Yichuan works to deliver UNEP-WCMC's strategy in disseminating knowledge on biodiversity. His role involves working across the Centre’s programmatic structure and providing leadership to support:
Previously, Yichuan worked on natural World Heritage sites and the Red List at IUCN, primarily on the spatial evaluation of nominations under biodiversity criteria. He also led projects on building technical capacity, supporting scientific research, and developing policies for conservation.
During this time, he was permanently seconded to UNEP-WCMC, advising on the World Database on Protected Area and, amongst many other projects, supported the Centre’s initial regionalisation activities. Yichuan holds a BSc in Earth Sciences from Zhejiang University and a master’s from the University of Cambridge on GIS and remote sensing.
This work aims to introduce remote sensing and geospatial functionalities to enhance the precision and accessibility of Conservation Outlook Assessments through various scoping activities and initiatives. It is expected to greatly enhance the scope of proactive monitoring that the IUCN Brighter Outlook project aims to achieve.
A major update of World Heritage spatial data was completed in December 2011 when over 150 sites with missing, poor or incorrect boundaries were improved. This endeavour continues in order to incorporate the latest Committee decisions every year and whenever better information is made available to the Centre.
Yichuan contributed to a series of World Heritage thematic studies, including identification of gaps in terrestrial and marine environments, ecosystem services and benefits, and conservation outlooks. These studies were launched at World Heritage Committee meetings and IUCN World Parks Congress, with several papers published in peer-reviewed journals.