The Committee met for the last time on 5 September 2012 before the start of the IUCN World Conservation Congress. The Chair thanked all members for their contributions.
By Wendy Goldstein, CEC Deputy Chair 2009-2012
The Steering Committee meeting was an occasion to celebrate results. The group met to (a) share information on the past four years 2009-2012; (b) highlight CEC priorities and generate strategic lines of work within the IUCN Programme 2013-2016; and (c) to inform members about the CEC activities during the IUCN Congress
Cyrie Sendashonga joined us for the first part of the meeting. She is the IUCN Global Director of the Programme and Policy Group, and heads the unit responsible for CEC. She posed several questions for the future role of CEC, asking “How to move from awareness to change? How can we make an impact in the new IUCN programme?" Participants discussed how CEC could help IUCN “communicate the message” better so people can implement it. Indeed CEC could help to take all the 20 CBD Targets forward, they said.
Cyrie pointed to IUCN priorities to contribute to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) platform. Early input from CEC would be crucial, she said, posing questions to address such as "What should IPBES need to communicate; how to communicate it?" and "What kind of products could contribute to raise awareness?"
The meeting was facilitated by CEC Deputy Chair Wendy Goldstein, who highlighted the enormous expertise of the CEC network. She pointed out to Cyrie that, too often, the expertise is requested usually at the end of a process instead of at the beginning and that the demand has to be consistent with the fact that Commission members have full time responsible jobs and are contributing expertise voluntarily.
The CEC Membership Liaison Officer, Cecilia Nizzola-Tabja presented the membership statistics and showed how much CEC had grown. It is still difficult to engage such a wide network without the proper relation and knowledge management tools we require, she observed.
Nancy Colleton and Juliane Zeidler, the two candidates for CEC Chair 2013-2016, members of the CEC Steering Committee were asked questions on their visions and ideas for the future leadership of CEC. Both are keen to engage members but they are aware that there might be less funds in the future and we should find innovative ways to do this. A number of topics arose in discussion with the candidates:
- How do we communicate better with other commissions and the IUCN Regional Offices?
- How do we use the “Love.Not Loss’ campaign?
- How do we see ourselves doing things differently?
- How do we engage in Africa when they don’t have easy access to the internet? In Africa face-to-face meetings work better which require resources; though we should find other strategies.
- How can CEC work more closely with IUCN members?
- How can CEC address messages for urban areas as most people live there now?
- How can CEC promote a vision for change?
Rod Abson presented an update on the follow-up campaign to “Love. Not Loss” called “How to Tell a Love Story”. As part of the campaign people at the Congress would be interviewed on video responding to the question "How did you fall in love with nature?" A group of young professionals would be assisting with the video and interviews, which will be uploaded in the CEC website in the near future. The CEC Chair presentation on 12 September, together with the CEC stand and CEC advertising material were based on the “How to Tell a Love Story” campaign and associated short films provoking people to think about their communication and tune into CEC. .
The CEC Chair Keith Wheeler took the opportunity to thank the group for their support and their contributions during the last eight years.