In the lead up to the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju next year, IUCN drew together its Members from Oceania at the Oceania Regional Conservation Forum held in Brisbane, Australia, last week to dialogue on the proposed next four year IUCN Programme.
This was the largest forum organised for Members, Commission members, Country Committees and Regional Councillors since the establishment of the Regional Office in Suva in 2007.
“More than a hundred representatives attended the event and this opportunity has really shown the dedication and enthusiasm within the union in striving for a just world that values and conserves nature,” says Helen Pippard, Membership Officer for IUCN Oceania Regional Office.
The forum was traditionally opened by Songwoman Maroochy, with a formal welcome extended by Virginia Young,Chair of the Austalian Committee for IUCN.
The three day event focused on sharing experiences amongst Members, building partnerships for action, gauging input into the proposed global and regional Programmes for 2013-2016 and preparations for the World Conservation Congress in Korea in 2012.
A number of experts presented case studies during themed sessions, drawing debate as well as discussions on various issues under the proposed themes for IUCN’s next intersessional programme.
“The feedback on the draft programmes has been very useful and to the point,” says Dr. Poul Engberg-Pedersen, IUCN Deputy Director General, who was one of four key staff from IUCN’s Headquarters in Gland present at the meeting. “There has been a lot of substance voiced and the experience has really showed what a union means and what we can achieve”.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their contributions towards a succesful forum,”says Taholo Kami, Regional Director for IUCN Oceania Regional Office. “We’ve received many positive comments and lots of enthusiasm from our Members”.
Members and partners provided useful inputs and guidance on the development of the draft Global and Oceania Regional Programmes. These inputs will be incorporated into the draft doucments and circulated to members later next month. The final programme for work will be approved at the World Conservation Congress.
Ms Veronique Zurcher, of IUCN’s Constituency Support Group provided a presentation on the World Conservation Congress, emphasizing Members’ involvement particularly at the Members Assembly, the voting process and the submission of motions. These discussions were reinforced by a presentation provided by the Jeju Organizing Committee represented by Deputy Director Sung Cheol Kim and So-Jeong Yoon, who provided useful insights on preparations being undertaken at Jeju.
Another key element of the forum was the election of the new chairpersons of the Oceania Regional Committee (ORC), which plays an important role in providing strategic advice to the Regional Office. Ms Virginia Young is now the interim Chair of ORC and Ms Ann Brower the Deputy Co-Chair.
The successfully completed Oceania Regional Conserevation Forum was co-hosted by the Australian Committee of IUCN, the Queensland Department of Environment and Natural Resources and IUCN’s Oceania Regional Office.