On June 3, 2009, IUCN China members’ meeting was held at the Institute of Botany in Beijing. Hosted by IUCN Councilor Dr. Ma Keping, IUCN Regional Director of Constituency Development Dr. Zakir Hussain, and IUCN China Programme Coordinator Ms. Zhuang Hao, the event was a significant occasion for an open discussion on how to mobilize the China network for the benefit of those involved in IUCN.
Over 40 China members, commission members in Beijing and project partners attended the event. Distinguished speakers include Mr. Cao Jinhua, Deputy Director of the Bureau of International Cooperation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mr. Su Ming, Director of International Forestry Cooperation Center, State Forestry Administration, Dr. Wang Sung of Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Professor Wang Xiangrong, IUCN CEC Regional Vice-Chair East Asia.
These speakers gave presentations on the relations of IUCN with the government, the history of IUCN China since the late 1970s, and the work of commission members. They offered informative background and current knowledge for the lively afternoon discussion on members’ expectation and collaboration opportunities. Participants were also invited to complete a SWOT analysis to share views on how the China office could improve its role as a secretariat.
Recommendations were given on membership, network communication, and project opportunities, and the roles of IUCN China could take to enhance its profile. On membership, it is suggested that IUCN China is underrepresented given its global importance, and members and commission members should be more actively involved in inviting potential members and partners into the IUCN family. On communications, it is suggested that channels in the form of newsletter and contact directory would be most useful for members and commission members’ communications.
IUCN China is urged to tab into its huge resource of international scientific knowledge and opinion in response to the opportunities arising from China’s rapid economic development and the government’s commitment on conservation. In fulfilling its vision to influence global environmental policy, IUCN China should be more active in its international platforms such as the World Conservation Congress and CCICED for direct contact with people and offices among the decision making level. Other recommendations include the setting up of an informal IUCN China Advisory Group, and working with its existing body of biodiversity experts on conservation training and project planning.
Overall, the meeting received a wealth of constructive recommendations and individual commitment to work on strengthening old ties and building new ones. The next China members’ meeting is expected to take place by the end of 2009.
For more information, please contact the IUCN China Communications and Constituency Officer Ms. Lap Li (firstname.lastname@example.org).