Aroha Te Pareake Mead
Chair, IUCN CEESP
IUCN’s six Commissions are part of the fabric of the Union but are not necessarily widely understood. There is a complex web of professional relationships that enable Commissions and the 10,000 volunteers within them to operate effectively and sustain their relevance over time. The Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP) has over 1000 members. It is no easy feat to foster cohesiveness in a voluntary network of experts whose expertise traverses environmental, economic, social and cultural policy, but it has been my honour and pleasure to contribute to achieving exactly that since Barcelona. As time has progressed since the World Conservation Congress, I can only say ‘what an amazingly inspiring network of members CEESP is’. This is not just my personal view. In this newsletter are stories of Awards presented to three CEESP members, one local, one organisational and one international. All three awards are bestowed on the basis of voluntary work and reinforce that recognition of one’s achievements is equally wonderful whether it is from a local community, an employer, or a global award. Congratulations to the CEESP members profiled in this Newsletter as well as to all the others whose awards we don’t yet know about.
July – October are the months I teach at Victoria University of Wellington. During this trimester I try not to travel but in September, I accepted an invitation from the Charles Darwin Foundation in Puerto Ayora in the Galapagos to contribute to a workshop on “Cultural Identity and Sustainable Lifestyles”. I’ve participated in countless workshops over the years, but this one was one of the best. Networks developed that will last a lifetime. For a brief report on the workshop see http://www.darwinfoundation.org/english/pages/noticias.php?txtCodiCate=1&txtCodiNoti=73
Following that visit I spent a brief time with the CEESP Focal Point in the IUCN SUR office and that brief time together highlighted to me the value of strengthening CEESP’s interaction with IUCN Regional Offices and hence you will find within this newsletter a section on CEESP Focal Points within IUCN Regional Offices who have them. IUCN-SUR interviewed me in Quito, you can read the article CEESP: mucho que ofrecer para la conservación y el bienestar humano
As 2010 draws to an end, on reflection it has been a very productive year for the Commission on Environmental, Economic & Social Policy (CEESP). Achievements include; over fifty publications by CEESP or by CEESP members; quarterly production of the CEESP Newsletter profiling an increasingly visible membership; strong CEESP delegations at the CBD-SBSTTA and COP and at the Climate Change meetings; and a much improved sense of belonging to a vibrant Commission that has much to offer to local and global initiatives that endeavour to improve the sustainable livelihoods of peoples all over the world. We are all preparing for the first global conference convened by CEESP, “Sharing Power: A New Vision for Development” being held in Whakatane, New Zealand, 11-15th January 2011. An update on the Conference is contained in this Newsletter, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in helping to organise this event, including our local partners, Te Runanga o Ngati Awa and Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, IUCN Secretariat, IUCN Commission Chairs and the CEESP Steering Committee, and of course all our sponsors. The Conference will provide invaluable guidance to CEESP and to IUCN as well all prepare for the next World Conservation Congress in Jeju, South Korea.