Getting involved in the Urban Conservation Strategies Specialist Group


Membership in the Specialist Group is by invitation. Anyone may ask to be included, but preference is given to those directly involved in connecting conservation of nature with urban people, urban places, and urban institutions, either as practitioners or researchers.

Although expertise and willingness to contribute are most important, we strive for gender balance and wish to include younger professionals and people from all world regions. In addition, with a view to promoting cooperation within IUCN, we have asked the other five IUCN Commissions to suggest people from among their members who have a particular interest in urban matters. At any given time, the Urban Conservation Strategies Specialist Group has had about 100 members from some 30 countries.

Members of the specialist group must contribute in some way: by participating in a working or advisory group; by providing information; or by organizing events. Member involvement is assessed at the end of each year.

World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA)

Members of the Urban Conservation Strategies Specialist Group should be members of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA)  To apply for membership in WCPA, you need to fill in the online application on the following link:

WCPA Membership Application

More information on WCPA and its activities is available on the website at this address

Although those interested in participating in the Specialist Group are encouraged to join WCPA, an "associate" status is also provided for. 


  • Tell us what you are doing in relation to the purposes of the Urban Specialist Group. Give us information about events, publications, new organizations and projects, and other resources that will be of interest to others in the network.    
  • React to information and requests that we send you. Circular e-mails provide news about resources, events, and opportunities to contribute to activities.
  • Bring up issues you believe need to be addressed. Members' suggestions have resulted, for example, in a workshop on cities and conservation in the world's Mediterranean-type regions, and a working group on biosphere reserves in urban areas.  
  • Help make connections. The Urban Specialist Group's leadership puts a high priority on making connections among people with similar goals and interests. Much of this goes on behind the scenes.      
  • Inform others in your own networks about the specialist group and the resources on our website.
  • Help organize and participate in meetings and conferences. Examples are given in "Origins and highlights" on the Leadership page.  
  • Set up an informal network within the specialist group, including as appropriate members of other IUCN commissions, to facilitate contact among people interested in similar issues. 
  • Offer your assistance to leaders of projects and working and advisory groups.
  • Request cosponsorship of an activity by the specialist group. Examples are Urban Nature, an event in Cape Town organized by the South African National Biodiversity Institute; and the Paris-based Urban Protected Areas Network.
  • Arrange for exchanges of leaders and experts. Several such exchanges have taken place, for example, between managers of urban protected areas in Kenya and Brazil. 
  • In your country or region, make contact with fellow members of the specialist group. For their e-mail addresses, see circular e-mails or contact the Chair.
  • Get in touch with an IUCN Regional or Country Office near you (see to help support its work and encourage its staff to include an urban dimension in their activities. 
  • When traveling, consider visiting with fellow specialist group members. On several occasions, this has led to speaking opportunities and joint activities.

A word about funding. IUCN's Commissions are volunteer networks. Their members' time and expenses are covered by their employers, or by grants members secure on their own. In many cases, Commission members donate their time and pay for their own expenses. Occasionally IUCN or other organizations cover travel expenses to meetings at which specialist group members are asked to participate.  Contact:


[Revised 1/2018]

IUCN WCPA Urban Conservation Strategies Specialist Group


Listed here are the current members of the Urban Specialist Group of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.


Members of groups within the Specialist Group, and members of the Specialist Group who serve as liaison with other IUCN Commissions, are indicated as follows:

(s) Steering Committee
(sa) Senior Advisors
(d) Dark Skies Advisory Group

[It is our practice not to include titles unless directly relevant to the list. Titles and addresses may be found via search engines.}

Shardul Bajikar, Naturalist, Mumbai, India

Amir Balaban, Jerusalem Bird Observatory, Jerusalem, Israel

Tasneem Balasinorwala (India), Bonn, Germany

James R. (Jim) Barborak, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

Alfred Bernhard, Willoughby City Council, New South Wales, Australia

Stacie Beute, Central Arizona Conservation Alliance, Desert Botanic Gardens, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Sarah M. Bexell, Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Chengdu, Sichuan, China

Sara Borgström, Stockholm Resilience Center, University of Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden

Mark Bouman, Field Museum of Natural History and Chicago Wilderness, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Kobie Brand, ICLEI - Local Govermments for Sustainability, Cities Biodiversity Center, Cape Town, South Africa

Hector Ceballos-Lascurain, international consultant in environmental architecture, ecotourism, and regional planning, Mexico City, Mexico

Richard Cellarius, Sierra Club, Prescott, Arizona, USA

Bruno Charlier, Laboratoire Societé Environnement Territoire, Université de Pau, Pau, France (d)

David Clarke, Parks Forum, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia

Nicholas Conner, Office of Environment and Heritage, Department of Premier and Cabinet, State of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia

George Davis, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Cape Town, South Africa

Peter Dogse, UNESCO, Paris, France

Robert E. Doyle, East Bay Regional Park District, Oakland, California, USA

Michael R. Eaton, Kingbird Farms, Galt, California, USA; formerly Resources Legacy Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and the California Natural Resources Agency

Joseph T. Edmiston, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, Malibu, California, USA (s)

Peter Frost, Natural Resources Wales, Bangor, Wales, UK

Lloyd Gardner, Environmental Support Services, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands of the United States

Gary Geller, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA/California Institute of Technology), Pasadena, California, USA

