More than 100 world leaders participated in the Global Competitveness Forum in Riyadh to discuss solutions to the global financial crisis under the theme Sustainable Competitveness, which symbolises the start of a new decade of thinking. IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre and IUCN President, Ashok Khosla, highlighted the importance considering the value of ecosystem services in 21st Century.
“We need to look at nature as a source of innovation and inspiration for the transition to a green economy and need new means to measure progress beyond GDP,” said IUCN President Ashok Khosla.
“Our nature is to be viewed as our infrastructure that we need to take care of so as to ensure a sustainable, healthy, and competitive economy,” said IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre.
Speakers of the forum, which was held from Jan. 25-27, 2010, also included, Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister of the UK, John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems, Michael Dell, Founder and CEO, Dell Inc., James Wolfensohn, 9th President of the World Bank, James Turley, Chairman and CEO, Ernst and Young.
As part of her mission to Riyadh, IUCN Director General also met with HRH Prince Bandar, Secretary General of the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development (NCWCD) accompanied by IUCN West Asia Regional Direcot Dr. Odeh Al-Jayyousi. The aim of this meeting was to discuss the current IUCN and NCWCD partnership with the aim to ensure adding value to their work in support of IUCN initiatives.
The overall aim of this IUCN mission to Saudi Arabia was to raise the profile of IUCN presence in Saudi Arabia and ensure strategic support to IUCN members in the region during the International Year of Biodiversity. The mission aslo enabled IUCN to identify national and regional priorities so as to better serve members in a purposeful manner. IUCN Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA) intends to harness and influence the GCC environmental agenda in West Asia by providing policy advice on the transition to a low carbon society.