Penguins and Mandarins by Sir Martin Holdgate
In a world where conservation has come to prominence only in recent years, Sir Martin Holdgate has been at its forefront his entire life. It is his unique account of exploration, conservation and environmental politics in the latter half of the twentieth century, which makes Penguin and Mandarins the essential book for the ‘green’ reader.
After specialising in zoology at Queens College, Cambridge he recounts vividly his exploration in the remote areas of the Antarctic and the Sub-Antarctic with the world’s finest ecologists and his time as Chief Biologist of the British Antarctic Survey.
Upon his return, he spent a period with the Nature Conservancy but was soon drafted into Whitehall to head a new Central Unit on Environmental Pollution.
His experiences throughout are told with good humour, even within the formal confines as Chief Scientist to the Department of Environment or, on an international level, with the United Nations Environment Programme.
Recognised as a leader in his field, he served as Director General of IUCN - The World Conservation Union, based in Switzerland. In his retirement he continued to lead United Nations action on forests and served for ten years as President of the Zoological Society of London
An account of true magnitude with a touch of humour, Penguins and Mandarins is a unique insight into conservation on a global stage which cannot be bettered.