13th IUCN Indian National Committee Meeting Held in New Delhi

The 13th IUCN Indian National Committee (INC) meeting looks at a mechanism involving science, the IUCN Commissions and Members for action oriented interventions on the environment. 

Dr Ashok Khosla, IUCN President and Mr T Chatterjee, Environment Secretary, India, at the 13th INC meeting Photo: IUCN

The IUCN Indian National Committee (INC) had its 13th meeting on March 21, 2011 at the premises of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India. With the welcoming of new members to the IUCN constituency in India and to the INC, the Committee also deliberated on subjects for collaboration among members including the Government of India and discussed critical issues for the 11th Conference of Parties (COP) to be held in 2012. Dr Ashok Khosla, IUCN President and Mr T Chatterjee, Secretary MoEF, were present at the meeting with the INC members and office bearers.

Chairing the meeting, Mr Chatterjee emphasised that science should be the leitmotif for any engagement on the environment and conservation. He stressed on the need to develop mechanisms that could bring the NGOs, CSOs and government agencies under the same umbrella to coordinate and engage in result oriented interventions. Marking the six IUCN Commissions as significant repositories of knowledge and expertise, he said that they should be used and involved effectively to tackle the environmental issues in the country. This would help in providing a sound scientific background to environmental issues and suitable policy advice.

Dr Khosla called the IUCN members as the eyes and ears of the organisation and a crucial agent in the dissemination of messages pertaining to the environment. Concurring with the Chair’s views on the IUCN Commissions, he expressed the need to engage with the Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP) in the context of indigenous peoples’ issues in India.

He announced that the IUCN Council meeting for 2011 would be held in India and it would be another opportunity for the members to interact and deliberate on interventions. The IUCN staff including Dr J S Rawat, Coordinator Programme & Constituency for the India Office appraised the INC on the Regional Conservation Forum slotted for September this year in the Republic of Korea. He also updated the Committee on membership in India in the context of their involvement with various IUCN programmes in the country.   

There were discussions on the forthcoming COP-11 to be held in India. Dr Asad Rehmani, INC member and Director of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), stated that the two issues of access and benefit sharing and protection of marine areas would be of priority at the event. BNHS is designated as the NGO and CSO coordinator for the COP-11 to be held in 2012.

The members, including Mr P R Sinha, Member Secretary of the INC and Director of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), pledged to meet more frequently with clear agendas for action. 

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