Andrej Sovinc from Slovenia has agreed to take on the role, subject to approval from Council.
"Protected Areas (PA) have always played an important role in my life." says Andrej Sovinc. "I started as ornithologist, writing proposals for the establishment of bird reserves in Slovenia. Trained as hydrologist, my links to Protected Areas became wetland and river restoration projects. Many in WCPA will remember me from the times, when the IUCN Parks for Life Action Plan for Protected Areas was seen as one of the most influencial initiatives to ensure adequate, effective and well-managed network of such areas in Europe. As a coordinator of several contributions to this Plan I learned a lot about Protected Area policies and projects.
My theoretical background on the systems of Protected Areas was sought while preparing a PhD on the subject, and experiences on ground PA management have their roots in my appointment as the Head of the Secovlje Salina Nature Park in Slovenia, which I have been leading for the last ten years. I was also awarded with a special opportunity to learn many secrets about parks and reserves while working closely with Marija Zupancic-Vicar and Roger Crofts, both IUCN / WCPA Regional Vice Chairs for Europe in the previous mandates."
Andrej Sovinc can be reached by email here.
Stig Johannsen has had to step down as IUCN WCPA Regional Chair for Europe, and IUCN would like to take the opportunity to thank him for all he has done for European PAs throughout the years.