IUCN founded the Patrons of Nature in 2010 to rally global leaders and mobilize resources in support of the Union’s vision of a just world which values and conserves nature. Patrons of Nature provide strategic guidance to the Director General and generate investment for IUCN’s Programme as well as specific flagship initiatives.
IUCN Patrons of Nature
HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco has been Regent of the Principality since 2005. In 2006, HSH the Prince decided to establish his own Foundation, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, to address our planet’s environmental challenges.
The Foundation encourages sustainable and fair management of natural resources and places humankind at the centre of its projects. It supports the implementation of innovative and ethical solutions in three areas: climate change, water and biodiversity. In order to be an influential player in environmental protection on an international scale, the Foundation has established a network of men and women from the worlds of politics, science and economics, all of whom are ready to take joint action towards a common objective.
The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation is an active Member of IUCN.
In the words of His Highness, "It is important to join forces to increase awareness of the importance of safeguarding our environment. We need to continue our efforts, now more than ever, to protect our planet; it is the responsibility of every single one of us so as to ensure the future of humanity.”
Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein is an international public servant and advocate for cross-cultural understanding, conflict prevention and recovery issues such as refugees, missing persons, poverty, climate change and disarmament. Her peace-building work has focused on the Middle East, the Balkans, Central and Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Queen Noor’s work in Jordan and the Arab world has focused on national and regional human security in the areas of education, conservation, sustainable development, human rights and cross-cultural understanding. Since 1979, the initiatives of the Noor Al Hussein and the King Hussein Foundations, which she founded and chairs, have advanced development thinking in Jordan and the Middle East through pioneering best practice programs in the fields of poverty eradication, women’s empowerment, microfinance, health, and arts as a medium for social development and cross-cultural exchange.
Queen Noor has made environmental priorities an essential component of her work to promote human security and conflict resolution. Shortly after her marriage in 1978, she became patron of Jordan’s Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), the Middle East’s first environmental NGO responsible for nationwide nature reserves, environmental clubs, the integration of biodiversity concepts into school curricula, for the region’s first eco-tourism/rural development projects, and for regulating diving, protecting endangered marine species, and clean up of coastal beaches and shores. RSCN programs have become regional models for conservation and sustainable development providing training and capacity building.
The Queen also chaired Jordan’s National Commission in 1990 which developed Jordan’s National Environment Strategy, the region’s first such initiative, and Jordan’s Environment Law which set standards for water use and quality, specifications to measure and control air pollution, and conditions for the establishment and operation of wild and aquatic nature reserves. She founded the Arab World’s first children’s museum in 1988 and its mobile wing targeting young people in rural areas with computers, and educational materials and recreational activities focused on environmental protection, the sciences, health, and history.
Internationally, she has focused on environmental conservation and human security with emphasis on water and Ocean health and protection issues. She is a Founding and Emeritus President of BirdLife International, Trustee Emeritus of Conservation International, member of the Ocean Elders and has received the United Nations Environment Programme Global 500 Award among other honors for her activism.
Queen Noor is also involved with a number of other international organizations advancing global peace-building and conflict recovery. She is also President of the United World Colleges (UWC), a network of 17 equal-opportunity international IB colleges around the world which foster cross-cultural understanding and global peacebuilding; a Trustee of the Aspen Institute, Advisor to Search for Common Ground and Trust Women – the Thomson Reuters Foundation annual conference aiming to put the rule of law behind women’s rights.
In recognition of her efforts to advance development, democracy and peace, Queen Noor has been awarded numerous awards and honorary doctorates in international relations, law and humane letters.
HRH Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, Duke of Värmland, is the second child of His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf and Her Majesty Queen Silvia. Prince Carl Philip is fourth in line of succession, after Crown Princess Victoria, Princess Estelle, and Prince Oscar. In 2015, he married HRH Princess Sofia. Their first child, Prince Alexander, was born on 19 April 2016. Their second child, Prince Gabriel, was born in August 2017.
