Vice President, Research, Conservation and Exploration
National Geographic Society
Washington D.C., USA
Welcome to CEC in North America and the Caribbean
CEC Regional Vice-Chair 2009 - 2012
Dear Commission on Education and Communication members,
As Regional Vice-Chair of the CEC representing North America and the Caribbean I write you with a double mission. The first is to thank you for your work to insure a healthy planet conserved through an active dialogue on the ever challenging conservation frontier. The second is, in like mind, to send out a call for action with hopes of an energized CEC that takes full advantage of the resources at hand and leverages the stature of the world's primary consortium of conservation bodies, the IUCN.
Under the direction of our Chair, Keith Wheeler, and the Director General of the IUCN, Julia Marton Lefevre, there is a new energy around the prospect of the IUCN as a global leader, not just in effective communication among NGOs and political leaders, but also as an engaging force for the broader public. It is increasingly important that we enlist all capable of effecting and supporting change, particularly those not in the IUCN fold.
I have spent some time on the steep learning curve of how IUCN works in my personal quest to communicate about global issues pertaining to the conservation of nature. There is no doubt that along with increasing the flow of scientific information about life forms planet wide, embodied in the huge membership of the Species Survival Commission, along with the social, communication, legal, and environmental management expertise in the other 5 Commissions serving a Union 1000 organizations strong, we have unparalleled capacity to organize the latest ideas and lead planetary consciousness toward key solutions and safeguarded natural systems.
All it takes is powerful connections. All it takes is powerful motivation. All it takes is assembling those who know how to make messages rise above the din and awaken those whose practices, laws, and leadership need to change.
All it takes is you.....
As a member of the CEC you have expressed interest in leadership on this frontier. And you know others who are so capable, particularly young leaders who are well versed in tools of the day and are ready to break the mold, to reach the greatest number of influential actors who, by joining this Union, can take full advantage of the promise that is IUCN.
I ask of you two things in the next month.
1. Look at what we we have been doing within the CEC (see the2009 annual report and also http://www.iucn.org/cec). Be vocal through this usergroup as well as on the IUCN website about the latest, greatest programs in education and communication that IUCN should recognize, promote and adopt. If you communicate the best opportunities to fellow members, they will certainly rise to the top. Sometimes all it takes is a posting to create significant change.
2. Look across your professional community and invite those who are capable and interested to apply for membership on the Commission. Like the Species Survival Commission, now 7500 members strong, we need an army to get the word out about IUCN and the tasks ahead. Whether it is reducing decline in biodiversity, insuring ecosystem services, forestalling climate change, or most importantly, eliminating ignorance surrounding the health of our planet, we need you to take an active role and become a full fledged CEC member. Please write to at least a couple key candidates and encourage them to contact Wendy Price in the CEC Membership Liaison Office (Wendy.Price@iucn.org) for an application form.
In the meanwhile, I commit to keeping you informed as your North American/Caribbean representative about CEC activities and to insure our Commission plays a key role in leveraging the stature our global membership confers.
Hope to hear from you shortly and see our CEC membership rise with your promotion.
Best wishes to all,