IUCN US joined other Africaphiles on March 23rd at the South African Embassy in Washington to celebrate Africa Environment Day 2009.
Conservation, governance and economic growth were the hot topics of the day, with biodiversity receiving significant attention as the fundamental basis of Africa’s development and the force that underpins the well-being of current and future generations.
The Ambassador for the Republic of South Africa, H.E. Welile Nhlapo, started proceedings and discussed the important link between economic growth and sustainable development and the need for governance at all levels.
The acting US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Philip Carter, attended and spoke at the event, alongside representatives from the African Union mission. Ambassadors from Gabon, Liberia, Rwanda and Tanzania concluded the day’s discussions with insights into the challenges and successes that their respective countries have faced and the lessons that can be learnt moving forward. Franklin Moore, Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Africa Bureau of USAID, an IUCN member, outlined lessons from 30 years of USAID support for African biodiversity conservation.
The event was well attended and the IUCN stand received great attention. Nancy Gelman, The Coordinator of the US based Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group, of which IUCN is a founding member, presented a copy of IUCN’s “The Red Book” to Ambassador Amina S. Ali, the permanent representative of the African Union Mission to the USA, on behalf of IUCN and the US conservation community as a thank you for the Mission’s advocacy for African biodiversity.