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McGough, H. Noel

Job title: 

Head of Conventions and Policy Section

Conventions and Policy
Joined Kew: 


Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc (Hons), Univ. College Dublin, 1978
  • MSc, Univ. College Dublin, 1983. 
  • Member CITES Plants Committee
  • Chair CITES Plants Committee Significant Trade Working Group 
  • Co-Chair CITES Advisory Panel for the Evaluation of the Review of Significant Trade 
  • Member European Union CITES Scientific Review Group
  • Member CITES Standing Committee Working Group on the use of Taxonomic Serial Numbers
  • Member Defra Advisory Panel for the Methodology for Assessment of Priorities for International Species Conservation
  • Member UK CITES Officers Group
  • UK Government delegate: CITES meetings of the Conference of the Parties, CITES technical committees, European Union meetings and negotiations.

Line management of the Conventions and Policy Section and of the UK Overseas Territories and Conservation Training teams. Advising governments and partners on the application of international regulatory schemes to biodiversity conservation.

Advising the UK government on the application of international biodiversity related conventions to plants. Conservation governance and negotiation. Packaging scientific advice for government policy makers, inter-governmental decision-makers and for international negotiations. As appropriate, leading for the United Kingdom and European Union Presidency in international negotiations. Managing Kew’s role as UK Scientific Authority for Plants under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Supporting the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity at Kew and in partner countries. The investigation of trade in wild plants and the assessment of possible detrimental trade and the effective application of the CITES Non-Detriment Finding process. Working with partner countries to identify methods to correct detrimental trade, in particular through the CITES Significant Trade process and the CITES Plants Committee. Developing tools and building capacity to help countries fulfil their obligations under international conventions. Building global partnerships through the mechanisms of international biodiversity related conventions to facilitate Kew’s implementation of the Breathing Plant Programme.

Selected publications: 

Smith, M.J., Benítez-Díaz, H., Clemente-Mu≈àoz, M. A., Donaldson, J., Hutton, J., McGough, H.N., Medellin, R. A., Morgan, D. H. W., O’Criodain, C., Oldfield, T.E.E., Schippmann, U. & Williams, R.J. (2011). Assessing the impacts of international trade on CITES-listed species: Current practices and opportunities for scientific research. Biol. Conserv. 144: 82-91.

Garrett, L., McGough, H.N., Groves, M. & Clarke, G. (2010). CITES & Timber. Ramin. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK.

Ogden, R., McGough, H. N., Cowan, R. S., Chua, L., Groves, M. & McEwing, R. (2008). SNP-based method for the genetic identification of ramin Gonystylus spp. timber and products: applied research meeting CITES enforcement needs. Endang. Species Res. 9:255-261.

Oldfield, S. & McGough, H. N. (2007). A CITES Manual for Botanic Gardens. Second edition. Produced in English, Italian, Spanish and Chinese. Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Richmond, UK.

McGough, H. N. (2006). Legislation: a key user of taxonomy for plant conservation and sustainable use. In: Taxonomy and Plant Conservation ed. S. Jury, & E. Leadlay, pp. 255-265. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

McGough, H. N., Roberts, D. L., Brodie, C. & Kowalczyk, J. (2006). CITES and Slipper Orchids, CITES et les orchidées Sabot de Vénus, CITES y las Zapatillas de Venus. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Smith, M. J., Brodie, C., Kowalczyk, J. Michnowicz, S., McGough, H.N. & Roberts, J. A. (2006). CITES Orchid Checklist, 4. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.