Paolo Giuntarelli, State Reserve of Litorale Romana, Italy; formerly Roma Natura

David Goldstein, Urban Fellow, United States National Park Service, Detroit, Michigan, USA

David Goode, University College London; formerly Greater London Authority, London, England, UK

Burak Guneralp,Texas A&M University, College Station Texas, USA

István Gyarmathy, Hortobagy National Park, Hungary (d)

Brahim Haddane, Fondation Mohammed VI pour la Protection de l' Environnement, Salé, Morocco

Rina Hauptfeld, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

John Hearnshaw, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand (d)

Monty Hempel, University of Redlands, Redlands, California, USA

Li-Der Ho, National Kaohsiung Normal University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan

Glen Hyman, Centre de sociologie des organisations, Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Sciences-Po), Paris, France

Peter Jacobs, Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; formerly Chair, IUCN Commission on Environmental Planning

Celso Junius, Carioca Protected Areas Mosaic, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Tania Katzschner, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Adrienne Keene, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Elisabeth Kersten, InterEnvironment Institute; formerly Senate Office of Research, California Legislature, Sacramento, California, USA

Neeraj Khera, India Office, Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), New Delhi, India

Dan Laffoley, IUCN/WCPA Marine, Sheffield, England, United Kingdom

Louis Lavoie, Rouge National Urban Park, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 

Tanya Layne, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Cape Town, South Africa

Yu-Fai Leung, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Ana Lira, Federal District Protected Areas, Brasilia, Brazil

Travis Longcore, Urban Wildlands Group, Los Angeles, California, USA (d)

Louise Lézy-Bruno, Institut Libertas, Université de Paris X, Nanterre, France (s)

Mark Lellouch, environmental business consultant, Taos, New Mexico, USA

Neil McCarthy, North East Catchment Management Authority, Wodonga, Victoria, Australia

Robert W. McIntosh, Jamaica Bay - Rockaway Parks Conservancy; formerly Gateway National Recreation Area (New York City), Beverly, Massachusetts, USA

Jeffrey A. McNeely, IUCN Senior Science Advisor. Formerly: IUCN Chief Scientist; Executive Officer, World Commission on Protected Areas, IUCN, Hua Hin, Thailand (sa)

Linda McMillan, McMillan Associates; Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme; IUCN/WCPA Mountains Theme, San Rafael, California, USA

Pedro da Cunha e Menezes, Brazilian Diplomat, Brasilia, Brazil (s)

Marina Mlakar, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, Zagreb, Croatia

Cipriano Marin, UNESCO Centre of the Canary Islands, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain (d)

Xola Mkefe, Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa

Greg Moore, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, San Francisco, California, USA

Kate Moore, Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, Lilongwe, Malawi

Brett Myrdal, South African National Parks, Cape Town, South Africa (s)

Juan José Negro, Doñana Biological Station, Sevilla, Andalucía, Spain (d)

Cristi Marie C. Nozawa, Asia Division, BirdLife International, Singapore

Gregg Oelofse, City of Cape Town, South Africa

Michael Paparian, InterEnvironment Institute; formerly Deputy Treasurer, State of California, Sacramento, California, USA

Adrian Phillips, conservationist; former Chair, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, Cheltenham, England, UK (sa)

Erika Pogacnik, Dark-sky Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia (d)

Bachir Raissouni, Al Akhwayn University, Ifrane, Morocco and Dijon, France

Daniel Raven-Ellison, London National Park City campaign, London, England, UK,

Debra Roberts, Development Planning and Management Unit, eThekwini Municipality, Durban, South Africa 

Donald Rodriguez, California State University Channel Islands, Camarillo, California, USA

Clive Ruggles, University of Leicester, Leicester, England, United Kingdom (d)

Philip Rundel, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA

Yoav Sagi, formerly: Open Landscape Institute and Society for Protection of Nature in Israel, Tel Aviv, Israel

Bittu Sahgal, Kids for Tigers, Mumbai, Andhra Pradesh, India

Richard Saunier, conservationist, Tucson, Arizona, USA; formerly Organization of American States

Marinez Scherer, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil

John Senior, Parks Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

David Sheppard, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Apia, Samoa; formerly Head of Protected Areas Programme, IUCN

Alexander de Sherbinin, NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center; Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), The Earth Institute at Columbia University, Palisades, New York, USA

Woody Smeck, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California, USA

Chris Spence, Institute at the Golden Gate, Sausalito, California, USA

Ruida Stanvliet, CapeNature, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Karen Treviño, Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division, United States National Park Service, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA (d)

Ted Trzyna, InterEnvironment Institute, Claremont, California, USA (s)(d),

Pam Veinotte, Rouge National Urban Park, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Rodrigo Victor, Forest Institute, State of São Paolo, São Paolo, Brazil

Miguel von Behr, Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação de Biodiversidade (Chico Mendez Institute for Biodiversity Conservation), Brazilian Ministry of Environment, Brasilia, Brazil

Jeff Ward, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

John Waugh, consultant, former Deputy Director, IUCN Washington office, Upperville, Virginia, USA

Shin Wang, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan Province, China

David Welch, ecosystem management and protected areas consultant, Ottawa, Canada; formerly Parks Canada (d)

Lynn Wilson, Capital Regional District, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Fook Yee Wong, Geography Department, University of Hong Kong; formerly Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (s)

Judy Ling Wong, Black Environment Network, London, England, UK