Press release | 30 Mar, 2023

IUCN Director General Bruno Oberle announces departure

IUCN Director General Dr Bruno Oberle announced today that he will be stepping down at the end of 2023. Dr Oberle, who has led the creation of an IUCN Member-mandated 20-year vision for the Union, has stated that the subsequent stages of this plan should be designed by a chief executive who will be in office to oversee the initial stages of its execution beginning in 2025. He has stated that this timeframe is beyond his envisaged mandate and that a transition in leadership at this time will ensure a coherent design and implementation of this important initiative.

Dr Oberle stepped into the role of Director General in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Dr Oberle managed to forge ahead with important and much-needed organisational changes designed to maintain and enhance the Union’s relevance in the global policy and science debate, whilst also strengthening the organisation’s financial sustainability. He also invested in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the secretariat’s organisational model, a change process welcomed by many IUCN Members and framework partners. A successful Congress in Marseille in 2021, new and scalable workstreams in the field of agriculture, economy and finance and the launch of the IUCN Academy are some of Dr Oberle’s achievements during his tenure.

Outgoing IUCN Director General, Dr Bruno Oberle said: “IUCN’s mission – to influence, encourage and assist societies to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable – has been the backbone of my professional career and personal engagement since the 1970s. It is for this reason that I was honoured to be appointed Director General in 2020 and proud to serve for these 3 fruitful years.”

As Director General, state regulator, economist and scientist, Bruno Oberle has consistently explored and promoted the interface between environmental policy, economic development and social balance. He has worked on sectoral and national issues as well as at the highest level of international policy-making. He will continue to work with private sector, civil society and states in these areas, and as advisor to several organisations and companies.

Meanwhile, the DG will continue to work closely with the IUCN President, Council and Union as a whole to ensure a smooth transition.

H.E. Razan Al Mubarak, President of IUCN said: “I would like to extend my gratitude to Bruno for all his inspiring work over the years. He stepped into the role of Director General during very turbulent times and led the execution of a successful Marseille Congress. He raised important topics up on IUCN’s agenda and led the Secretariat through a restructuring and modernisation process, welcomed by many.  It has been a pleasure working with Dr Oberle and I look forward to our continued cooperation over the months to come.”