Eugene Lapointe, president, IWMC World Conservation Trust; former secretary-general, CITES
Learning from and living with nature in the vast wilderness of Canada was very much a part of Eugène Lapointe’s young life. At the age of seven, he was catching partridges and rabbits to help feed his family who lived 50 miles from civilization. In this rustic setting, he learned that to survive, one must use sparingly what nature has to offer. Many years later, as Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Eugène was implementing on an international level lessons learned from nature in the Canadian wilds. Eugène’s dedication to practical and realistic global natural resource conservation while Secretary-General of CITES defined his service. Eugène sought to continue his work in global conservation and founded the IWMC World Conservation Trust in 1994, IWMC is a world-wide coalition of wildlife managers who believe the most powerful conservation tool is sustainable utilization of terrestrial and marine wildlife resources. He recently wrote a book entitled Embracing the Earth's Wild Resources. Before joining CITES, Eugène worked 14 years with the Canadian Government in Ottawa. During eight of these years, he directed a legislative unit dealing with agreements such as the International Coffee Agreement, the International Sugar Agreement, the International Cocoa Agreement and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. He holds a law degree from the Laval University in Quebec. As a conservationist, jurist and diplomat, Eugène, who is a versatile lecturer, has been promoting the sustainable utilization of terrestrial and marine wildlife resources, on a world-wide basis. He can be described as an optimistic humanist who truly believes in the merits of human nature. Eugène’s favourite sport is Hockey. He coached the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees as well as the Lausanne Hockey Club during the promotion year at the National “A” League.