By Dr. Ameyali Ramos Castillo, Deputy Chair of CEESP
The CEESP Steering Committee met in Tbilisi, Georgia, in June, 2019. The meeting included reporting on CEESP activities, discussions, and decisions on important upcoming events and initiatives, including preparations for the World Conservation Congress in 2020.
CEESP Theme Chairs, Regional Vice Chairs, Specialist Groups, the Commission on Education and Communication (CEC), and IUCN Secretariat Staff participated in the meeting. This was CEESP’s third Steering Committee Meetings with previous SC meeting taking place in Halifax, Canada (June 2018) and Entebbe, Uganda (September 2017).
The chairs of CEESP’s new Specialist Groups – Green Criminology and People and the Ocean – presented their ideas and work plan for the next year. CEESP also spent time reviewing key outputs and publications including the Report from the Task Force on Environmental Change, Migration and Conflict, the Policy Matters issue on Environmental Defenders, a film on Spirituality and Conservation, and a report on IUCN Environment and Peace.
CEESP chairs Liza Zogib, Kristen Walker Painemilla and Meher Noshirwani participate in the CEC communications workshop. Photo: Sean Southey
The CEC led a communications workshop, which included a vision exercise and the development of a CEESP communication strategy.
The Steering Committee identified some of the key contributions that CEESP makes to the conservation community and identified priorities for the World Conservation Congress (WCC). Among these were the importance of protecting Human Rights in Conservation, the role of social science in guiding conservation policy, and the responsibility for ensuring that conservation is shared and equitable. The discussions also highlighted how the relationship between people and nature is fundamental for motivating action.
The SC also mapped out key areas for engagement and submissions for WCC and agreed that the CEESP contributions to WCC would be People and Diversity & Mindful Conservation.
Specifically, CEESP aims to highlight:
1. Spaces and Voices
2. Impact and Actions
3. Linking, Connecting and Diversity.
The SC agreed to support 21 proposals for sessions at WCC including submissions on Indigenous Peoples and World Heritage Sites, Environmental Defenders, People and Oceans, Diversity in Governance, Environmental Change and Conflict, Communities, Conservation and Local and indigenous models for conservation, and Faith in Conservation among many others.
Additionally, the SC participated in a joint Seminar with IUCN Commission members, local IUCN Members, Partners and other interested parties to discuss IUCN in the region, both past and future.
Seminar panelists, from left to right: Sean Southey, Chair of IUCN CEC; Kristen Walker, Chair of IUCN CEESP; Khatia Tsilosani, Deputy Minister of the Georgia Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture; Tamar Pataridze, IUCN Regional Councillor; and Stewart Maginnis, IUCN Focal Point for CEESP. Photo credit: CEESP
An informative field trip was wonderfully organized by IUCN Member CENN for the SC Meeting participants to visit projects in Telavi and Sviana (Akhmeta Municipality) in the Kakheti region. CENN is an NGO working to protect the environment by fostering sustainable development throughout the South Caucasus. The participants are very grateful for CENN's generous help and initiative.
Presentations from eco-club leaders from Telavi Public Schools on various conservation-minded projects. Photo: Iben Caroline Munck
Reports from CEESP SC meetings - including reports from Thematic -, Specialist -, and Regional Vice Chairs - can be found on the IUCN portal.