Daily report for 6 October 2000

2nd IUCN World Conservation Congress

Delegates convened in three Congress sittings throughout the day to hear reports from the President, the Director General and Commissions Chairs, and the outcomes of the independent external review of IUCN. Other topics addressed include: IUCN finances; membership and constituency development; membership dues for 2002- 2004; commission mandates; and programme related draft resolutions.


PRESIDENT'S REPORT: President Yolanda Kakabadse raised several issues: IUCN's liquidity crisis of 1999; efforts to assess and make IUCN's work more effective; and IUCN's recently-granted observer status at the United Nations.

THE DIRECTOR GENERAL'S REPORT: Director General Maritta Koch-Weser presented accomplishments since the 1st World Conservation Congress held in 1996. She reported significant growth in the past four years, and noted that decentralization is in process. She overviewed the new IUCN programme and budget framework developed in 2000, which focuses on knowledge, empowerment, governance and operations (KEGO), takes a "SMART" approach - by defining specific targets that are measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Koch-Weser identified goals to attain prior to the 3rd World Congress, including: implement the new programme; follow up on initiatives from this Congress; improve the quality of service to Commissions, members and the Council; implement the new management systems and new initiatives for business development and outreach; and pursue growth in membership and services.

INDEPENDENT EXTERNAL REVIEW OF IUCN: Koch-Weser overviewed the review (CGR/2/2000/3), which concludes that, inter alia: IUCN's potential was not fully realized; IUCN's previous programme was of mixed quality and lacking prioritization; IUCN's core competencies were unclear; and the programme and budget were not linked. The review commended work at the programme level, progress toward decentralization and regionalization, and regional conservation forums and committees. It suggested Congresses be held less frequently as they are costly and time consuming. Koch-Weser highlighted follow-up, including: an action plan; a new programme and management business system; a new business plan; revision of headquarter functions; and discussion of governance issues. She said the review helped to plot a new course and stressed continuous improvement.

REPORTS OF THE CHAIRS OF THE COMMISSIONS: Species Survival Commission (SSC): David Bracket, SSC Chair, overviewed programme priority areas: species information service; the Red List Programme; sustainable use; the Wildlife Trade Programme; the Plant Conservation Programme; invasive species; and digital libraries. He said SSC is developing fisheries related programmes and a focus on trade in medicinal plants.

Commission on Environmental Law (CEL): CEL Chair Nicholas Robinson highlighted CEL's attempt to establish a legal order to enhance social equity and sustain biodiversity and ecosystems. He spoke on CEL's Strategic Goal to advance environmental law together with scientific understanding of the natural systems.

Commission on Education and Communication (CEC): CEC Chair Frits Hesselink said the Commission's role is to advocate education and communication as tools for conservation and capacity building and introduced a video on CEC achievements.

Commission on Environmental Economics and Social Policy (CEESP): CEESP Chair Tariq Banuri reviewed CEESP's mission statement, structure and activities and detailed progress of working groups on ethics, governance, technology, co-management, trade and environment, coastal zones and environment and security.

Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM): Edward Maltby, CEM Chair, reviewed CEM's mission, structure, activities, achievement and collaborative approach. He noted the success of regional workshops.

World Commission on Protected Areas (CPA): Adrian Phillips, WCPA Chair, highlighted the goals of the WCPA, a global network of 1,000 protected area experts, including: promoting best practice guidelines, collaborating with other Commissions, encouraging the exchange of experience among protected area managers, developing a global database, assessing project effectiveness and assisting global conventions. Phillips announced the launch of the WCPA website, a new focus on marine and mountain areas, and the upcoming World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa in mid-2003, themed "Benefits Beyond Boundaries."

COMMISSION REVIEWS: Gabor Bruszt, Team Leader of the External Review, reported on the review (CGR/2/2000/3), reinforcing that the Commissions are the biggest assets of IUCN, and that the Congress's job is to give directions to the Commissions. He stressed that the Commissions must have: a unique competence base, a clear focus and a critical mass of membership, which only the SSC, WCPA and CEL have achieved. Bruszt gave an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of each commission, suggesting future goals which included, inter alia: joint programming of each Commission with other units of IUCN; concentration of CEC target areas; integrating CEL and Environmental Law Center fundraising; increasing membership of and justification for CEM; and clarifying the focus and improving the performance of CEESP. In discussion, participants expressed concern about the future of CEESP, stressing its importance in giving a voice to the concerns of developing nations. A contact group has been working on reform of CEESP.

