“Invest in Nature” was the message from IUCN Director General, Julia Marton-Lefѐvre, as she swept through the Oceania region meeting IUCN members, partners and donors.
In her first visit to Oceania as Director General, Julia, together with Oceania Regional Director, Taholo Kami, held talks with IUCN members and committee members, donors, partners and potential members in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. Julia first stopped in Australia and New Zealand before heading over to Fiji to visit the IUCN Oceania Regional Office.
Her discussions in Australia and New Zealand focussed on regional and national committees’ coordination across the region, members’ concerns, Antarctica and the Southern Ocean and the possibility of a country office in Australia.
Julia also made courtesy visits in both countries, including meetings with the Australian Minister for Environment, Heritage and the Arts, The Hon Mr Peter Garrett and New Zealand’s Conservation Minister, The Hon Mr Tim Groser. Other highlights of her visit included public addresses at Lincoln University and Victoria University in New Zealand and an insight seminar at Bunker Theatre, Canberra, Australia.
In Fiji, Julia met with the Interim Prime Minister, Mr Voreqe Bainimarama, to exchange thoughts about IUCN and Fiji’s new state membership status. She was also introduced to heads of regional organisations and held stimulating talks with Pacific island heads of missions and IUCN members and partners. Her visit also marked the launch of the Public Lecture Series, a joint initiative by IUCN and The University of the South Pacific, in which Julia gave an informative lecture on Investing in Natural Capital. Being in the regional office for the first time since its establishment in 2007, Julia took every opportunity to meet and get to know the staff. Her visit concluded at a high note with an informal dinner with staff, High Commission representatives and IUCN members, potential members and conservation partners at the Oceania Regional Office.