The meeting that started on Monday 10th May 2010 is an important event for IUCN whose core work is biodiversity conservation, writes Norah Ngeny from IUCN’s East and Southern Africa Office.
Noting the importance of the event, Hastings Chikoko – IUCN ESARO’s Regional Head of Constituency - secured 20 display booths for IUCN and its Members, including Kenya Wildlife Services, Africa Wildlife Foundation, Birdlife International, Nature Kenya, KEW Botanical Gardens (UK), Kenya Forest Working Group, East Africa Wildlife Society and Environmental Law Institute (US).
Putting up banners, flags, posters and publications by IUCN started on Monday morning. By the time the display and setting-up was finalized, IUCN’s presence was conspicuous. Its visibility attracted people in throngs who weaved in and out of the booths picking books, flyers and asking about IUCN’s work. IUCN publications were literally flying off the shelf!
The IUCN pavilion became the “stop-over” for IUCN brochures and a focal point where side-event invitations were being distributed in the conference, as well as the central point to leave messages for fellow IUCN staff. It was enriching to listen to conference participants as they walked from one conference room to another. Although we at the pavilion did not attend the meetings, we still got a good feeling of what was happening in the rooms.
It was also interesting to meet colleagues from IUCN offices around the world, former IUCN staff as well as people from other organizations. This has been a great opportunity to meet great people and learn new, exciting things.