Within the next year, we will see important environmental negotiations and hopefully commitments to decisive actions by the world’s nations. There will be the drive to agree to a new set of targets for halting biodiversity loss during the 2020 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Conference. Furthermore, the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) will take place in Glasgow in late 2020 amid increasing urgency.
I would hope for the IUCN to build further on its existing role in supporting these global initiatives, and the next IUCN Programme for 2021 to 2024 will be essential in making the Union even more relevant and recognised as an agent of progress and positive change in addressing the biggest challenges of our time.
While IUCN is a conservation organization, the Union must continue to support sustainable development. IUCN should strive for a world in which all people have a quality of life that gives them both dignity and opportunities, but within the ecological limits of our planet. IUCN’s science-based approach and its diverse membership enable it to rise above the polarization of ideas and opinions that so often prevent progress.
The IUCN’s reputation, legitimacy and effectiveness stem from its diverse membership including states, government agencies, NGOs and indigenous groups; and from the unparalleled expertise of its six Commissions. The conservation of nature can only be successful when we work together to tackle the challenges we face, and IUCN is all about working together. We must act together now to save the planet, with all its species and ecosystems, for tomorrow.
If elected, I will bring future-oriented and innovative leadership that is inclusive of all generations, backgrounds and origins. We will work together across boundaries to define the governance, strategies and measures of success at IUCN.
Under my leadership, the Union will evolve and demonstrate an undivided commitment to success and achievement from all the Union’s constituencies.
My background and experience have shown me the power of engaging and being open to new ideas and approaches, as well as the power of listening to the needs and aspirations of everyone, including listening to nature. The challenges we face are huge. We are leading the way for a new generation that does not have luxury of time. As a Union, we need to be focused on delivering results and be proactive in finding solutions and tools.
Priority areas include:
Governance & Leadership: The leadership and governance structures of the Union must focus on ensuring that all of the constituencies in IUCN are engaged in implementing the Programme so that the Union can make significant progress in achieving its vision;
Membership & Service: The members’ participation in formulating and delivering the Union’s Programme must be increased. IUCN needs to listen to its members’ needs and to offer science-based services and tools that allow them to maximize the benefits from their participation in the Union;
Policy Support: The Union must provide science-based, innovative and relevant information, tools and guidelines, based on accepted global standards, that allow its members to fill the science-policy gap; and enable the development and implementation of evidence-based policies that respect the urgent imperative of nature conservation and which also ensure that the interests, challenges and needs of all stakeholders are addressed;
Programme: The task of the President is to oversee and guide the implementation of the IUCN 2021-2024 Programme of Work, and to encourage and nurture a culture of assessing impacts and continuously adapting strategies to results and impacts. The core IUCN knowledge products must be secure, sustained and promoted; and the IUCN Programme must be a key component in achieving the 2030 SDGs related to environment and nature;
Finance & Resources: The finances of the Union must be strengthened, diversified and at a scale conducive to its mission and ambition. New innovative and pragmatic support mechanisms need to be set up, and donors must see the value provided by the Union. The sustainability of the Union needs to include clear measures to attract and retain the best minds in nature conservation.