EAAFP Secretariat Welcomes New Chief Executive

Mr. Peter J. Probasco, Chair
East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP)

Lew Young at the CMS COP12

The recruitment of the new EAAFP Chief Executive resulted in a very competitive process and set of high-level applicants. Following a series of interviews, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Lew Young as the new Chief Executive effective on 26 March 2018.

Lew is familiar to the Partnership, either from his days as WWF Manager of the Mai Po Nature Reserve [EAAF003] in Hong Kong from 1991-2008 or more recently as Senior Regional Advisor for Asia & Oceania for the Ramsar Secretariat, based in Gland, Switzerland since 2008. He has been a very active participant in EAAFP from the very beginning. Indeed, he was involved in the development of the Asia‐Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy, the precursor to EAAFP where he was a member of the Migratory Waterbird Conservation Committee and Chair of the Shorebird Working Group.

Mai Po Nature Reserve is one of the model sites for migratory waterbird conservation along the Flyway, due in no small part to Lew’s work as WWF Reserve manager, supervising 20 staff in different aspects of reserve management, education and outreach and partnership building. He was involved in the innovative program to manage fishery production in freshwater zones of the reserve, that has seen Mai Po become an important non-breeding site for the endangered Black-faced Spoonbill.

Lew’s work for the Ramsar Secretariat provided support and advice to the 33 contracting parties in Asia and eight in Oceania. He advised on the identification, designation and management of Ramsar sites in the region, represented Ramsar at regional and international meetings and supported Ramsar Regional Initiatives, notably, in Asia, EAAFP and the Ramsar Regional Center for East Asia, currently based in Suncheon Bay, Korea. He has been involved in many training and capacity-building initiatives, focusing on community-based involvement in management, tracking management effectiveness and integrating disaster risk reduction into wetland policy and management, among other subjects.

Lew has been very active in EAAFP, both representing Ramsar as a Partner, including on EAAFP’s Management Committee, and also as Chair of the CEPA Working Group, until his recent handover to Sandra Hails, a former colleague at the Ramsar Secretariat. He has strongly supported a focus on the Flyway Site Network, including regular reporting and monitoring, as well as promoting community involvement in their management. He has long sought ways to increase participation and identify benefits for Flyway Site managers and stakeholders. Lew has a naturally collaborative style and is also very conscientious in providing feedback on ideas and documents, despite his always busy schedule. He brings with him to the EAAFP Secretariat an excellent network of contacts and colleagues throughout the Flyway.

Lew arrives at the Secretariat at an exciting time, with many new developments, including a ten-year Strategic Plan. We are very lucky to have Lew join us and are confident of his, and EAAFP’s success in the future. Please join us in welcoming Lew to the Secretariat.

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