Dr. Juliane Zeidler, Regional Vice-Chair of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC), shares her impressions on the first day of the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Conservation Forum.
The Regional Forum is such a great effort to reach out to and liaise with the Eastern and Southern African constituency of IUCN. In my view, reaching out to and engaging at this level must be a top priority for IUCN now and also in the future. Having the opportunity for professional updating and debate on cutting edge conservation issues – forests, climate change, food security and finance – to name just the key topics – is a strong foundation for IUCN’s strategic planning later in the week.
The first day of the event has already provided some fantastic opportunities for me to link us both with Commission members, but also the overall constituency, and to discuss how strategic communication, learning, knowledge management and change management – all the core objectives of the Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) - can be integrated into the new IUCN work programme over the coming years.
I really hope that the dialogues started here can continue and I really encourage all IUCN Members and partners - also those that cannot be here in Johannesburg with us – to actively engage in our joint IUCN work to benefit the stakeholders in our region.
I think that screening the CEC movie “Love – not loss” was a great icebreaker and eye opener, setting the scene to some of the strategic communication work that the Commission tries to “inject” into the IUCN community. Communication is a key to actually achieving conservation and sustainability action on the ground, but we must make a priority and apply best practice.
This meeting is a very positive way forward for implementing the triple helix partnership approach of IUCN and for taking a real end user focus!