CEC in 2009: Chair's Corner

Our mission is to drive change towards sustainability. To drive change means that CEC has had to change. The December issue of our newsletter captures highlights of the past year.

Keith Wheeler, Chair of IUCN's Commission on Education and Communication Photo: IUCN

In 2009, CEC changed how it is organized and took steps to adapt our membership and what they focus on. We invested in recruiting new members to provide the next generation of communication and learning leadership. CEC also reached out to partner with different sections of the Union in new ways, and made a deliberate effort to embed the Commission across the IUCN One Programme.

CEC members continued to advance the agenda of IUCN and the wider conservation community, emerging with a stronger structure despite the loss of the CEC focal point early in the year. Although she resigned from her position in the Learning and Leadership Unit, since dissolved, Gillian remains active in CEC as a Specialty Group Leader. Our stronger structure and a new home for CEC within IUCN promise effective years ahead.

Highlights of 2009 include:

  1. Finding a new home for CEC in the IUCN Science and Learning Unit, with a member of Senior Management, Susan Mainka, as Head, Science and Learning. (We will meet her in our next newsletter).
  2. Expanding the climate change conversation to include military experts
  3. Offering input to develop a logo and guidelines for the International Year of Biodiversity
  4. Communicating biodiversity through CEPA training workshops
  5. Finding a new home for the World Conservation Institute and preparing to compile a global selection of online courses for professional development
  6. Exploring new media for conservation, such as the Planetary Action Atlas and the expanding use of video
  7. Partnering within IUCN by holding a first-ever joint Steering Committee meeting with WCPA, seeking ways to promote the value of protected areas
  8. Building networks with conservation communicators by promoting the Wild Speak symposium
  9. Contributing to Education for Sustainable Development events worldwide
  10. Updating the CEC structure with the appointment of Regional Vice-Chairs and selection of National Activators and Specialty Group Leaders

Future directions

Throughout 2010, a strong focus will be the International Year of Biodiversity. An important aspect of that work will be to promote the value of protected areas.

Building a stronger and more active membership will be a priority of our new Regional Vice-Chairs and National Activators, as will building audiences such as women and young people.

Plans include 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 starting dialogues with key people and groups around climate change and security and other emerging issues (co-creating solutions).We will be brokering alliances with non-traditional partners, evaluating new communications tools and strategies, and continuing to seek best practices in change management and knowledge managment. These and other activities will be aligned with areas in the CEC strategic plan and mandate, and carried out in deeper collaboration with the IUCN One Programme.

Our Commission is a learning network of social and intellectual capital that advances sustainable development. In 2009, the CEC Steering Committee and myself volunteered approximately 550 days to further the work of this Commission. In the coming year, I hope that you will join CEC in catalyzing innovation and transformational change for sustainable solutions.

With wishes for the happiest of holidays and a greener New Year!

Keith Wheeler, CEC Chair

Quick links
2009 CEC slide presentation to IUCN Council
2009 CEC video for IUCN Council
2010 newsletters: Send your news to cecnews@iucn.org


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