UNEP The First 40 Years; A Narrative by Stanley Johnson
To mark its 40th anniversary, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has sponsored a new book detailing the history of the Nairobi-based organization over the last four decades.Written by award-winning conservationist Stanley P Johnson, the book charts the evolution of UNEP from its inception at the landmark Stockholm conference of 1972 to its position today at the heart of the global environmental movement. Entitled: "The First 40 Years; A Narrative", the book - which is not an official UN history but the view of its world-acclaimed author - explains in depth UNEP's role at the forefront of efforts to protect the environment and is stuffed with interesting facts and figures.
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| Interview: Stanley Johnson on the green agenda
| Book review: Blue and Green Tomorrow
Where the wild things were
In this volume of collected travel and environmental journalism, Stanley travels from Exmoor to Ecuador, India to Istanbul, and across many other routes. He is charged at by mountain gorillas, encounters pandas, tigers, blue-footed boobies and the elusive blue whale. Dauntless, he climbs Kilimanjaro, catches cold at the Glastonbury festival, tracks down his ancestors in Turkey and meets legendary environmentalists such as Jane Goodall.
Behind the infectious Johnson humour, there lies the deep passion of a man who has spent his life in search of wild places and wild animals, and is committed to their defence. Reading this book, it is impossible not to catch the thrill.
** BUY Where the wild things were
Our ruthless exploitation of the natural world has already driven many wild animals to the brink of extinction. Among the most threatened are many migratory species, whether avian, terrestrial or marine. Because in most cases these species cross national boundaries, the need for international conservation efforts is particularly great. Albatrosses and petrels, migratory water-birds and raptors, whales, dolphins and other marine ammals; antelopes and forest elephants and even gorillas – these are just some of the key species that are the subject of this meticulously researched and richly illustrated book.
Produced in conjunction with a UN agency, this book is both an informative warning against the threat facing many species and a stunning celebration of their beauty.
** BUY Survival
Stanley I Presume
Published March 19th 2009
A rip-roaring and hilarious memoir from Stanley Johnson - father of London mayor Boris Johnson. Stanley's story begins with a loud bang - when his father, an RAF pilot in the Second World War, crash-lands a Wellington bomber on a Devon airfield. A few years later Stanley's parents buy a sheep farm on nearby Exmoor, where Stanley does much of his growing up. Stanley would keep his links with this much-loved rural idyll throughout his life - while going on to become an explorer, author, occasional politician and also one of the world's first environmentalists. A sparkling raconteur and experienced thriller writer, in Stanley I Presume great stories are told in great style.
On leaving school in 1958 Stanley travelled alone through South America - hitching rides across the jungle on Brazilian Air Force planes - and shortly afterwards he rode a motorcycle 4,000 miles from London to Afghanistan, tracing the route of Marco Polo with two friends. After winning Oxford University's poetry prize with a love poem - written following a hilltop tryst in the West Country - Stanley went on to do various adventurous jobs, before working for the billionaire John D Rockefeller 3rd, the World Bank, the United Nations and the European Union.
Stanley married and started a family young - Boris was born in New York when his father was 23 - and while Boris would go on to become big news, the family's forbears also provide quite a story, as Stanley finds out. For the Johnson family's roots are not just in the West Country, but in Turkey too - where, as Stanley discovers, his politician grandfather Ali Kemal was torn to pieces by an angry mob. Stanley visits a Turkish village where the locals are blonde - later he learns that he and Boris are direct descendants of George II.
Stanley I Presume
"A wonderful jaw-dropping account of a rollercoaster life. Johnson senior does not disappoint... the book is a triumph" - ANNE ROBINSON
"Poet, explorer, irresistibly funny... This lovely book reflects its author's delightful personality" - ESTHER RANTZEN
"Boris has done for Livingstone; now it's Stanley's turn. There's no-one I'd rather go into the jungle with" - JOAN BAKEWELL
"From the early days of running across a mat of spring flowers at the stadium at Olympia, to a standing ovation at the Berlin Film Festival, via the politics and people of his time, Stanley Johnson's life sparkles with a joy of living. He writes with the wit and humour of a true raconteur. Stanley, I Presume, is a fascinating read of a fascinating life" - ZOE WANAMAKER
"Stanley I Presume is funny and engaging. It reveals not only the person but also his many talents, passions and adventures, from novelist to secret service agent, poet to population activist and explorer to Eurocrat. And it also reveals why the Mayor of London is called Boris" - TONY JUNIPER