A Mini Barcelona in DC

05 November 2009 | News story

Last week saw IUCN's Director General, Julia Marton-Lefèvre, and Deputy Director General, Bill Jackson, complete a whistle-stop tour of Washington D.C. in which they met with key players within the Capitol from the State Department to the World Bank.

During their visit, Julia and Bill took the opportunity to sit down with a cross section of IUCN's U.S. membership and Commission members to discuss the new proposed strategy for IUCN US, post Copenhagen.

The strategy was well received and Members were delighted to have the opportunity to comment on IUCN's position within the United States. Julia thanked the Members for their participation in the 2008 World Conservation Congress in Barcelona and spoke about the 2009-2012 Programme and plans for the 2012 Congress. The Director General welcomed suggestions such as an annual “IUCN week” within the U.S. to maximize IUCN’s convening power and requests to increase ties with the scientific community.

Following the lively discussions, additional members, partners and friends of IUCN came together for a reception to celebrate the great work carried out by the environmental community as a whole and to look to the future. Julia took the opportunity to announce the exciting news that Ambassador Mary Beth West, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs of the US Department of State, has agreed to take on the duties of Director of our Washington office on a part time basis beginning 1 February.

In addition, Julia showcased a brand new publication produced by the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP), in partnership with Conservation International, IUCN, and CEMEX: The Wealth of Nature: Integrating Nature’s Real Value in Traditional Economic Systems.

“We are all proud to have the IUCN logo affiliated with such a beautiful book which carries an important message,” revealed Julia Marton-Lefèvre. “The Wealth of Nature discusses how to integrate the real value of important services—fertile soil, fresh water, breathable air, and a moderate climate—into traditional economic systems to benefit all of nature, including mankind.”

The Wealth of Nature will receive an official launch at WILD 9, the World Wilderness Congress in Mexico later this week (6 – 13 November). Other launch events will be held in Brussels to European Parliamentarians and in Copenhagen at the Climate Summit.

As Julia thanked the many friends of IUCN for attending she likened the event to a “mini Barcelona” with “so much energy and enthusiasm present.”