We so often talk about the fact that nature conservation and biodiversity are too low on the political and economic agenda to get the attention they deserve. I just came accross the Forbes 2012 list of most influential people in the world (http://www.forbes.com/powerful-people/list/) and it proves the point. The list is made up of political leaders and company Chief Executives (and the pope, who comes in at number 5).
Out of the seventy most powerful world leaders, not one has a real environmental portfolio. International development is represented by the Clinton Global Initiative and its President Bill Clinton featuring on number 50, and the President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim stands at number 45. The closest environment gets a look in is when Margaret Chan from the World Health Organisation comes in at number 58 and the US Secretary for Health and Human Services ranks 68.
One exception is maybe Bill Gates, who is listed as the head of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and not as former Microsoft boss. That is fantastic, and is hopefully an example for many other billionaires to follow suit.
No mention in this list of Braulio de Souza of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Christiana Figueres of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change or Achim Steiner of the UN Environment Programme, let along leaders of WWF, IUCN or one of the other large conservation NGOs.
We need to find a world ambassador for nature!