David Sheppard

David Sheppard studied forestry at the Australian National University and natural resource management at the University of Canberra, Australia. From the beginning of his career at the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the State of New South Wales, he was involved in the management of Australia's first World Heritage sites, including the development of the management plan for Lord Howe Island. In 1993, he joined IUCN as Director of the Program for Protected Areas, a post he held until 2009. In 1998, he succeeded Jim Thorsell in his World Heritage-related functions: inscriptions and monitoring the conservation of sites, representation of IUCN at the Committee, policy development, missions etc. In 2003, he served as Secretary General of the World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa.

Beginning in 2009, David Sheppard served for years as the Executive Director of the Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP), a leading organization in the Pacific region for climate change, biodiversity, waste management and environmental governance. In 2016, he also worked as an independent consultant for the University of the South Pacific on various projects related to nature conservation.

The audio excerpts are from an interview with David Sheppard by Christina Cameron and Mechtild Rössler in Kyoto, Japan in November 2012. He discusses various World Heritage issues such as the length of the List, the commitment of States Parties and the links between nature and culture. Through many concrete examples, he remembers major decisions that have influenced the implementation of the Convention throughout the world. Through his long experience with IUCN and SPREP, he also provides thoughtful reflection on the conservation of natural sites, particularly in the Pacific.

UNESCO, World Heritage Oral Archives, Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage, University of Montreal, audio interview of David Sheppard by Christina Cameron and Mechtild Rössler, Kyoto, Japan, 8 November 2012.