Discussion on dugong conservation and marine protection

Saturday, 7 January 2012 00:52 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Dilmah Conservation will host eminent British marine biologist Dr. Nicolas Pilcher for an evening of discussions on Dugong conservation and marine protection.

Dr. Pilcher has a career spanning over 20-years working on marine research and conservation projects throughout the Indo-Pacific.

He is the Founder and Director of the Marine Research Foundation, a private NGO based in Sabah, Malaysia, which implements marine research projects in several countries spanning the Indian and Pacific oceans.

His research is particularly related to marine turtle and dugong conservation, and how they are impacted by fisheries by-catch. Dr. Pilcher is a past-President of the International Sea Turtle Society and the Co-Chair of the Marine Turtle Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature – IUCN, the global authority on sea turtle biology and conservation issues.

He is also a member of the IUCN SSC Marine Conservation Sub Committee, which drives priority-setting for marine conservation at a global level, and is Technical Advisor to the UNEP-CMS Memorandum of Unde-rstanding on Dugong conservation.  Dr. Pilcher’s work focuses on reduction of bycatch of endangered marine fauna, originally related to turtles but more recently with dugongs and other marine mammals.

His work has helped revise management interventions by government agencies as related to hatcheries and turtles and has been able to develop strategic action plans for the conservation of turtles in countries as Eritrea, Pakistan, Qatar, Malaysia, and regionally as part of the Sulu Sulawesi Seascape programme and the Coral Triangle Initiatives.

He is also the lead technical advisor on an Arabian Gulf-wide turtle research and conservation project involving Qatar, Iran, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, and consultant to IUCN’s Asia Regional Office driving the development of a multi-million dollar port in India while being totally turtle-friendly.  Dr. Pilcher has published extensively on marine science conservation, and is on the editorial boards of several scientific journals.

Dilmah Conservation was initiated in 2007 by the Dilmah Group to incorporate environmental conservation efforts into the MJF Charitable Foundation, which focuses on social justice.  Dilmah Conservation works towards the sustainable use of the environment in partnership with other organisations including the International Union for Conservation of Nature – IUCN.  The pledge made by Dilmah founder Merrill J.