Born and resident in Tarragona, Spain, Puri Canals has a PhD in Biology from the University of Barcelona. She teaches Physiology, at the Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona and works as international consultant on marine and coastal conservation. From 1994 to 2010 she was the President of the League for the Defence of Natural Heritage (DEPANA in Catalonia) and has been appointed at a large number of environmental bodies. From 2000 to 2008 she served at IUCN’s Council as Regional Councillor for West Europe and also as Vice President from 2005 to 2008. Puri has also been the Chair of the Preparatory Committee for the IUCN 4th World Conservation Congress that was celebrated in Barcelona, Spain 5-14 October 2008. Since participating in the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, she has participated actively in many international conferences and she’s especially interested in the UNFCCC, the CBD and the Barcelona Convention. Regarding the Mediterranean Region, Puri was directly involved in promoting the creation of the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation based in Malaga, and she worked with IUCN Mediterranean members for more than ten years. She’s a member of the Scientific Council of the “Conservatoire du Littoral” in France; the Advisory Council for Sustainable Development of the Government of Catalonia and the Advisory Council of the Biodiversity Foundation of Spanish Government. She’s a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas and the Commission on Ecosystem Management of IUCN. Since 2010, she is the President of MedPAN -the network of Marine Protected Areas managers in the Mediterranean- and since 2016 she’s leading the EU Transatlantic MPA Network Project.
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