Dr Simon Stuart

Senior Advisor to Conservation Programmes

Simon Stuart became Senior Advisor to Conservation Programmes after his tenure as Executive Director of A Rocha International came to an end in April 2023 with his retirement. He was formerly Director of Strategic Conservation at Synchronicity Earth, and he remains their Chief Scientific Adviser on a part-time basis. Simon is also former Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, and was a trustee of A Rocha International from 2000 to 2009 and again from 2017-2020.

Simon has undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the University of Cambridge, with fieldwork in Tanzania and Cameroon. He has over 30 years of experience with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and its Species Survival Commission (SSC). Simon started work on the African Bird Red Data Book in 1983. He joined the IUCN Secretariat in 1986, and was Head of the Species Programme (1990–2000), Acting Director General (2000–2001), Head of the Biodiversity Assessment Unit (2001–2005), and Senior Species Scientist (2005–2008). He was elected Chair of the SSC at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona in October 2008 and held this position until 2016. He joined Synchronicity Earth in 2017.

Simon has been instrumental in the species conservation movement, working on a number of global initiatives such as the development of the scientific basis of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Global Amphibian Assessment and the Key Biodiversity Areas Partnership. He helped to found the Amphibian Survival Alliance and the Asian Species Action Partnership, and has played important advisory roles, for example with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). He is on the board of Fondation Segré, and is an advisor to the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Rainforest Trust. Simon has also authored numerous high-impact scientific papers and books. In 2020 he was awarded the Blue Planet Prize, especially for his work on the IUCN Red List and on amphibian conservation.

He writes: “My interest in conservation started earlier than I can remember. A career in conservation was the only option for me. I first came across A Rocha in 1983 – the year that it was founded – but in meeting Peter and Miranda Harris it became a life changer, as it has given us both the theology and the community to bring our Christian faith and passion for conservation together. I see my role as helping to bring the new Covenant that has been signed between the A Rocha organizations into reality. This means building a worldwide family in which we have mutual accountability to – and responsibility for – each other. I also look forward to seeing A Rocha becoming even more effective in our conservation work, and demonstrating to the secular conservation world that Christians can show our commitment to Christ by looking after the world he has made, and taking science seriously.”

Simon lives in Bath, UK with his wife Ann, where they are active members of Holy Trinity Combe Down. They have two adult daughters.

Read an interview with Simon Stuart in the A Rocha Field Notes publication 

Watch Simon Stuart talk about Preventing Extinction and the IUCN Red List for A Rocha, 2021


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