Meet Dr. Ray Nias

Island Conservation selects Dr. Ray Nias as our new Southwest Pacific Regional Director!

Dr. Ray Nias brings to Island Conservation a wealth of experience in the Asia-Pacific region. He has been involved in many island conservation projects in Australia, the Southwest Pacific and the Sub-Antarctic region. His work has included strategic planning for invasive species programs in Australia and working on Australian government advisory committees dealing with threatened island species and threat abatement plans.

Ray was the Director of Conservation for WWF Australia from 1988 – 2009 and led the development of WWF Australia’s large and growing program of conservation related activities including the management of research, policy development, advocacy, and community outreach programs. He has been actively involved in the international work of WWF for many years; has been Chair of the WWF International Marine Advisory Group; and was instrumental in the establishment of the WWF South Pacific program in 1990 and the WWF Antarctic and Southern Ocean Initiative in 2006. Ray helped to secure private funding to design a rat removal program for Lord Howe Island (Australia) and this project was subsequently used as the basis for the LHI rodent eradication plan. In 2007, he worked with an ecotourism company to develop island conservation programs for Sub-Antarctic Islands, specifically on Macquarie Island which resulted in a $26 million commitment by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments to complete the removal of rats and rabbits from the island.

Ray is also an experienced fund-raiser and communicator with more than 20 years’ experience in developing, funding and managing conservation programs. Through WWF Australia, Ray has worked with governments, conservation groups and communities throughout the region developing programs, policy campaigns, communications and fund-raising programs in countries including Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Indonesia, New Caledonia and various countries in Southeast Asia.

In 2009, Ray formed TierraMar Consulting with two friends with the aim of assisting organizations that work on coastal and marine conservation issues in Australia, South-east Asia and the Pacific. As a consultant Ray specialized in strategic planning and analysis of complex environmental programs, developing funding applications for intergovernmental organizations in the Pacific and writing technical and popular reports on coastal and marine issues, including the plight of Australia’s unique Snubfin Dolphin.

With his scientific and management background, fund-raising experience and knowledge of the Southwest Pacific region, its environments and institutions; Ray is ideally placed to help make Island Conservation a major force for island conservation in the Southwest Pacific region.

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