The late Lew Young with WWN committee in Japanese interior

Dr. Lew Young in memoriam


It is with great sadness we announce that Dr. Lew Young passed away from a heart attack whilst with colleagues in Beijing on Tuesday 5 March 2019. Lew was the CEO of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership and before that, Senior Asia Advisor for the Ramsar Secretariat. He helped launch and run the WetlandLink International-Asia project with colleagues from the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in 2006, whilst he was managing the Mai Po wetland centre in Hong Kong, a network of wetland centres that is still alive and well.

Lew has been involved with WWN since its inception at Ramsar COP10, 2008. He was instrumental in launching the World Wetland Network, bringing together NGOs and building on his previous experience with WWF and his extensive network of contacts.  We have always been grateful for his support, knowledge and enthusiasm for involving civil society in wetland conservation.

Lew has always given us great advice, made time despite his busy schedule and had enormous patience, as well as a wicked sense of humour. He was a supreme diplomat, able to bring partners together and find solutions that enabled good decisions to be taken and projects to be delivered. We will miss him immensely, but his legacy lives on in his incredible achievements for wetland conservation, and he will always be an inspiration to us. With great sadness at his passing, but also great joy that we had the privilege of working with him.

Lew, you continue to be an inspiration for us all.

Condolences and tributes can be emailed to

WWN Management Committee

The late Lew Young with WWN committee in Japanese interior