2003 – Bret Bergst
BRET BREGST ’95 ’99 began working at the World Resources Institute (WRI) in Washington, DC, as a temporary employee in November 1999. In September 2000 he became coordinator of its Ecosystems, Protected Areas and Peoples (EPP) project. Now a research associate with the project, he works closely with a consortium of non-governmental organizations from around the world developing a global learning network for park and protected area managers and policy makers.
Bret’s work is three-fold. First, he is working with the EPP project team to develop an interactive web portal that offers a framework for providing resources intended to bolster the professional capacity of park managers. The site, www.parksnet.org, will enable managers, policy makers, and allied professionals around the world to exchange information, share their successes and failures, learn about training opportunities, and thus develop a body of knowledge on managing protected areas.
Second, he is working with a coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to develop a common position on protected areas policy for the negotiations of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which involves some 190 countries and recognizes parks and protected areas covering 13 percent of the earth’s land surface. The NGOs in the group will act as central providers of information, expertise and training for governments trying to meet their treaty obligations.
Finally, Bret works with the World Conservation Union (IUCN), and one of its commissions called the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), through which he researches protected management and policy, and reports findings at international conferences.
Despite regularly traveling around the globe, Bret has remained active in the Model United Nations as a volunteer staff member. Since graduating he has served on staff at the Midwest and National Model UN conferences and has been a presenter for the annual United Nations Association of the United States (UNA-USA) Model UN Summit. Only accomplished student delegates are invited to volunteer for these positions after graduation.