Council meeting wraps up at IUCN’s Swiss headquarters

26 November 2009 | News story

The IUCN Council met in Gland, Switzerland from 23 to 25 November 2009.

Nearly all 37 Councillors attended from all regions of the world to approve the plan for the next 2 years and the budget for 2010. They also admitted 18 new IUCN Members.

Council decided to accept the offer from the government of the Republic of Korea to host the next World Conservation Congress, to be held in 2012, in Jeju. The official announcement was made at a special ceremony on Thursday 26 November, in Gland. Council recognised that the choice was difficult as it had received two excellent proposals for hosting the 2012 Congress.

Councillors heard the extensive reports of IUCN’s Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre and IUCN’s Commissions on their work over the past 6 months.

In the face of the threats to biodiversity which are growing at an unprecedented rate, while the funds for IUCN’s work are rapidly becoming harder to generate, Council was conscious that, beyond its scientific rigour and manifest impact - for which it commands high credibility and respect among those who know of our work - IUCN will have to reach a much larger universe of people to be partners and/or supporters in order to achieve its ultimate mission. While its messages have to be heard and heeded by decision makers at the highest levels and to be acted upon by individuals and communities at the very grassroots, the Union will also need sufficient resources to enable it to carry out (or cause to be carried out) activities, not only on a much larger scale, but that are also at the cutting edge and deal with emerging issues.

Council debated IUCN President Ashok Khosla’s stimulating ideas for increasing IUCN’s visibility and impact, and encouraged the Director General to continue systematically developing new initiatives aimed at raising the visibility of IUCN among various constituencies and evolving innovative approaches to mobilise funds from new sources for all Members and components of the Union.

Further, Council welcomed the work undertaken in relation to the UNFCCC. In particular, the documents REDD-plus and Ecosystem-based Adaptation Policy Position Papers. It also welcomed the “Recommendations for Strengthening the Ethical Dimension of the Negotiating Text under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Changes” and the “Message from Merida” being the declaration of the Wild9 World Wilderness Congress (Mexico, November 2009) as containing important information for informing climate change treaty negotiations.

The Council is the principal governing body of IUCN. It is responsible for the general direction and oversight, as well as the fiduciary responsibilities, of all parts of IUCN in between sessions of the World Conservation Congress.

The next meeting of Council will take place from 2 to 4 June 2010 in Gland, Switzerland.