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Stanley is above all a West Countryman. Since 1951 his family has farmed on Exmoor, on the Devon-Somerset border, and Stanley still manages the farm there today. He is a former Conservative member of the European Parliament (MEP) where he served (1979-1984) as Vice Chairman of the Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection. He has also worked in the European Commission (1973-1979) as Head of the Prevention of Pollution division and (1984-1994) as Senior Adviser to DG Environment and as Director of Energy Policy. He is currently a trustee of the Gorilla Organisation (www.gorillas.org) and an Ambassador for the United Nations Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) (www.cms.int). He has had ten books published dealing with environmental issues, including the Politics of the Environment, the Earth Summit and the Environmental Policy of the European Communities. He has also had nine novels published, including The Commissioner which was made into a film starring John Hurt. In 1984 he was awarded the Greenpeace Prize for Outstanding Services to the Environment and in the same year the RSPCA Richard Martin award for services to animal welfare.