Virginia Young

Member of the World Commission on Protected Areas and the IUCN Task force on Primary forests and Intact forest landscapes

Prior to her involvement in conservation Virginia was a successful business woman as well as heading the mining section of the Foreign Investment Division within Federal Treasury. Virginia has been involved in successful environmental campaigns across Australia since the late 1980s. She worked closely with ARCS in the lead-up to the successful South East Queensland Forests Agreement which she co-signed in 1999 on behalf of the Wilderness Society. There she played a leading role as the Wilderness Society’s National Forest Campaign Co-ordinator. She pioneered a continental-scale approach to nature conservation in Australia with the establishment of ‘Wild Country’. In support of this initiative she established the Wild Country Science Council of eminent Australian scientists to provide independent advice to guide that initiative. Since 2007 she established the Ecosystems Climate Alliance (ECA), an alliance of international ENGO’s that feed good science, policy and nature advocacy into the United Nations Framework Convention on climate Change (UNFCCC). She is currently Chair of Gondwana Link a ground-breaking project restoring and reconnecting lands across SW Western Australia; and Managing Director of Forests Alive, a company that offers carbon credits for native forest protection. Virginia was awarded Wild magazine’s Environmentalists of the Year in 2001 and was recognized as one of 20 ‘Global Wilderness Visionaries’ by the World Wilderness Congress in 2010.