Experts' profiles - Heidrun Frisch
Heidrun Frisch
Heidrun Frisch is an expert on whale and dolphin conservation, working on the science-policy interface of a UNEP treaty. The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (UNEP/CMS) aims to conserve terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species throughout their range. Heidrun has been coordinating the Secretariat of the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas (UNEP/ASCOBANS) since early 2007. Her role includes providing technical and scientific support to the marine mammal-related activities of the UNEP/CMS Secretariat and its two cetacean-related Memoranda of Understanding, which apply to the Pacific Islands and the western African regions.

Heidrun has a background in environmental geography, with a particular focus on sustainable development and community involvement in rural areas of developing countries. She is not only passionate about nature conservation, but has also always been particularly interested in the interface between social and natural sciences, and strategies for reducing negative impacts of human activities on nature.

Whales, dolphins and porpoises (collectively referred to as cetaceans) are both the focus of her professional career and a private interest. Heidrun is particularly fascinated by the evidence of culture and highly developed social structures of many species. Their often wide home ranges or long-distance migrations mean that international cooperation is usually necessary to protect a population from negative impacts of human use of the oceans for fisheries, shipping, oil and gas exploration, renewable energy production and other activities. Finding ways to mitigate such threats from human use of the oceans is among the challenges that need urgent attention if many species of whales, dolphins and porpoises are to survive into the future.
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