IUCN FINANCES 1996-2000: David Smith, Acting IUCN Treasurer, presented IUCN finances (CGR/2/2000/6) noting that: the period 1996-2000 was characterized by growth; liquidity was restricted in 1999 due to late membership payment; the 2001-2004 business plan links budget and programmes; and key result areas relate to apportioning of finances.


REPORT ON MEMBERSHIP AND CONSTITUENCY DEVELOPMENT: Diane Tarte, Chair, Membership and Constituency Development Committee, overviewed membership growth since 1996 and noted unequal growth among the eight IUCN regions. She highlighted enhanced participation since IUCN's recognition of national and regional committees and devolution of governance responsibilities to regional offices and membership focal points (CGR/2/2000/4).

PRESENTATION OF DRAFT MEMBERSHIP POLICY: Tarte explained that the policy (CGR/2/2000/14) seeks to reflect considerations of IUCN objectives and membership profile. She said it was based on the 1996 revised statutes of IUCN and thereby takes on board IUCN regionalization.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IUCN STATE MEMBERSHIP DUES TO TAKE EFFECT IN 2002: On the technical review (CGR/2/2000/13), Adrian Phillips, Membership and Constituency Development Committee, outlined the purpose of dues, the basis of calculations and introduced a technical adjustment proposal. He said this proposal reproduces the UN's new scale of assessment, which lowers the dues taken from the poorest member states. To this effect, IUCN would allow 27 countries to pay half their current dues. He said that although the proposal would result in loss of profit for IUCN, the purpose is to retain membership of the poorest nations. One participant asked that a new scale be applicable to NGO contributions.

INTRODUCTION OF MEMBERSHIP DUES FOR 2002-2004: Regarding membership dues for 2002-2004 (CGR/2/2000/12), Adrian Phillips introduced a 3% annual membership dues increase for the period. He underscored the need to maintain value over time and suggested members express support for IUCN through payment of dues, which represent 86% of the IUCN unrestricted funding, which is used to finance, inter alia, members services and strategic investment. He reminded participants that donors tend to support only specific activities. Several participants opposed the increase.

COMMISSION MANDATES: Kakabadse introduced the commission mandates (CGR/2/2000/8), detailing their missions, objectives, priorities, structure and organization. The mandated missions are: CEM - to provide expert guidance on integrated management of natural and modified ecosystems; CEC - to champion strategic use of communication and education to promote learning and empower stakeholders; CEL - to build capacity for implementation and develop new legal concepts and instruments; SSC - to provide advice on technical aspects of species conservation; and WCPA - to promote the establishment of a world-wide representative network of terrestrial and marine protected areas. She also flagged resolutions relative to the mandates: strengthening IUCN's use of its Commissions (CGR.2PRGOO1); priority considerations in the overall quadrennial programme (CGR.2GOVOO1); and establishment of a commission for arid and semi-arid ecosystems (CGR.2GOVO3).

In the discussion, a participant asked that the need for the Commissions to collaborate together be reflected in the mandates and questioned whether the total portfolio adequately addresses socioeconomic issues. Others stressed relating the mandates of the Commissions to the new IUCN programme and meeting developing countries needs. Proposals to amend the Commission mandates will be considered by the Congress Programme Committee, chaired by Martin Holdgate.

DRAFT PROGRAMME RELATED RESOLUTIONS: Angela Cropper, Chair of the Congress Resolutions Committee, explained the resolution adoption process. Interjecting a point of order, a US representative noted that his delegation may be unable to vote on resolutions if the full implications of adoption were not understood. Holdgate explained that the relationship between certain resolutions and the new IUCN programme are not entirely clear.

