The Snow Leopard Project and other Adventures in Warzone Conservation

The Linnean Society of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BF, United Kingdom
02074344479 ext 211

LUNCHTIME LECTURE 12:30–13:00 Friday 14 February 2020

Snow Leopard
© Alex Dehgan

Postwar Afghanistan is fragile, volatile, and perilous. It is also a place of extraordinary beauty. Evolutionary Biologist Dr. Alex Dehgan arrived in the country in 2006 to build the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Afghanistan Program, and preserve and protect Afghanistan’s unique and extraordinary environment, which had been decimated after decades of war.

An evolutionary biologist and former diplomat working for the Wildlife Conservation Society, Dehgan’s efforts were central to the creation of the first Afghanistan National Park Program. In his book, The Snow Leopard Project: And Other Adventures in Warzone Conservation, Dehgan takes readers along with him and his team through some of the most dangerous places in postwar Afghanistan as they work to establish the country’s first national park, complete some of the first extensive wildlife surveys in thirty years, and act to stop the poaching of the country’s iconic endangered animals, including the snow leopard.

Dehgan will reflect on innovative approaches to advancing the environment and security in some of the most politically and ecologically fragile places in the world, while exploring connections between conservation and political stability. This talk will also consider the larger changes of the political landscape and evolving US positions towards Afghanistan, while showing spectacular imagery from Afghanistan that never crosses our televisions or computers.

Dr Alex Dehgan is the CEO of Conservation X Labs, an innovation and technology startup focused on conservation. Alex is a Global Futures Fellow and Professor of Practice at ASU’s School of Sustainability. Alex previously served as the Chief Scientist at the U.S. Agency for International Development, with rank of Assistant Administrator. Alex founded and headed the Office of Science and Technology, and created the vision for and helped launch the Global Development Lab, the Agency’s DARPA for Development, and was part of the founding team of USAID’s Policy Bureau. Prior to USAID, Alex worked in multiple positions at the Dept. of State, including overseas service under the Coalition Provisional Authority, using science to support bilateral diplomacy. Alex was the founding country director of the Wildlife Conservation Society Afghanistan Program and helped create Afghanistan’s first national park. Alex holds a Ph.D in Evolutionary Biology from The University of Chicago as well as a law degree from the University of California, Hastings.

  • This event is free and open to all.
  • Doors will open at 12:15.
  • Tea will be served in the Library following the event.

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