Dan Laffoley
Patagon Journal|No. 15 - Protecting the Ocean

Advancing International Marine Conservation

Formed in 1948, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the “global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.” Its members include 218 state and government agencies and more than 1,100 non-governmental organizations from more than 160 nations. Their volunteer experts are organized in six commissions, such as the species survival commission which gives the official data on endangered and threatened species. Dan Laffoley is the marine vice chair of their World Commission on Protected Areas. As such, he is also standing co-chair of IMPAC with whomever the host country is every four years, previously co-chairing the IMPAC3 held in France in 2013.

A marine biologist from the United Kingdom, Laffoley has been working in ocean conservation for nearly three decades. In 2011, he founded the High Seas Alliance and is also chair of the International Ocean Acidification Reference User Group. He has particularly taken a special interest in how marine science is communicated to the global public, such as his work with Google Oceans and helping to develop smartphone apps like the Marine World Heritage App of UNESCO.

Laffoley is a visiting professor at the Marine Institute of the University of Plymouth, serves on the boards of diverse marine groups, including the HMS Beagle Trust, a UK/ Chilean partnership that seeks to build a modern version of the ship that the evolutionary scientist Charles Darwin travelled on the 1830s as a way of “inspiring a new generation to explore, discover and safeguard the ocean.”

What do you hope to achieve with this year’s IMPAC in Chile?

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