Prince Carl Philip is a Major in the Swedish Amphibious Corps, has an interest in arts, design and photography. Through his company “Bernadotte & Kylberg”, he has designed several collections for many brands. In his own name he has designed a series inspired by the Red List, whose proceeds benefited the Swedish Red List.
The Prince is, among others, patron of the charity Lilla Barnets Fond which supports medical research and the development of care for new-born babies in Sweden, and the sailing race Volvo Ocean Race. The Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia Foundation was established in conjunction with the wedding of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia. The purpose of the Foundation is to counteract bullying, with the vision that children and young people will have the right and possibility to be themselves. The work focuses on combating online hate speech and spreading awareness about dyslexia. The Prince Couple’s own involvement in these issues forms the basis of the Foundation’s work.
“I am extremely happy to be given the opportunity to work with IUCN and in my role as Patron of Nature; I look forward to doing great things for nature”
Gregory C. Carr, President, Gorongosa National Park Restoration Project, Mozambique.
Greg Carr was raised near Yellowstone National Park in the State of Idaho, USA. He earned a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University in 1986. Carr subsequently created several successful computer and internet companies.
In 1998 Carr resigned from his for-profit boards and dedicated himself to philanthropic activities. In 1999, he co-founded the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University.
In January of 2008, Carr signed a long-term Public-Private Partnership with the Government of Mozambique to restore and co-manage the country’s flagship national park, Gorongosa. The various Departments of the Gorongosa Management Team:
- have increased wildlife in the Park more than 10-fold through better protection and selective reintroductions (the Park’s large fauna was nearly extirpated during a generation of civil conflict in the country);
- started an agroforestry and reforestation program on Mt. Gorongosa, protecting the only true rainforest in Mozambique and a critical water catchment for the Park;
- signed a contract with a private corporation that controls 270,000 hectares to add that land to the Park, creating a wildlife corridor north to the Zambezi River;
- created the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory. The Laboratory: conducts research with partnering Mozambican and international universities; is implementing a multi-decade all-taxa census of species in the Park; teaches advanced biology courses to scores of young Mozambicans annually; is creating the first Masters in Conservation Biology degree in Mozambique, which will be taught entirely in the Park.
- provides health care, agricultural, and education assistance to 175,000 local people who live in sixteen traditional communities that share the greater Gorongosa ecosystem with the Park.
Dr Sylvia Alice Earle (USA) is Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society, Founder of the Sylvia Earle Alliance (S.E.A.) / Mission Blue, Founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research Inc. (DOER), Chair of the Advisory Council for the Harte Research Institute and former Chief Scientist of NOAA.
Author of more than 200 publications and leader of more than 100 expeditions with over 7,000 hours underwater, Dr Earle is a graduate of Florida State University with M.A. and PhD. degrees from Duke University and 27 honorary doctorates. Her research concerns the ecology and conservation of marine ecosystems and development of technology for access to the deep sea.
Dr Earle is the subject of the Emmy® Award Winning Netflix documentary, Mission Blue, and the recipient of more than 100 national and international honors and awards including being named Time Magazine’s first Hero for the Planet, a Living Legend by the Library of Congress, 2014 UNEP Champion of the Earth, Glamour Magazine’s 2014 Woman of the Year, member of the Netherlands Order of the Golden Ark, and winner of the 2009 TED Prize, the Walter Cronkite Award, the 1996 Explorers Club Medal, the Royal Geographic Society 2011 Patron’s Medal, and the National Geographic 2013 Hubbard Medal.
Dr Earle is one of IUCN’s greatest allies in marine conservation, and together with her, IUCN is leading several campaigns to increase the number of marine protected areas and improve high seas governance, among others.
