Rod Abson has been a Scout since first joining his local Scout Group at the age of 8 years old in Melbourne, Australia. He has continued to be actively involved in a variety of ways, many with environmental education and projects to help to protect, clean up or enhance the natural environment. Rod now works professionally for the World Organization of the Scout Movement, which is the world's largest youth movement with 28 million members, girls and boys, women and men, in 160 countries. His responsibility as Unit Manager, Environment Education is to help to develop educational programmes and opportunities for Scouts to learn about the environment and take positive action. An important part of this work is to work with partner organisations, in particular UNEP, which Rod has managed the relationship between these organisations since 2005. This has included working with the Tunza team on co-written publications, engaging Scouts in the Billion Trees Campaign, painting competitions, International Children's and Youth Conferencesm, Ozzy Ozone campaign events and other general collaboration opportunities.
Before moving to Geneva two years ago, Rod worked in Thailand with WildAid, focussing on preventing illegal trade in wildlife across South-east Asia. His prior experience has included working with Universities in Australia and government departments to develop environmental management plans for major highway developments and wildlife crossings, developing educational programmes for children and adults and conservation management programmes in rural Australia.
Rod has a Masters of Environmental Management (University of Tasmania), a Bachelor of Arts (Nature Tourism) (La Trobe University) and is currently studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Development Management (The Open University, UK).