Bright ideas, like the colors of textiles woven in Ecuador, combined to create new plans for collaborative action by two IUCN Commissions during a joint meeting of their Steering Committees two hours outside Quito. Each Commission met separately on its 2009-2012 agenda, and then worked together to propose mutual areas for action. Two reports summarize the findings of this May 2009 meeting of CEC, the Commission on Education and Communication, and WCPA, the World Commission on Protected Areas.
Joint CEC and WCPA Meeting
How can we raise the profile of protected areas? The question focused a full day of brainstorming in small groups that mixed members from both Commissions. WCPA members championed the key role of well-managed protected areas in addressing climate change and protecting biodiversity. Together with CEC members, the groups explored new collaboration in target areas: how to access and add to pools of conservation knowledge, how to apply the tools of strategic communication including media and fundraising, how to build professional capacity from parks managers to policy-makers, and how to engage young people as Commission members.
CEC Steering Committee Meeting
An immediate focus for CEC will be the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity. Building a stronger and more active membership will be a priority of our new Regional Vice-Chairs and National Activators. Another task will be telling IUCN stories with simple words. This work and much more will define the contribution of the IUCN Commission on Communication and Education to the One IUCN Programme for the period 2009-2012. A 20-page report summarizes the results of two days of planning by the CEC Steering Committee on May 11 and 12, 2009, in Otavalo, Ecuador.
Ambitious plans included online courses and a database for distance learning (capacity building); strategic use of diverse media along with “plain speak” to convey IUCN priorities with more impact (communication platforms); and start dialogues with key people and groups around climate change and security and other emerging issues (co-creating solutions). These and other activities aligned with areas in the CEC strategic plan and mandate.