Soichiro and Reiko Fukutake
A native of Okayama, Japan, Mr. Soichiro Fukutake joined Fukutake Publishing (now Benesse Holdings, Inc.) in 1973 and became Chairman and CEO in 2007. He assumes the honorary adviser from October, 2016. Through his Benesse Art Site Naoshima projects, Mr. Fukutake spearheaded the Inland Sea of Japan renaissance around Naoshima, Teshima, and Inujima focused on art, nature and architecture for more than 25 years. In 2004, he established the Naoshima Fukutake Art Museum Foundation (now Fukutake Foundation), opened the Chichu Art Museum on Naoshima, and was named honorary citizen of Naoshima. He has led the Setouchi Triennale, which is the international Art Festival held every three years on a dozen islands in the Seto Inland Sea, as a general producer since 2010. His honorary awards include the Minister of Education Award for Fine Arts (2008), AIJ Appreciation Prize (2010), JIA Grand Prix (2011), and Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award (2012). In his quest for a sustainable future for the planet, he played a key role in establishing the Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles in 2010 to reduce carbon emissions, and currently serves as the organization’s Honorary Chairman. Mrs. Reiko Fukutake is the founder and Executive Director of Rei Foundation Limited, which aims to attain social change through sustainable human development as a means of expanding people’s life opportunities and their capacity to make responsible decisions as members of the global community.
Dr Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder, Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace
Dr Jane Goodall is among the world’s most renowned ethologists, a globally famous voice of nature and a long-time member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission. In July 1960, at the age of 26, Jane Goodall travelled from England to what is today Tanzania and bravely entered the little-known world of wild chimpanzees. She was equipped with nothing more than a notebook and a pair of binoculars. But with her unyielding patience and characteristic optimism, she won the trust of these initially shy creatures. She managed to open a window into their sometimes strange and often familiar-seeming lives. The public was fascinated and remains so to this day.
Today, Jane’s work revolves around inspiring action on behalf of endangered species, particularly chimpanzees, and encouraging people to do their part to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment we all share.
The Jane Goodall Institute is a global community conservation organization that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. By protecting chimpanzees and inspiring action to conserve the natural world we all share, JGI helps improve the lives of people, animals and the environment. Founded in 1977 by Dr. Goodall, JGI inspires hope through the collective action of community-centered conservation, the innovative use of science and technology, and their global Roots & Shoots program which empowers young people of all ages and is now active in more than 140 countries.
Madame He Qiaonyu is a dedicated entrepreneur and environmental philanthropist in China. She is the founder and chairman of Orient Landscape Co. Ltd., the most valuable company in global landscape industry and China’s first and biggest integrated platform providing multi-form services along the whole industry chain for ecological restoration.
As an active philanthropist, she initiated SEE Environmental Industry Alliance engaging the biggest environmental companies to support and participate in nature conservation in China. She sponsors and co-chairs the Mulan Club, which is China’s top club of women business leaders. She was President of East-West Philanthropist Summit III and co-sponsor of the East-West Sustainability Summit in Hawaii.
Deeply engaged in the landscape industry for over 30 years, she faithfully believes in the value of nature. In 2012, she founded the Qiaonyu Foundation and entrusted it the mission of “Plant our love for earth with the seed of philanthropy”. She sponsored the one-and-only mind philanthropic advocator, Shenggen Kindness and Wisdom Foundation initiated by the incarnate deity of Venerable Gerong Quzha, Azi Rinpoche Jataka. Madame He cofounded with Bill Gates, Ray Dalio and two Chinese philanthropists, the China Global Philanthropy Institute. Qiaonyu Foundation sponsored UN’s South-South Cooperation Programme coping with global climate change.
In 2016, Qiaonyu Foundation expanded to explore a philanthropic approach in conserving China’s protected areas and biodiversity. The Foundation donated 100 million RMB to the “Let the birds fly” project of the SEE Foundation with a focus on migratory bird habitats conservation. Qiaonyu Foundation has planned to invest 10 billion RMB, equivalent to approximately USD $ 1.5 billion in the upcoming 7 years in biodiversity conservation (2017-2024).
Dr Richard Leakey is currently a Professor of Anthropology at Stony Brook University, New York where he also serves as the Founder and Chair of the Turkana Basin Institute, a Kenya based research facility that studies the history of life, past climate change and origins of humans.
