand that environmental issues are intrinsically linked to our own health and well-being; and the COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and press the 'reset button'.”
Hosted by Connect with Nature, the conversation was part of the Youth Circle Series, a program developed to empower the next generation of conservation leaders, co-founded by Emirates Nature-WWF, The Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi and the International Fund for Houbara Conservation.
Read Ms Al Mubarak’s op-ed in Gulf News
As humanity comes together like never before to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, Razan Al Mubarak is more committed than ever to her campaign to serve as President of the IUCN beginning in January 2021.
In this video message, Ms Al Mubarak discusses why the work of the IUCN, the world's foremost scientific authority on conservation and the environment, will be critical as the world comes together to recover, rebuild and protect the integrity of the planet. She also discusses how she will use the coming months to continue her campaign to engage with IUCN members, hear their ideas and concerns, and collectively develop an enhanced vision for Union at this critical moment in history.
While the global lockdown has led to unprecedented reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, there is increasing evidence that the pandemic is bringing critical conservation efforts to a halt, harming efforts to prevent biodiversity loss worldwide.
In an op-ed written for Mongabay, the global conservation and science news outlet, Razan Al Mubarak calls for a post-COVID recovery plan for wildlife conservation.
Over 85 percent of conservationists report they have had to suspend their work during the pandemic, according to a recent survey of 300 conservationists in 80 countries who have received microgrants from the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (MBZ Fund), where Razan is the founding director.
“Based on my experience as the former head of the largest environmental regulator in the Middle East, I am genuinely impressed with reports of cleaner air and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. However, in my current role as the director of a philanthropic institution providing financial support to species conservation projects worldwide, I am skeptical that there really are significant improvements in the status of wildlife. Because, while the causal link between economic activity and emissions is clear, we have known for a long time that the drivers of biodiversity loss are much broader.”
Ms Al Mubarak makes the case for stimulus efforts to prevent biodiversity loss worldwide.
“Just as ‘green recovery' plans are being advocated, the conservation community must advocate for a ‘nature recovery plan’ where biodiversity is given the necessary stimulus to recover. This must be done on the back of a robust global biodiversity framework to ensure efforts to prevent biodiversity loss are on par with efforts to mitigate climate change impacts”.
Read the entire op-ed at Mongabay here.