THE LIFE AND TIMES MES OF A LEAD­ING EN­VI­RON­MEN­TAL­IST LIST

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Agenda Analysis - TONY JU­NIPER

Tony’s first act of en­vi­ron­men­tal protest – aged 12 – was putting gravel into the fuel tanks of bull­doz­ers in­volved in the con­struc­tion of the Far­moor Reser­voir near Ox­ford. “At the time it was a lovely wet­land that had breed­ing reed warblers and grass snakes,” Tony says.

In 1989, he started work­ing for what is now BirdLife In­ter­na­tional on a par­rot con­ser­va­tion project. “We had 100 par­rots in dan­ger of go­ing ex­tinct and none of them have, so it shows that tar­geted con­ser­va­tion does work.”

Tony joined Friends of the Earth (FoE) in 1990 to work on its rain­for­est cam­paign, and in the mid-1990s be­came prom­i­nent in FoE’s road protests move­ment. “We used it to show the road-build­ing pro­gramme was un­sus­tain­able and needed to change and that the law govern­ing Sites of Spe­cial Sci­en­tific In­ter­est had to be im­proved.” It was.

In 2005, Tony ran a cam­paign called The Big Ask that led to the Cli­mate Change Act 2008, which com­mits the UK Gov­ern­ment to re­duc­ing green­house­gas emis­sions by 80 per cent by 2050.

In 2010, he stood as the Green Party can­di­date in Cam­bridge – he came fourth with 8 per cent of the vote.

Tony has writ­ten a num­ber of books in­clud­ing Spix’s Macaw: The Race to Save the World’s Rarest Bird. His lat­est is Rain­for­est: Dis­patches from Earth’s Most Vi­tal Front­lines (see re­view on p88). He was ap­pointed a CBE in 2017.

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