About SOS and Jean-Christophe Vié

17 July 2014 | Interview by Craig Kasnoff

Tomorrow, I will post Part 1 of a three-part interview with Jean-Christophe Vié, Deputy Director of IUCN’s Global Species Programme and Director of SOS – Save Our Species.

Therefore, I thought it best to post some background about him, and the SOS program, ahead of time. Especially since his background is to extensive (and so impressive).

I hope you enjoy the interview with Jean-Christophe Vié. It is over 4,000 words long, and it brings to light some of the most cutting edge thinking on the issue of species facing extinction.

About Jean-Christophe Vié:

Jean-Christophe Vié, is the Deputy Director of IUCN’s Global Species Programme and Director of SOS – Save Our Species. Vié joined the IUCN Global Species Programme in 2001 as its Deputy Director. He oversees many diverse aspects of the Programme, including regional and global biodiversity assessments and the Red List of Threatened Species, the assessment of climate change impact on biodiversity.

The IUCN inputs to several international agreements and supporting the extraordinary Species Survival Commission (SSC) network where the bulk of expertise about species resides. He also started developing SOS at the end of 2008 and became its Director when the initiative was launched at the end of 2010.

Vié’s involvement with IUCN started more than 20 years ago when he was invited to join the SSC. In early 2000, he joined the IUCN West Africa Regional Office where he was in charge of coordinating all aspects of the IUCN programme in Guinea Bissau including, among others, protected areas design and management, coastal zone management, local fisheries, public awareness, species conservation, capacity building and micro credit.

Vié has extensive field experience in various parts of the world including various parts of Africa, South America, Saudi Arabia and the USA where he spent 15 years overall. He started his career as a wildlife veterinarian with a main interest in primates. He also worked on the reintroduction of Arabian Oryx and subsequently designed projects covering a wide variety of Neotropical species such as marine turtles, manatees, giant otters, black caimans, primates and snakes.

Vié designed, and then directed, a large project aiming at monitoring the impacts of a dam on wildlife in a pristine area of tropical forest. He was also heavily involved in the design and management of protected areas, as well as public awareness campaign.

This led Vié to interact with a variety of stakeholders such as indigenous communities, local governments and administrations, logging companies, hunters, dam builders, fisheries and the private sector in general. He then completed a PhD in ecology and, while keeping a strong interest in species and site based conservation, he moved to more general conservation issues first regionally and then globally.

About SOS – Save Our Species:

SOS is a global coalition initiated by the three founding partners the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the World Bank, to build the biggest species conservation fund, supporting on-the-ground field conservation projects all over the world.

According to Vié, the goal of SOS is to combine resources and funding experience from the World Bank and GEF, with the authoritative science of IUCN and the resources and ingenuity of the private sector, to create a mechanism that ensures sufficient funding goes to species conservation projects where, and when, it will have the most impact.


Find organizations saving endangered tigers at Saving Endangered Tigers.


Tigers in Crisis is Produced by Endangered Species Journalist Craig Kasnoff

to Promote the Plight of Endangered Tigers and the Efforts to Save Them.