New FFI President a royal appointment

Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands was appointed President of Fauna & Flora International (FFI) following elections at the Annual General Meeting this week.

“We are delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness as President,” said FFI’s Chief Executive Mark Rose. “Princess Laurentien has been representing us for almost a decade and has an excellent understanding of our vision and mission – I know her support will prove invaluable as we seek to develop over the coming years.”

FFI’s President and Vice-presidents use their insights, skills and experience to support FFI in its mission to conserve threatened species and ecosystems worldwide.

HRH Princess Laurentien was elected President of FFI at the AGM this week. Credit: Lindsey Sandbrook/FFI
HRH Princess Laurentien was elected President of FFI at the AGM this week. Credit: Lindsey Sandbrook/FFI

Princess Laurentien has been an advocate for sustainability and environmental issues for many years, and is also heavily involved in promoting literacy, drawing on her extensive experience in communications and journalism.

“I have been involved with FFI since 2004, and have always greatly appreciated how the organisation works in the field, in particular the way in which they work with people locally,” said Princess Laurentien.

“This involves listening to concerns, entering into dialogue and – most importantly – finding ways to engage them in conservation. By getting people involved, and by respecting their needs and values, we can ensure not only that they support conservation, but that they benefit from it too.

“I look forward to assisting the outstanding FFI team. Investing in our planet´s resources is more important and urgent than ever before,” Princess Laurentien added.

In addition to her communications and charitable work, Princess Laurentien is the author of the Mr Finney children’s book series about sustainability and climate change, which is available in several languages.

In other news

Later in the evening, FFI hosted a debate “Can we save our seas?” Speakers were Will Anderson, Director and Producer of Hugh’s Fish Fight, Charles Clover, environmental correspondent and campaigner, Professor Callum Roberts of The University of York and Tiago Pitta e Cunha, Adviser on Maritime Affairs to the President of Portugal. The Right Hon David Miliband MP was also present and joined in the debate, offering his views on the state of  marine conservation. “There are moral reasons for trying to bring about better marine conservation but also economic ones,” Mr Miliband commented.

The Rt Hon David Miliband MP at FFI's Can we save our seas? debate on Wednesday. Credit: Lindsey Sandbrook/FFI
The Rt Hon David Miliband MP at FFI's Can we save our seas? debate on Wednesday. Credit: Lindsey Sandbrook/FFI

Will talked about public knowledge of the issue, how the sense of sheer waste drove what is an otherwise difficult-to-commission subject onto our national television screens, and is going to do so again.

Charles spoke of how fishing communities need to be part of efforts to protect our marine resources. Without them we’ll fail – and currently UK politicians are abetting that failure.

Can we save our seas? debates, from left to right: Will Anderson, Charles Clover, Chris Greenwood, Callum Roberts and Tiago Pitta e Cunha. Credit: Roger Ingle/FFI
Can we save our seas? debaters, from left to right: Will Anderson, Charles Clover, Chris Greenwood, Callum Roberts and Tiago Pitta e Cunha. Credit: Roger Ingle/FFI

Professor Roberts explained how knowledge is driving international change and approach to global marine resources, and agreed with Charles on the importance of managing those resources with all the parties who rely on them.

Tiago, reminded us, crucially, that this is a political issue that can and will be driven successfully by understanding what is at stake. If that means quantifying the value and role of marine resources then we must quantify and value them, as we have with biodiversity elsewhere, if our seas, are to be saved.

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