top of page

Founding Director, Baron Bertrand des Clers, Ph.D. (France)

Retired Executive Director of the International Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife (IGF), founder of the European Bureau for Conservation and Development (EBCD), past Chairman of Tropical Game Commission of CIC, Member Emeritus of IUCN Species Survival Commission, Life Member of Fauna and Flora International, Cofounder of the two International Professional Hunters Associations (IPHA and ACP), Founder and past Chairman of the IUCN/SSC Ethnozoology Specialist Group (ETZ/SSC), past GAMECOIN Vice-President for Europe, Member of the Hunting Hall of Fame Foundation. Bertrand operated Conservation Force's Paris office across from the Louvre until his death in 2006. 


10/06/2006 - Conservation Leader Bertrand des Clers Dies


replaced on the Conservation Force Board of Directors by Philippe Chardonnet. That was also the wish of Bertrand himself. Philippe is a Ph. D. veterinarian and replaced Bertrand as the Executive Director of the International Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife (IGF) in Paris, France. I serve on the Board of that foundation, which has projects in twenty-five African countries and others in every corner of the world. Philippe is the Co-Chair of the Antelope Specialists Group of IUCN and the author of the now-famous Chardonnet Lion Study on the African lion that played a crucial role in deflating the Kenya proposal to beBertrandIt was the express wish of HIH Prince Abdorezza before his all African lion to Appendix 1 of CITES. Philippe and I serve on the African Lion Working Group together and attended both African Lion Workshops. Philippe was groomed for years by Bertrand to head the foundation in Paris and would bring a lot of fresh skills to Conservation Force. Subject to Board approval, Philippe Chardonnet will replace Baron Bertrand des Clers on the Conservation Force Board. We intend to

Bertrand became my dearest friend and confidant in all Conservation Force matters. He was never too busy to help or advise, and his counsel was as sound and even brilliant as any from any other source in this world. He was a charming man with a twinkle in his blue eyes, enthusiasm for life and an incomparable record of unwavering devotion to the hunting world and way of life.decadestwoBaron Bertrand des Clers died suddenly and without any known illness of an apparent heart attack at his Paris home on the night of October 6, 2006. He was 77 years old. Bertrand was a founding Board Member of Conservation Force, served on the Board for nearly ten years and in recent years maintained CF’s Paris office in his home across from the Louvre housing the Mona Lisa.

they would be treated as “commercial” trade which, of course, is prohibited. Bertrand was the Chief Executive Officer of the International Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife (IGF) for more than two decades under HIH Prince Abdorezza, who was perhaps the greatest hunter of all time. He was the CEO of the International Council of Wildlife and Game Conservation (CIC), co-founder of the International Professional Hunters Association (IPHA), the French Professional Hunters Association, and served on the African Lion Working Group, Antelope Specialist Group, Trade Specialist Group and much more. He was a MEMBER EMERITUS of IUCN in recognition of his extraordinary services. The World Conservation Union recognized him as an icon of the conservation world. The IUCN is the largest and most influential conservation organization in the world. Just this year he was the second recipient of the Peter Capstick Conservation Award presented at Dallas Safari Club for his unsurpassed contributions to the hunting and conservation world.BertrandNo individual in the world did more for tourist hunting than Bertrand. He was truly in a league of his own for nearly 50 years. He was the principle author of CITES Resolution 2.11, which is the whole basis permitting the export and import of hunting trophies of all appendix 1 species such as elephants, leopard, markhor, crocodile, etc. But for

There is no doubt whatsoever that his daily input helped distinguish Conservation Force and helped forge what we are. Over ainsure that Conservation Force
continue as Bertrand would advise. Conservation Force is a monument to him. He was our most active soldier and worker. He died two nights before the London workshops and the opening statement of the program paid tribute to him.perioddeaththatofuplist


From Species 46 July - December 2006 IUCN Newsletter:

Baron Bertrand des Clers 

Bertrand des Clers, a member of IUCN for more than 30 years and ‘Member Emeritus’ of the Species Survival Commission left us on October 9. As Director of the International Foundation for the Conservation of Game
(IGF) since its inauguration in 1976, until his retirement in 2001, he was very well placed to advocate sustainable use of wildlife as a conservation technique and as a means to reconcile the imperatives of
development with the necessities of conservation Although he trained as an aeronautical engineer at the University Johns Hopkins of Baltimore in the USA, Bertrand des Clers devoted most of his professional life to the conservation of wild fauna.

A member of IUCN for more than 30 years, he was ‘Member Emeritus’ of the Species Survival Commission. He had been a member of several IUCN Commissions, the World Commission on Protected Areas, the Commission on Environmental Law and the Survival Species Commission. He was also Chairman of the IUCN/SSC Ethnozoology Specialist Group, at one time. In 1976, HIH Prince Abdorreza of Iran asked him to take over the responsibility for developing the International Foundation for the Conservation of Game (IGF), an organization the Prince was establishing. Bertrand des Clers served as Director of IGF until his retirement in 2001. In this capacity, he carried out a wide range of wildlife conservation projects around the world, e.g.:


  • Creation of two new protected areas in the

  • Mongolian People’s Republic

  • Reintroduction of the wood bison in Canada

  • Conservation of the forest reindeer in Finland

  • Elephant anti-poaching in the Central African Republic

  • Black rhino rescue in Zimbabwe

  • Reintroduction of the dama gazelle in Morocco and of the scimitar-horned oryx in Tunisia

  • Promotion of community-based natural resource management programmes (CBNRM) in Southern Africa.

He had been very involved in the drafting of several international conventions in the domain of environment: the CMS, CITES and CBD.  An enthusiastic naturalist and wise hunter since his youth, he was very well placed to advocate sustainable use of wildlife as a conservation technique and as a means to reconcile the imperatives of development with the necessities of conservation.

Among his many credits, he served as:

  • Director of the International Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife from 1976 to 2001

  • Assistant Admin-istrator General of the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) and Chairman of the CIC Tropical Game Commission

  • Vice-President for Europe of Game Conservation International

  • Vice-President of the International Union of Game Biologists (IUGB)

  • Founder of the European Bureau for Conservation and Development (EBCD)

  • Member of Honour of the Board Meeting of the International Association of Professional Hunters (IPHA).

The work of Bertrand des Clers may best be summed up in his own words: “In our modern society, man’s domination over nature is overwhelming. The industrialized nations are destroying the remaining outposts of unspoilt nature while developing countries turn all available land over to crop or pasture in their efforts to increase food production and cash returns to ensure the livelihood of their growing populations. Mankind, ignorant of ecological interdependencies of which scientists are only now beginning to appreciate the complexity, has selected vegetable and animal species which could easily be domesticated, in the process, wild species, considered to be either valueless or harmful, were sacrificed…”
Philippe Chardonnet, Co-Chair IUCN SSC Antelope
Specialist Group

bottom of page