Communications are very close to my heart, so it’s been really interesting to see the role they play here in Nagoya. We arrived here, just over a week ago, and it would be fair to say that most of us visitors came with rather limited communications, at least in Japanese. However, we have quickly learned how to get by, to say “thank you very much” (arigato gozaimas), “hello” (konichiwa), yes (hai) and no (i-e), writes Nicole Gooderson, Communications Officer from IUCN's Constinuency Support Group.
Inside the Congress centre and exhibition area however, there’s been no holding us back as we network, communicating with national parties, our Members, Commission members, partners, contacts and friends, explaining our position, sharing our science and knowledge and paying attention to each and every word of the agreements being negotiated, with brackets or without, singular or plural. We all have a role to play and communications are critical to the success of IUCN’s work here.
Last night, the communications continued, but in a different atmosphere, a little way away from the Congress centre in the open air. We learned a new Japanese word, “teien” (gardens), and some of us also tried to pronounce “IUCN Kankeisha Conshinkai” (IUCN Constituency event!). The beautiful and peaceful Shirotori Gardens in Nagoya, Japan, were the setting for this informal evening gathering, co-hosted by IUCN and the Japan National Committee for IUCN, where around 300 representatives of IUCN Members, Commission members, Councilors and the Secretariat were able to exchange opinions and ideas in what proved to be quite a contrast from the hustle and bustle of the Nagoya Congress Centre. We recognize the importance of providing such an event, bringing everyone together to communicate on a more informal level. It was also a great way to re-charge our batteries and prepare for the final days of negotiations.
So, let me take this opportunity to communicate my thanks to our Japanese colleagues who helped to organize the event and to all of our guests for joining us, despite the liquid sunshine.