IUCN Member effectively uses secretariat for outreach

29 September 2011 | Article

Daejayon, a students’ environmental network from Korea is using IUCN and its secretariat effectively to reach out to universities in new countries

Daejayon, the International Association of University Students for Environmental Movement based in Korea is gearing up for their International University Students’ Forum in Seoul, to be held later this year. Participating in the 5th Asia Regional Conservation Forum, they are meeting representatives from various IUCN offices in Asia to assist them in reaching out to universities in different countries. According to Ms Hye-Gyong Lee, Director, Daejayon, they have already made inroads to Bangladesh and Indonesia and are liaising with the offices in these countries.

This is how Daejayon is collaborating IUCN, said Ms Lee, when asked about the nature of their engagement as a Member. She was quite thrilled to narrate the story of how their association with IUCN began. Established in 2001, Daejayon members met with IUCN President Dr Ashok Khosla in 2009, who looked at their work and suggested that they should become a Member to effectively reach out to a larger constituency. “And so in 2010 we became a member of IUCN,” said Ms Lee.

Among the 2200 student members in more than a hundred universities is Lee Ji Yeon who studies law at the Konkuk University in Seoul. After a photo session with Dr Khosla and attending sessions at the RCF, she voiced why she wanted to be a member of Daejayon. “Working for the betterment of the environment is not an option, but a necessity and a duty that we all must perform. Students can the best agents of change through collective action,” said Ms Yeon.

As Ms Lee had put it, thinking, planning is good. But action is critical. She is positive both Daejayon and IUCN can compliment and add value to each other’s work.