Elephants, Earth Hour and IUCN!

IUCN Members networked by solar light in the magnificent Elephant House of Copenhagen Zoo at a special event held during the UNFCCC COP 15 in Copenhagen.

Inda, Surin, Kungrao, Ida and Gandhi.

The evening, hosted by the Copenhagen Zoo, IUCN National Committee of Denmark and IUCN, was an outstanding success allowing representatives of Member organizations, Commissions, Council and IUCN partners to discuss and debate the latest climate change developments and upcoming International Year of Biodiversity 2010, as well as marvel at the four majestic female elephants: Inda, Surin, Kungrao and Ida, and three-year old calf Gandhi.

The evening started in darkness in respect of Copenhagen Earth Hour, with guests arriving down a torch-light path from the Zoo entrance towards the Elephant House, designed by architect Norman Foster.

Thoughtful inputs were provided by the Zoo’s Vice Director Bengt Holst, the Chair of the ICUN National Committee of Denmark Jan Eriksen, and IUCN President Ashok Khosla, who urged his audience to take a holistic approach to combating conservation issues, noting that IUCN had done a great deal to already influence this work, and was capable of much more as “the organization where science and the heart come together”.

Up-and-coming musician A J Moore accompanied the evening with a beautifully poignant acoustic performance featuring ‘Take It All Away’, a song written to raise awareness of climate change and originally inspired by the work of naturalist Sir David Attenborough. Listen to “Take it All Away” online and visit his website.

Members were then treated to a delicious buffet made from local and organic produce by the Zoo’s own chef, and could explore the interactive elephant exhibition before making their way back along the snowy paths to their city lodgings, ready for another day of negotiating.

Our warmest thanks to Copenhagen Zoo, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, to all of the Zoo staff that helped to make the evening so magical, to the IUCN National Committee of Denmark, to the Nordic Committee which met earlier in the day at the Zoo and stayed on to support the event, and to all of the guests for braving the cold temperatures for this IUCN family evening. We look forward to seeing you next time! 

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