IUCN in Europe flicks the switch

09 September 2011 | News story

More than 170 people from all parts of IUCN gathered in Bonn, Germany for the European Conservation Forum from 6 to 9 September 2011. Member organizations and Commission members from more than 25 countries discussed and debated the Union’s work across the region, with a particular focus on the next IUCN Programme, to run from 2013 to 2016.

The European Regional Forum was the fifth in a series of 10 regional forums bringing together the IUCN family throughout the world to discuss the Union's work in the lead up to the 2012 IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju, Korea.

Hosted with the generous support of the City of Bonn, the German federal state of North Rhine Westphalia and the European Union, the four-day forum was held under the slogan “Switch to Action!”. And action for nature was indeed on the mind of the participants.

Among the key recommendations that emerged from the discussions were:

  • Reinforcing IUCN’s role in bringing together different actors from across society to find solutions for biodiversity
  • How the IUCN network in Europe can be better connected and mobilised
  • Europe’s important role in the global discourse and how IUCN Europe can lead by example
  • Putting the restoration of degraded habitats at the core of IUCN’s work
  • How IUCN can help improve how biodiversity is communicated to policy makers and the general public
  • How IUCN can be clearer and more impactful in its work with, and how it influences, the European Union
  • Using IUCN’s unique knowledge products to help promote nature-based solutions to a wider audience
  • How IUCN can better help local authorities and cities play an essential role in managing natural resources
  • Growing IUCN’s work with business, making sure that the right approaches are used to maintain IUCN’s independence and credibility.

All ideas, suggestions and input gathered at the meeting will be integrated in the new global IUCN Programme, and will help define the action plan for IUCN in Europe for the years to come.

IUCN Members in Europe can still comment on the proposed draft Programme for 2013-16 by e-mailing their suggestions to programme@iucn.org.