Natarajan Ishwaran has an educational background in Zoology (BSc), ecology and conservation (MSc) and wildlife management (Ph.D). He has more than 40 years of experience working with wildlife, protected areas, environment and sustainable development at local, national and international levels. In his early career in Sri Lanka (1975-1986) he conducted research that supported Sri Lankan Government’s efforts to conserve elephant and other large mammal habitats in areas where large river valley development projects were being implemented. From 1986 to 2016, he worked in UNESCO holding several important positions including Chief, Natural Heritage (1996-2004) and Director, Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences (2004-2012). From 2012 to 2015, he was resident in Beijing as a “State Recruited Expert” of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) enabling the International Center on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST) to design, develop and implement international initiatives. He continues work closely with CAS Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth assisting in particular with regard to strategic planning and international relations for HIST.