Just over one year ago, Razan Al Mubarak was elected IUCN’s new president. Her first year in office marks an important milestone and a great opportunity to update you on the progress that IUCN, under her leadership, has made in implementing the resolutions and decisions agreed upon during the Congress, while also laying out goals for the year ahead.
Ms. Al Mubarak said: “It is more important now than ever to ambitiously advocate on behalf of our planet with the urgency that this moment deserves. The work we do for IUCN and the conservation of nature is vital – and it is not solitary work: together we can contribute to a healthy future for our planet.”
Highlights of the Council’s work of the past year include:
- The establishment of a Climate Change Commission and the appointment of Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, the former Minister of the Environment of Peru, as the Commission’s Interim Chair. In this position, Mr. Pulgar-Vidal will lead the commission in mobilizing and coordinating efforts to address climate change across the Union.
- In September, 2022, Ms. Al Mubarak represented IUCN at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York; engaged with UN Climate Change High-Level Champions at COP26 to advocate for Nature-based Solutions; interfaced with the World Economic Forum on planning for UNFCCC’s COP27 and COP28; and stood with world leaders in a pledge to commit to conservation goals for COP15 in Montreal.
- The acceleration of efforts to pursue, monitor, and adapt integrated approaches to solving the biodiversity and climate crises, including advocating for the adoption of Nature-based Solutions to climate change at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, in November and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal, Canada, in December.
- IUCN Council has made great progress on the development of a 20-year Strategic Vision, inclusive of a Financial Strategy and Strategic Plan for the Union, as directed by Union Members during the World Conservation Congress in Marseille (WCC-2020-Dec-147-EN). So far, Council has developed and approved the Terms of Reference for the intersessional working group and the Bureau has received expressions of interest from Union Members to become members of the Council working group and recommended names for appointment by council.
Looking ahead, Ms. Al Mubarak eagerly anticipates the first-ever IUCN Council meeting to be hosted in Abu Dhabi, in her homeland of the United Arab Emirates, and the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to be hosted in Dubai in November 2023.
As the first Arab woman to serve as IUCN President, Ms. Al Mubarak especially values the imprint that her role as President has left on countless young women across West Asia, North Africa, and around the world, inspiring them to play an active role in conserving nature and biodiversity.