Jonathan Barzdo is the newly appointed Deputy Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and officially assumed his role at the Secretariat on 15 May 2017.
He will lead relations with the governing bodies of the Ramsar Convention, oversee arrangements for their meetings including the official documentation and support the Parties in the implementation of the Convention.
Jonathan Barzdo formerly a member of the diplomatic staff of the United Nations Environment Programme, brings to the Secretariat extensive knowledge and experience working with multilateral intergovernmental processes and handling the negotiations and processes that govern issues of conservation.
He joins the Ramsar Secretariat from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Geneva, where he was the Chief of Governing Bodies and Meeting Services. In this role from 1991 to 2014, he was responsible for advising on the implementation of the Convention, for all official documentation, and for arrangements for CITES meetings. He also previously served as an independent consultant on CITES and wildlife trade management, as well as on organizational governance.
Jonathan Barzdo also spent two years at the European Commission, where he drafted the regulation that implements CITES in all the Member States of the European Union.
From 1983 to 1989, he was the Head of the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Unit of the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (formerly the IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre) as well as being the Director of TRAFFIC International. His association with TRAFFIC started in 1979, when he was the Deputy Chairman of the TRAFFIC Specialist Group of IUCN/SSC.
Earlier in his career, he was a wildlife consultant, warden of a bird hospital, a zoo keeper, and a genetics research assistant.
Jonathan Barzdo replaces Ania Grobicki who held the position of Deputy Secretary General from 2015 to 2017.