The following resolutions were provisionally adopted without a vote: IUCN programme collaborative management for conservation (CGR2.PRG002); conservation of plants (CGR2.PRG003); Preparing for Rio +10 (CGR2.PRG013); the Durban World Parks Congress (CGR2.PRG014); Gender Policy (CGR2.PRG015); strengthening IUCN's presence in Central Asia (CGR.2PRG021); a strategic framework for the IUCN in Mesoamerica (CGR.2PRG028); environmental education in the Mesoamerican component programme (CGR.2PRG029); consolidation of IUCN's component programme for South America (CGR.2PRG031); the millennium ecosystem assessment (CGR.2PRG036); and the follow-up on World Bank Forest Policy (CGR2.PRG042 Rev.1).

Due to a procedural dispute, the resolution on the IUCN Policy Statement on Sustainable Use of Wild Living Resources (CGR2.PRG016) will be revisited. On poverty reduction and conservation of environment (CGR.2PRG043), the Zimbabwe Trust proposed adding reference to Africa and the International Primate Protection League suggested that the text reflect that poverty is a global issue. An amended text will be revisited.

Delegates next discussed motions with revised text. The resolution on strengthening IUCN's use of its Commissions (CGR.2PRG001Rev.1), was returned to the contact group. Several amendments were proposed to the resolution regarding IUCN's work in the Arctic (CRG2.PRG004Rev.1) and the resolution on climate change, biodiversity and IUCN's overall quadrennial programme (CGR2.PRG005 Rev.1), particularly considering its large financial implications. The resolution on climate and energy (CGR2.PRG006 Rev.1) was adopted without a vote. Resolutions on conservation of marine biodiversity (CGR2.PRG007, Rev.1) and land use policies and legal tools for coastal conservation (CGR2.PRG047, Rev.1) were sent to contact groups.

On the IUCN Marine Component Programme (CGR2.PRG008 Rev.1), Holdgate noted budget adjustments would be needed. The Iceland Ministry for the Environment opposed language in the resolution and it was thus sent to a contact group. Holdgate noted that the resolution on Antarctica and the Southern Ocean (CGR2.PRG034 Rev.1) has implications for the structure of the new IUCN programme, as new activities would have to be implemented, and sent the resolution to a contact group.

On requiring financial institutions to reject projects that threaten biodiversity (CGR2.PRG041 Rev.1), a participant asked that landscapes be mentioned. Another said language on critical areas of biodiversity and natural features where no extractive or infrastructure projects should be allowed prevents the execution of environmental assessments. The resolution was sent to a contact group.

On assessing incidental capture of marine turtles by pelagic longline fisheries (CGR2.PRG048 Rev.1), Monaco welcomed reference to the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS) and required that "assessing" be removed. The resolution was sent to the contact group.

After a delegate requested reopening a resolution that was previously adopted, debate turned to procedural issues, with some delegates questioning the validity of reopening adopted resolutions and others recalling that the agenda stipulated that this was a discussion session. It was decided that resolutions could be adopted in principle and reopened before ratification as the agenda had not indicated that votes would be cast.


INTERACTIVE SESSIONS: Six parallel interactive sessions will convene from 9:00 am-12:00 pm and from 2:00-5:00 pm to address: mobilizing knowledge for biodiversity; agriculture, biodiversity, economy and society; local solutions promoting social equity and cultural diversity; developing and investing in biodiversity business; integrating biodiversity science into environment policy and management; and the ecological limits of climate change.

ELECTIONS: Polls will be open from 12:30-5:30 pm in the registration area for election of the IUCN President, Treasurer, Regional Councillors and Commission Chairs.

21st CONGRESS SITTING: The 21st Sitting of the Congress will convene at 6:00 pm in the Cultural Palace, Sport City.

CONGRESS PROGRAMME COMMITTEE: The Committee will meet in a closed session at 2:00 pm and an open session at 3:00 pm.

CONTACT GROUPS: A list of meeting rooms for contact groups on unresolved resolutions will be posted at 8:00 am. These groups are expected to convene at 10:00 am.

Further information


National governments
Negotiating blocs
Central and Eastern Europe