It is our pleasure to share with you issue #19 of our newsletter, A Voice for Nature, as well as our end of the year message.
In an attempt to summarize the year behind us, that marked the 15th anniversary since the establishment of the IUCN office in Belgrade, we would like to highlight several achievements that made us proud of our work in 2019.
On the part of the programme, the SOS Central Asia and Living Buna grant schemes were successfully launched in support of CSO and community-led conservation action on the ground. The Biodiversity Task Force for South-East Europe celebrated its second anniversary, evolving into a major regional cooperation platform on nature conservation. The first phase of the Central Asia Nexus Dialogue has successfully paved the way to innovative solutions to water, energy and food security in the region. Broad consultation in Central Asia resulted in a regional thematic study identifying priority sites with potential for World Heritage nomination. First IUCN Red Lists of Threatened Species in North Macedonia were published as a result of the cooperation of national and international experts. Finally, the end of the year saw the launch of an ambitious Nature-based Solutions initiative in the Western Balkans.
When it comes to membership, our family in Eastern Europe and Central Asia has grown for four new IUCN members that included state members, government agencies and non-governmental organisations. In July in Rotterdam, we successfully organized the IUCN Regional Conservation Forum for Europe and Central Asia to discuss the key elements of IUCN’s Programme 2021-2024 and regional priorities in the run-up to the IUCN World Conservation Congress next June in Marseille.
All this is a reason to celebrate and be proud of being a part of our ever-growing Union. Needless to say that we wouldn’t be able to achieve all this without the support of our members, expert networks and donors. We take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank all our members and partners for their dedication and trust in IUCN’s values and mission.
Looking into 2020, we expect another exciting and prosperous year, with the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille and the CBD COP15 in Kunming as two milestone events leading to a new global agreement for our planet – the post-2020 Biodiversity Framework. We look forward to working with you all on setting a bold and ambitious agenda for our planet as we walk in the next decade!
We wish you restful holidays and Happy New Year 2020!
We thank all the contributors to A Voice for Nature #19. Have an enjoyable reading!