Formerly Director of Kenya’s National Museums, Director of the Wildlife Conservation and Management department, founding Director and Chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service, Member of Parliament in Kenya and Head of the Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet, Richard Leakey is now focused on funding the research institute at Turkana. He is Chair of the Kenya chapter of Transparency International and Chair of WildlifeDirect, a web-based conservation advocacy and fundraising organization.
Richard Leakey played a key role in efforts to combat elephant and rhino poaching in the early 1990s. He has actively campaigned for the protection of the Great Apes and has become increasingly vocal about the threats to biodiversity arising from climate change and human population growth. Richard Leakey is Kenyan, lives in Nairobi but travels widely to promote his concerns and interests. He has published widely and has participated in many documentaries.
"For too long we have abused nature and the health of this planet. We must recognise that conservation is not a choice but an imperative and those who stand tall in support of saving nature's riches for unborn generations should feel proud, not apologetic. IUCN is a fundamental tool in fashioning our future.
Frank Mars is a member of the Board of Directors of Mars, Incorporated, and until most recently, the Global President of Mars Symbioscience. Pioneering some of the most innovative and breakthrough fundamental scientific research, and with sustained funding from Mars, Incorporated, Frank led the creation of Mars Symbioscience in 2005 as an internal technology-based health and life sciences venture area to develop and commercialize new products and services supported by evidence-based science. Through June 2017, he and his team successfully incubated, introduced and transitioned five technology platforms in the areas of food, plant, biomedical and life sciences.
In addition to his time leading Mars Symbioscience, Frank has held a variety of senior positions within Mars, Incorporated for over his 28 years in the Electronics, Snack Food, Pet Care and Food segments across the United States, Europe and Asia. He has a solid understanding of many of Mars raw material supply chains, in particular cocoa from seedling to finished product. As part of his continuing role as Vice President - Mars Sustainable Solutions, he and his new team will be building upon the work started in Mars Symbioscience, including developing next generation agroforestry-based sustainable cocoa farming models and solutions. In addition, recognizing the critical role that healthy coral/marine ecosystems play locally (protein) and globally (climate) in both the nurturing and production of blue biomass and as well storage of blue carbon, Mr. Mars will be working to expand the use globally of a novel low-cost method of coral reef rehabilitation (increases coral cover from 10% to 60% in one year) developed within Mars Symbioscience.
Mr. Mars is also a Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Heliae® Development – an applied life sciences and technology company located just outside of Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Heliae is focused on researching and developing algae based commercial scale production platforms which sustainably produce renewable raw materials from existing carbon-based waste streams, with a current focus on high value nutraceutical ingredients and specialty products for agriculture and aquaculture.
Finally, Frank and his wife Susan, are dedicated supporters of several local and International Humanitarian/Conservation Organizations including CARE, Médecins Sans Frontières, World Wildlife Fund, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s (where Mrs. Mars is presently the Vice-Chair of the Advisory Board) as well as the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Susan and Frank have been instrumental in supporting (via SCBI) the efforts of the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation project along with IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG), and the IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (ASG).
Mr Niu Gensheng is the founder and honorary president of the Lao Niu Foundation; Founder, former Chairman and President of Mengniu Dairy Group; and Founding Member, former Director, and Vice President of Yili Group. Mr. Niu currently holds many positions including Vice Chairman of China Charity Alliance, Trustee of the China Entrepreneur Club, Vice President of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Great China Council, and Trustee of The Paradise International Foundation.
In December 2004, Mr. Niu and his family created the Lao Niu Foundation. They are committed to becoming a “modern Chinese family foundation,” and are supporting the development of the Chinese philanthropic sector by promoting charity law reform, training nonprofit professionals, engaging in international exchange, establishing and supporting research organizations, and organizing philanthropy forums. The foundation strives to pursue globalized philanthropy based on their primary program areas of environmental protection and cultural education.
