Vivek Menon is a leading Indian wildlife conservationist, environmental commentator, author and photographer with a passion for elephants. He has been part of the founding of five environmental and nature conservation organizations in India. Menon is the Founder, Executive Director and CEO of the Wildlife Trust of India. Menon will be one of the five speakers at the virtual event that celebrates the 20th anniversary of the IUCN NL Land Acquisition Fund.
The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) that has been founded and headed executively by Menon for over 21 years has pioneered several conservation initiatives, including documenting, prioritising and securing the first elephant corridors in India, setting up the country’s first wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre, training over 20,000 forest guards in anti-poaching, creating ‘rainbow’ products as alternatives to wildlife consumption and creating ‘green livelihoods’ for those involved in community based conservation. In his capacity as the Executive Director of WTI Menon has raised millions of rupees for conservation in India and has a built a team of over 150 professionals. He lives in New Delhi, a city of which he was the Honorary Wildlife Warden for over 20 years.
IUCN specialist groups
In the international arena, Menon is the current Chair of the IUCN SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group, a Member of the Species Survival Commission Steering Committee and a Member of the Conservation Translocation Specialist Group of the IUCN. With experience of over 25 years of work with the IUCN, he has served at various earlier times on the Asian Rhino Specialist Group, Cat Specialist Group, Threatened Waterfowl Specialist Group and the Medicinal Plant Specialist Group.
As the Executive Director of Wildlife Trust of India, I have raised millions of rupees for conservation and have built a team of over 150 professionals.
As Senior Advisor to the President of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Menon gives advise on conservation strategies and partnerships and he has at various times led their enforcement training and Asian elephant global initiatives. He has trained enforcement staff of over 50 countries in prevention of illegal wildlife trade, served as a consultant to the Kenya Wildlife Services and helped establish the first elephant reserve of Myanmar in the Rakhine Yoma.
Menon has attended CITES meetings for over thirty years, many of which as a Technical Advisor to the Indian delegation and as an observer. He has been intensively involved in CITES planning and policy in collaboration with the CITES Management Authority of India since 1991 and is currently a member of the CITES Cell of the MOEF. In addition, he has been on the Indian delegation to the UNESCO World Natural Heritage meets, the Convention on Biological Diversity and Convention on Migratory Species meetings. He has visited over a 100 countries, walking the natural forests and wild lands of over half of them and lecturing internationally in over 30 nations, including addressing parliamentarians in the UK and Australia.
In India, Menon serves on a number of governmental and non-governmental boards and committees and was a member of the Elephant Task Force of the Ministry of Environment and Forests that suggested a complete revamp of India’s elephant conservation strategy. He has served on a number of wildlife and elephant protection committees and was a member of several State Advisory Boards for Wildlife. In the interphase between business and Biodiversity, he was the Co-Chair of Leaders for Nature of IUCN and is still an Advisory Council Member of the CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development.
He is the author or editor of ten wildlife books including the bestselling Indian Mammals- A Field Guide, scores of technical reports and more than 250 articles in various scientific and popular publications. Indian Mammals is a landmark publication, being the first of its oeuvre in independent India to be written by an Indian. It has been translated into several languages and printed in several editions around the world.
Menon is one of the five speakers during IUCN NL's inspirational online journey around the world on Thursday November 19, from 15.00 to 16.30 CET. Join this online event to discover the unique conservation stories of five passionate nature conservationists.