IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, the world’s largest environment network, has appointed Fiji national Radhika Murti as one of its youngest directors.
As the new Director of the Global Programme on Ecosystem Management, Ms Murti is in charge of IUCN’s work covering ecosystem assessments, drylands management, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and conservation on islands.
“I am extremely pleased with the appointment of Radhika Murti as Director of the Global Programme on Ecosystem Management,” says IUCN Director General Inger Andersen. “We are grateful to Ms Murti for the valuable work she has contributed to IUCN over the past decade, and for her commitment to strengthening the role of nature in protecting people from disasters and climate change. I hope that this appointment will inspire other women to continue reaching for leadership positions within the conservation community.”
Ms Murti joined IUCN in 2008 as a Project Officer, relocating from Suva, Fiji to IUCN’s headquarters in Gland, Switzerland. Prior to joining IUCN, she worked with the Ministry for Fisheries and Forest of Fiji, The University of the South Pacific and the United Nations Development Programme Multi-Country Office in Suva.
Nazhat Shameem Khan, Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, expressed pride at this important achievement by a Fijian living in Switzerland. Ambassador Khan highlighted the importance of IUCN’s work protecting the natural environment in Fiji, and that Ms Murti’s appointment is of special significance to the country. She also reflected on the advancement of capable women in the field of conservation, and commended Ms Murti as a role model for other Fijian women working across the world in this field.
Born and raised in Lautoka, Fiji, Ms Murti holds a bachelor’s degree in Forestry Science from the Australian National University, a Master’s degree in Land Management from The University of the South Pacific, and will shortly be defending her PhD on nature-based solution approaches to climate change adaptation in Burkina Faso, Chile and Senegal at the University of Bern.
“Growing up in Fiji and experiencing disasters and, more recently, climate impacts inspired me to develop my knowledge and skills in this area of work, and be engaged, particularly through my work at IUCN, in efforts to reduce peoples’ vulnerabilities in Pacific Island countries,” says Radhika Murti, Director of IUCN’s Global Programme on Ecosystem Management. “There is a lot to be done and I hope to inspire more young professionals from the Pacific region to choose topics such as climate change, conservation and sustainable development for studies and career prospects.”
Radhika Murti has been working closely with the IUCN Oceania Regional Office in Suva on initiatives that promote the conservation of healthy ecosystems to help reduce risks associated with disasters and climate change impacts.
“We are indeed proud that a Fiji national has been appointed to be Director of IUCN’s Global Programme on Ecosystem Management,” says Mason Smith, Regional Director for IUCN Oceania Regional Office. “We look forward to working closely with her and her team as we address the conservation needs of the Oceania region, especially on issues related to climate change and disasters.”
IUCN is a membership Union composed of governments and civil society organisations. It harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its more than 1,300 Member organisations, including the Ministry for Environment, Fiji, National Trust of Fiji and The University of the South Pacific, as well as the input of more than 13,000 experts across the world.