Adhering to the philanthropic beliefs of the Niu family, the Lao Niu Foundation has cooperated with 156 institutions, organizations, and individuals around the world. It has undertaken 198 philanthropic projects spanning 30 provinces in China and parts of the United States, Canada, France, Africa, and Nepal.
His passion for giving back is shared by his family, who have been inspired to embrace their own philanthropic efforts. In 2015, Mr. Niu's children established their own Lao Niu Brother & Sister Foundation to expand their personal giving and engagement. Because of their significant contributions to China’s philanthropic sector, the Niu family was named “China Strategic Philanthropy Model.”
Mr. Niu is often recognized for his philanthropic work, and has received many prestigious honors including CCTV's “Economic Person of the Year 2003” and the “Most Influential Entrepreneur of China” for five years in a row. He has also been presented the China Charity Prize (twice), China’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Special Contribution Award for Philanthropy, TNC's renowned Oak Leaf Award, and the Committee of 100’s Outstanding Prize for Philanthropy.
Dr Richard Sneider is an accomplished entrepreneur, a conservationist and extreme explorer. Dr. Sneider is co-founder of One World Star Holdings International LTD (OSI), and its Chief Strategic Officer, overseeing its mergers and acquisitions. OSI is a vertically integrated global apparel and fashion enterprise. Dr. Sneider is also a principal of Earthbar LLC, a health supply retail company, and an investor and active participant in the GP Management of Primestor Properties LLC.
Dr. Sneider holds degrees in Psychoanalysis and Philosophy and a PhD in Intellectual History from Claremont Graduate School, with a specialty in political ideology and hegemony identifying objectivity in strategy - a tool he has applied in his expeditions, and in business strategic planning; he has participated in conflict resolution negotiations in politically sensitive regions, and has partnered with the United Nations on initiatives. Dr. Sneider is a guest lecturer at Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center on Leadership and Conservation and acts as IUCN FFSG Global Chair and Patron of Nature.
Dr. Sneider has a deep-rooted interest in exploration and fieldwork, nature, traditional societies, and their interaction. With decades of field exploration, a passion for exploring unchartered territories, Sneider has surveyed above and below water pristine places in the Americas, West Papua, Africa, Asia and the North Arctic, where he participates in biodiversity surveys, often in areas not previously surveyed or reached, and is a sponsor, field-architect and partner of Dr .Gerry Allen and Dr. Jared Diamond’s on-going Indonesian New Guinea field surveys. Dr. Sneider has been deeply involved in the world of Aquaria for 35 years, discovered the significant M sneideri fish species, and still designs, builds, and sustains complex, one-of-a-kind, world class freshwater eco-systems.
His concern for rainforests, freshwater habitats, and his belief that support for species survival, in concert with human communities, is an essential component of conserving a healthy planet, have prompted him to join the Chairman’s Council of Conservation International, the Board at the Los Angeles Zoo, the ICOA Board of National Geographic and the Board of the Humpty Dumpty Institute. Through these organisations, IUCN, and through his own activities, Dr. Sneider participates in funding and advocacy for environmental concerns. Dr. Sneider participates in a wide array of philanthropic initiatives earning him the 2017 Honoree of the City of Hope prestigious Spirit of Life award, and was recently featured in the book 100 Making a difference.
Erik Solheim is the Executive Director of the United Nations' Environment Programme. He is a former leader of the Socialist Left Party of Norway and a former member of the Norwegian Parliament, as well as former Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee. In 2005 he was nominated Norwegian Minister for International Development and in 2007 Minister for the Environment and International Development.
During his terms as Minister, Erik Solheim launched a major international policy initiatives in support of climate change mitigation and the protection of nature: Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). and Energy+, For this he was awarded the “Champion of the Earth” by the United Nations. Another main achievement is the innovative Norwegian Nature Diversity Act. Among other main achievements during his terms as Minister he brought Norwegian development assistance up to 1%, he opened eight new national parks as well as passing the laws for the main Oslo forests natural reserve. He got passed the Nature Diversity Act, the biggest piece of environmental legislation in Norway for decades.
