WCPA develops and disseminates knowledge, science-based policy, advice and guidance on a full suite of issues surrounding protected areas through our Regions, Themes, Specialist Groups, and Task Forces. We bring together global experts to find solutions for programme priorities, including global protected area standards and Best Practice Guidelines.
To develop and provide scientific and technical advice and policy that promotes a representative, effectively managed and equitably governed global system of marine and terrestrial protected areas, including especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Systems of protected and conserved areas are effective in conserving nature, and as such, are recognised and valued both as cornerstones for conserving biodiversity and as natural solutions to global challenges, providing benefits to human health, livelihoods and well-being.
WCPA is led by the Commission Chair, supported by the Deputy Chair and Steering Committee, and has an operational structure including Specialist Groups, Task Forces, and Commission Members that contribute to the realisation of our mandate.
We work closely with the IUCN Secretariat, IUCN’s Regional Offices, other Commissions, and IUCN members to realise the Union’s One Programme Charter. Our work is based on the WCPA Mandate 2021-2024.
WCPA Leadership is composed of the WCPA Chair, Deputy Chair, Steering Committee, Special Advisors, and our Specialist Group and Task Force Chairs.
Dr. Madhu Rao
Madhu is a Senior Advisor for the Wildllife Conservation Society. She is a conservation scientist with over 25 years of experience with designing and supporting the implementation of conservation field programmes across Asia.
Dr. Andrew Rhodes
Deputy Chair, WCPA
Andrew is the Ocean Coordinator and Sous Sherpa before the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy for Mexico attached to the Ministry of Foreign Relations. Previously held executive positions in the National Commission for Protected Areas and Mexican NGO’s.
The Steering Committee is the principal governing body of WCPA. The WCPA Steering Committee is appointed by the WCPA Chair and approved by the IUCN Council. The Committee is composed of the Chair, the Deputy Chair, Regional Vice‐Chairs, and Thematic Vice‐Chairs.