Though an economist by profession Joost van der Ven (1940) worked nearly always in nature conservation and matters related to nature. The first years of his career was as scientific researcher in the Netherlands Research Institute for Nature management especially on the economic evaluation of nature values. After this he was Inspector for Nature Conservation in the State Forestry of the Netherlands. He was heading the Inspectorate with 500 personnel and an annual budget of around 100 mln USD. Over 60,000 ha of nature reserves were managed by his department. Management plans for a large percentage of reserves were established and new ideas about management were introduced. Many international contacts were maintained.
He spent several years in the late ‘80s as Assistant Director Development of the International Waterfowl Research Bureau in Slimbridge. Further to the general work, contacts with Asia and the Asian Wetland Bureau were developed. During this time the annual Asian Waterbird Census was initiated.
For Ministry of Agriculture and Nature Management he spent nearly ten years as Agricultural Counsellor in different Netherlands Embassies abroad, serving in Paris, West- and Central Africa and Moscow. In 1995 he retired from the official ministerial service.
After 1995 he worked on numerous activities in Eastern Europe and Asia both on agriculture and nature management. As director of Daru Ltd he headed the organisation with offices in different parts of the Eastern European and Central Asian region.
Joost van der Ven has contributed much of his time in private nature conservation organisations at provincial, national and international levels. He was president of the Netherlands Society of Bird Preservation, and Chairman of the European Crane Working Group, amongst others.
From 1999-2007 he worked mainly in Myanmar. In 2006 he wrote a book about his work in Myanmar, especially related to the search of the Pink-headed Duck. Training of staff and inventory reports about Myanmar’s unknown nature were the results. He visits Myamnar nowadays on a regular basis.
He has written or assisted in developing numerous reports and articles e.g. for the EU, the Ramsar Convention, GEF and World Bank. He has written a book about the birds of Kyrgyzia, and is co-author of a book on the mammals of the same country.
Dr. Joost van der Ven was an Associate expert of Wetlands International