Solheim is also an experienced peace negotiator. He was the most recognizable figure in the peace negotiations between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers and has also made contributions to peace in Nepal, Sudan and a number of other countries.
“I am extremely honoured to be a Patron of Nature”, he said, “I consider IUCN to be absolutely crucial to the global struggle for sustainability, poverty reduction and the protection of the beauty of mother earth. With joint efforts we will prevail!”
Jon Stryker is a major donor and activist for social and environmental causes. A lifelong philanthropist, he founded the Arcus Foundation in 2000 with the goal of making an even greater impact in the world in the areas that he cares about most. Jon paired LGBT rights with the conservation of the world’s great apes as the foundation’s two primary areas of focus. While seemingly divergent causes, it was clear to Jon from the beginning that both are fundamentally rooted in compassion and justice, which form the basis of Arcus Foundation’s core mission. Since its founding, the Arcus Foundation has contributed over $500 million to LGBT rights and conservation efforts around the world, and Jon has been named on of the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s “Top 50 Donors” eight times since 2006.
He has received numerous awards from LGBT groups including the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, the National LGBTQ Task Force, the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network, and Immigration Equality. Additionally, he received the Jeanne and Joseph Sullivan Award from Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center in 2012. Jon is a founding board member of the Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya as well as Save The Chimps, the world’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary located in Ft. Pierce, Fla. Both conservancies were largely funded through Arcus Foundation grants.
In 2010, a newly discovered species of Myanmar snub-nosed monkey was named Rhinopithecus strykeri in Mr. Stryker’s honor. Despite his foundation’s global focus, Jon continues to seek opportunities to support his hometown of Kalamazoo. He endowed his alma mater, Kalamazoo College, with the largest grant in the college’s history to create the state-of-the-art Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, which opened in 2014. He is currently is a member of Kalamazoo College's Board of Trustees and was the recipient of the college’s Distinguished Service Award in 2010.
Mr. Stryker has also established an Arcus Endowment and chair position at the University of California Berkeley College of Environmental Design - where he obtained a master’s degree in architecture - that support education and research around LGBT issues and their relationship to urban design and planning.
In 2016, Stryker was named the inaugural recipient of the college's Catherine Bauer Wurster Award for Social Practice. Mr. Stryker is also a crucial supporter of the Equal Justice Initiative’s project to build a national memorial to victims of racial lynching.
Additionally, Mr. Stryker serves on the board of directors of Friends of the High Line, the nonprofit organization that oversees the operations and management of the raised High Line park in New York City. Mr. Stryker lives with his husband Slobodan Randjelović in New York City.
Jessica and Adam Sweidan
To address global biodiversity loss, Adam and Jessica founded Synchronicity Earth in 2009, a UK-based charity, which identifies conservation priorities and finds the people best placed to tackle them. Synchronicity Earth has two key goals: to increase the scale and impact of environmental philanthropy, and to partner with the most effective organizations and individuals to reduce the loss of species and ecosystems.
Prior to establishing the charity, Jessica ran The Synchronicity Foundation that she and Adam created in 2000, overseeing donations to projects across the globe. A slightly different approach to philanthropy meant that Adam and Jessica were deeply engaged in the projects and people they supported; project ideas were either generated through meaningful encounters, by seeking out solutions to problems, or by being recommended a direction from a trusted partner. As a result, the portfolio became a mosaic of projects which included support for a range of themes, like: scholarships and education; endangered species; social and economic development; creative endeavors and art education; health care and medical clinics; human rights and relief efforts; and the well-being of children. The Synchronicity Foundation has worked with over 70 projects in nearly 40 countries.
Adam is a founding partner and Chief Investment Officer of Aurum Fund Management Ltd. He has been investing in the alternative investment market for more than 20 years. Adam graduated from Northwestern University in Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. Jessica also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern University in Philosophy and Art.
In 2015 Adam and Jessica were made Honorary Conservation Fellows for the Zoological Society of London.