Biography in English

Philippe Roch was born in Lancy (canton of Geneva ) on 13 September 1949 . Having received his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Geneva in 1977, he immediately became involved in the field of conservation and environmental protection. He began his career as head of the WWF office in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and then became a member of the national WWF management team and Director general of WWF Switzerland. In 1992, he was appointed Director of the Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL) by the Federal Council. After 13 years at the helm, Philippe Roch resigned his directorship with effect from 1 October 2005 .


As the Director of SAEFL Philippe Roch was active at the national level to support, in particular, the implementation of the law on the reduction of CO2 emissions, the development of legislation in the area of biotechnology, the introduction of Swiss forest certification labels, the conservation of the mire landscape on the Southern shores of Lake Neuchâtel, and the protection of threatened animal species such as the lynx. In addition, Philippe Roch was a member of the Research Steering Committee, which is responsible for the planning and coordination of research within the federal administration.


At the international level, he represented Switzerland (acting in the capacity of State Secretary) in negotiations on environmental matters. Here, he worked in favour of strengthening UNEP and the global environmental regime, particularly in the areas of biodiversity, climate change, wastes, chemicals and water, and also supported the introduction of liability for environmental damage. Philippe Roch was a member and twice co-chairman of the Council of the Global Environment Facility (GEF)). He was a Board member of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research. He chaired the Conference of the parties to the Basle Convention (1999-2002 ) and the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention (2004-2005). He is a member of the Board of the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) (http://www.gcsp.ch).

He is acting now as an independent consultant. He is member of the board of different Foundations: Hainard(www.hainard.ch), Pro Specie Rara (www.prospecierara.ch), Swiss Ornithological Institute(http://www.vogelwarte.ch), Addax & Oryx (http://www.addax-oryx-foundation.org) and Salvia(http://esv2000.edi.admin.ch/f/entry.asp?Id=3878). Philippe Roch is a member of the scientific committee of the Montagu Foundation (http://www.fondationmontagu.org) and of the "Certificat de formation continue en développement durable" at the University of Geneva, and he collaborates to the Institute "de politiques territoriales et d'environnement humain" at the University of Lausanne. He devotes an important part of his time to research, writing and communication in the area of ecology, philosophy and spirituality. He acts as a member of the "Comité d'éthique et de déontologie" of the University of Geneva.

In 2008 Philippe Roch got a PHD honoris causa in "geosciences and environnement" from the University of Lausanne "for his contribution to the environmental awareness, and to the developement of knowledge in this area, in Switzerland and abroad, for his humanity and his enlightened non-conformism".