The Chair of the European Parliament Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development, MEP Struan Stevenson, recently reflected on the work of the Intergroup during 2010.
Mr Stevenson stressed that the group is the largest Intergroup in the European Parliament with more than 200 members. In 2010, the group organised 22 formal seminars and conferences, covering a wide range of topics. Attendance was good, and representation from the European Commission often at the level of Director-General or Commissioner. The group also published 5 newsletters that have been circulated widely amongst MEPs, EC staff, Permanent Representatives of Member States and NGOs.
Mr Stevenson was speaking at a lunch-time meeting in the Parliament, involving the chairs of the 12 task forces of the Intergroup. He said: “The impressive progress of the Intergroup during 2010 is more than most other groups have done. It shows that the Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development is influencing European policy”.
For 2011, there are equally impressive plans, including discussions about the outcome and follow-up of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Nagoya in October 2010, the outcomes of the meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun in November 2010 and the 2011 International Year of Forests.
IUCN provides technical support to its Member organization European Bureau for Conservation and Development – EBCD. Together, the two organisations act as the Secretariat to the Intergroup. Dr Hans Friederich, Regional Director says: “The European Parliament is one of the most important bodies in the European Union, and if we want to have an impact on policy development in Europe, we need to engage with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). The Intergroup is an efficient and effective means to engage with a large group of MEPs at the same time.”