Education: MSc Honours in Human Geography with specializations in Town and Country Planning, Economic Geography, Physical Geography, Environmental Geography, Environmental Law and Sociology, University of Groningen, the Netherlands.
Background information: As Executive Director, Rob is responsible for the daily management and for all projects of ECNC. He is also Chief Executive of the ECNC Land & Sea Group.
Rob is involved in a number of projects, including projects in the fields of stakeholder involvement, ecological networks, financing biodiversity and support to policy processes. He has extensive experience in dealing with complex international processes and with relevant intergovernmental biodiversity processes (CBD, EU, pan-European, national and regional). He has broad experience in addressing the economic value of biodiversity, and is an expert in ecological and landscape connectivity. Rob is chairman of various international fora. He was the first President of the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy (PEBLDS).
Before joining ECNC, Rob held several positions at the then Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries, where he was involved in the implementation of the Nature Protection Act and was responsible for the coordination of European and global biodiversity policies, especially EU nature policies and nature cooperation with CEE, and European integrated coastal conservation.
Rob also worked as researcher at the University of Groningen, for revitalization of excavated areas and the relationship between agriculture and nature.
‘Protecting that which requires extra care is the main passion in my life, whether people, nature or cultural heritage. Everything connects, and we have to rediscover this simple ancient truth again. When we, humans, reconnect to the core of our being, respecting and protecting nature will follow naturally.’