Despina Symons Pirovolidou, Greece

18 April 2012 | Article
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Despina Symons has acquired deep knowledge and experience of EU environmental policies and procedures and has an extensive network of contacts, encompassing senior environmental policy makers and other stakeholders.

Working daily with EU institutions, particularly the European Parliament, she has organized numerous events bringing together policy makers, governments, NGOs, the scientific community and other experts, which have influenced policy on issues in agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture. Throughout, she has worked closely with the IUCN Regional Office for Europe.

Despina will leverage her EU contacts to aid IUCN’s Regional Office for Europe in expanding its impact on EU policy and to strengthen the working relationship between IUCN and EU institutions. In particular, she is well placed to encourage more frequent use by the EU of IUCN’s unique ability to bring together multiple stakeholders to achieve consensus.

She will support further moves to strengthen the implementation of the One Programme Approach, encouraging collaboration between the Council, the Secretariat, the Commissions and their constituent members as well as National Committees, supporting the key role they play in underpinning the work of IUCN.

Despina will also support the initiative SULi (Sustainable Use and Livelihoods) and the Business and Biodiversity initiative in which she has been actively involved.

Please post any comments or questions on this page.
Note that Despina Symons Pirovolidou will communicate in English, French and Spanish.


Althougha Hans de Iongh is my countryman and first choice I got to know Despina as a good and charming spider in the web of not only nodes of the networks but also great personal involvement to the people.
I wish her best luck.
She is my favorit second candidate.
Hugs & kisses from the Templeguy.
September 8, 2012 - 06:45
2 LEFEBVRE Christophe Agence Francaise des Aires Marines Proteges
El Grupo de Expertos Pesca de la UICN que Despina ha creado en 2008 y que coordina se ha desarrollado en poco tiempo y aporta un contribución importante en el trabajo de la UICN en la interfaz entre la pesca y la conservación de biodiversidad y la pesca responsable. Su compromiso al desarrollo de la UICN, sus competencias en materia de la conservación y la gobernanza en la pesca como también su conocimiento profundo de la política de la CE y sus mecanismos aportaran una contribución útil en el Consejo de la UICN.

September 7, 2012 - 07:47
3 CHRILEFEBVRE ChristopheSTOPH LEFEVRE Agence Franchaise des Aires Marine Proteges
recommendation & support
The IUCN/CEM Fisheries Experts Group which Despina Symons founded (in 2008) and coordinates has developed in a very short time and is making a very useful contribution to the IUCN’ work at the interface between biodiversity conservation and responsible fisheries. Her dedication to IUCN development, her competences in the environmental matters and international governance of fisheries, as well as her insight into the European Union policies and mechanisms would be very useful assets to the Council.

September 7, 2012 - 06:22
4 JIHYUN LEE Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
Despina's contribution to Marine Biodiversity PoW of the CBD
Despina has been instrumental in facilitating the cooperation between conservation-oriented community and fishery-orientied community, through co-organizing various meetings with CBD Secretariat as well as FAO and UNEP on addressing biodiversity concerns in sustainable fishery. She is currently making important contribution to the building of Sustainable Ocean Initiative of the Convention that focuses on capacity building of developing countries toward implementation of Aichi Targets on marine biodiversity, particularly Target 6 and 11.
September 5, 2012 - 16:31
5 Despina Symons
Información adicional
Soy la fondadora y coordonadora del grupo de expertos pesca establecido durante el Congreso de Barcelona bajo la Comisión de la Gestión de Ecosistmas de la UICN (CEM/FEG) . El Grupo se ha ganado la credibilidad de la comunidad sientifica, actualmente reconocido como el grupo de expertos para la pesca dentro de la UICN como tambien en el ambito de organizaciones internacionales como la FAO la CDB y UNEP. El grupo ha hecho una contribución considerable en el trabajo de la UICN en el interfaz entre la pesca y la conservación. Más información:
August 14, 2012 - 15:16
6 Despina Symons
Información adicional
El Intergrupo del Parliamento Europeo (PE)“Cambio Climatico, Biodiversidad y Desarrollo Sostenitble” establecido bajo mi iniciativa hace 18 anos es ahorra el mayor intergrupo del PE y la plataforma de debate con mas influencia. Haber ganado credibilidad y apoyo ejerce una influencia sobre los responsables de la toma de decisiones politicas de UE. Con la incorporacion de la UICN al Secretariado del Intergrupo, junto con EBCD, abri la puerta del PE a la UICN, su experiencia y conocimientos, sensibilizando al los responsables politicos de la UE.
August 14, 2012 - 15:14
7 Despina Symons
Informations complémentaires
Je suis la fondatrice et coordonnatrice de UICN/CEM/FEG (Groupe d'experts pêche) établi lors du dernier Congrès de l'UICN. Ce groupe a acquis une grande crédibilité et est reconnu comme le groupe d'experts scientifiques sur les questions liées à la pêche au sein de l'UICN et d'autres organisations internationales telles que la CDB, la FAO, PNUE, etc. Le Groupe a apporté une importante contribution aux travaux de l'UICN sur l’interface entre la pêche et la conservation et a produit de nombreuses publications scientifiques. Pour plus d’information sur FEG:
August 14, 2012 - 15:06
8 Despina Symons
Informations complémentaires
L’Intergroupe du Parlement européen (PE) “Changement climatique, Biodiversité et Développement Durable” a été créé il y a 18 ans à mon initiative et représente la plateforme de discussion la plus importante et influente permettant une discussion équilibrée au sein du PE.L’intergroupe a gagné crédibilité et soutien.Il exerce une influence significative sur le processus décisionnel européen. En incluant l'UICN dans la gestion conjointe du secrétariat, j'ai ouvert des portes à l’IUCN au PE et attiré l'attention des décideurs de l'UE sur l'expertise de l'UICN.
August 14, 2012 - 15:04
9 Despina Symons
Additional information
I am the founder and coordinator of the IUCN/CEM/FEG (Fisheries Expert Group), established at the last IUCN Congress. This Group has now gained high credibility and is recognized as the scientific expert group for fisheries related issues within IUCN and other international organizations such as CBD, FAO, UNEP etc. The Group has made a considerable contribution to IUCN’s work on the interface between fisheries and conservation and has produced a number of important scientific papers. You can find more information on the Group’s activities on:
August 13, 2012 - 12:25
10 Despina Symons
Additional information
The European Parliament (EP) Intergroup on “Climate change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development“,established at my initiative 18 years ago is now the largest and most influential platform of balanced discussion in the EP on issues related to conservation and sustainable development.Having gained credibility and wide support, it wields significant influence on the EU decision making process.By bringing in IUCN as a joint Secretariat, I have opened the doors to IUCN in the EP and raised awareness on IUCN’s expertise and knowledge amongst EU policy
August 13, 2012 - 12:13
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