IUCN Congress Bulletin


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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (iisd)


Vol. 39 No. 14
Thursday, 24 November 2004



In the morning, IUCN members convened for the 34th sitting of the Congress to hear the results of the election. Members also heard a report on the World Conservation Forum results and presentations on: membership dues; IUCN’s new intersessional Programme for 2005-2008; IUCN’s finances in the intersessional period from 2000-2003; and the financial plan for the new intersessional period. In addition, members appointed auditors and received reports from the Programme Committee, the Credentials Committee, and the Finance and Audit Committee. In the afternoon and evening, members convened for the 35th and 36th sittings of the Congress to consider changes to the Statutes and the Rules of Procedure, as well as draft resolutions and recommendations.



THIRD REPORT OF THE CREDENTIALS COMMITTEE: Diane Tarte, Credentials Committee Chair, presented the third report of the Committee.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF ELECTION RESULTS: Antonio Machado, Elections Committee, presented the results of the elections: President: Mohammed Valli Moosa (South Africa). Treasurer: Sven Sandström (Sweden). Commission Chairs: Hillary Masundire (Zimbabwe), CEM; Denise Hamú de la Penha (Brazil), CEC; Taghi Farvar (Iran), CEESP; Sheila Abed (Paraguay), CEL; Nikita Lapoukhine (Canada), WCPA; and Holly Dublin (US), SSC. Regional Councillors for Africa: Zohir Sekkal (Algeria), Amina Abdalla (Kenya) and Amadou Ba (Senegal). Regional Councillors for Meso and South America: Cláudio Carrera Maretti (Brazil), Juan Marco Alvarez (El Salvador) and Silvia Sánchez Huamán (Peru). Regional Councillors for North America and the Caribbean: Lynn Holowesko (Bahamas), Huguette Labelle (Canada) and Russell Mittermeier (US). Regional Councillors for South and East Asia: Monthip Tabucanon (Thailand), Nobutoshi Akao (Japan) and Han Xingguo (China). Regional Councillors for West Asia: Javed Jabbar (Pakistan), Ali Darwish (Lebanon) and Talal Al-Azimi (Kuwait). Regional Councillors for Oceania: Christine Milne (Australia), Diana Rosemary Shand (New Zealand) and Lionel Gibson (Fiji). Regional Councillors for East Europe, North and Central Asia: Kalev Sepp (Estonia), Alexey Yablokov (Russian Federation) and Marija Zupancic-Vicar (Slovenia). Regional Councillors for West Europe: Manfred Niekisch (Germany), Alistair Gammell (UK) and Maria Purificació Canals (Spain).

PRESENTATION AND ADOPTION OF MEMBERSHIP DUES: Yolanda Kakabadse presented, and the Congress adopted, the Membership dues for 2006 to 2008 (CGR/3/2004/17). Costa Rica’s Acceso Fundación requested flexibility from IUCN regarding NGO membership dues.

REPORT ON THE FORUM RESULTS: Reporting on the Forum’s results, Achim Steiner, Director General, identified the need to, inter alia, respect human rights, communicate effectively, and incorporate youth and gender concerns as the cross-cutting issues that emerged from the Forum. He called on the conservation community to strive to achieve the 2010 Biodiversity Target, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, Durban Accord and Kyoto Protocol. Members then heard brief comments on the key outcomes of the four Global Synthesis Workshops.

On ecosystem management, Simon Rietbergen, IUCN, underscored that ecological networks can now be linked to a development framework rather than just to protected areas.

On biodiversity loss, Susan Mainka, IUCN, stressed the importance of addressing the underlying causes of this trend.

On health, poverty and conservation, Gonzalo Oviedo, IUCN, highlighted the establishment of non-traditional partnerships to achieve the MDGs.

On markets, business and the environment, Joshua Bishop, IUCN, said the conservation community must determine how rather than whether to engage with the private sector.

In the ensuing discussion, David Brackett, SSC Chair, expressed hope that the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment would be as effective in influencing public opinion as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The Sierra Club raised concerns over “green-washing.” Al-Khat Al Akhdar urged the Union to fulfill its promise to increase youth participation. The Center for Russian Environmental Policy identified implementation of the Kyoto Protocol as a practical step towards IUCN’s objectives.

REPORT ON THE FINANCES OF IUCN IN THE INTERSESSIONAL PERIOD 2000-2003: Claes de Dardel, IUCN Treasurer, presented the report of the IUCN’s finances in the intersessional period 2000-2003 (CGR/3/2004/20). He underlined IUCN’s managerial and administrative achievements in: accounting, budgeting and forecasting; the creation of an internal audit system; liquidity and investment management; risk management; and the creation of a position of in-house legal counsel. Dardel noted the improved level of IUCN management and increased liquidity. He highlighted an increase in the Secretariat Contingency Fund for 2003, and in closing said he has left IUCN a financially-sound organization. The Congress approved the audited Financial Statement for the years 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003.

PRESENTATION ON THE FINANCIAL PLAN FOR NEW INTERSESSIONAL PERIOD: Achim Steiner presented the financial plan for the new intersessional period (CGR/3/2004/21), highlighting forecasts of a 5% annual increase in net income. He informed members that expenditure is estimated to grow from CHF103 million in 2004 to CHF126 million in 2008. He said investment in IUCN’s 2005-2008 Programme will focus on strengthening the programme framework of knowledge management, capacity building, and effective environmental governance, which provides the basis for the Programme’s six “Key Result Areas” of: understanding biodiversity; social equity; conservation incentives and finance; international agreements, processes and institutions for conservation; ecosystems and sustainable livelihoods; and programme delivery. He also emphasized investment in innovation and integration, highlighting the 3I-C Fund (Innovative, Integrate, Inform and Communicate) established in 2002. Noting that IUCN has improved its capacity in financial risk management, he said that risks, such as those relating to exchange rate value, overstretching of core resources and project cost recovery, will be monitored and appropriate actions will be taken as needed.

Following the presentation, Finland’s Ministry of Environment suggested reconsidering the expenditure for Commissions. Yolanda Kakabadse announced that the financial plan will be approved along with the Programme and the Commission Mandates in the 37th sitting of the Congress.

REPORT OF THE FINANCE AND AUDIT COMMITTEE: Jorge Caillaux, Finance and Audit Committee Chair, presented a report on the Finance and Audit Committee, including accounts and auditors’ reports for 2000-2003. He provided an overview of IUCN’s financial environment and noted overall improvement in the organization’s financial capacity. On projections for 2004-2008, he said that overall growth is projected at 5%, but that it could be as high as 8%. On risk, he recommended that the Secretariat look closely at the financial implications of the motions approved by Congress. He provided recommendations on management and membership for the next intersessional period.

APPOINTMENT OF AUDITORS: On the appointment of external auditors (CGR/3/2004/22), Yolanda Kakabadse noted that the Council had extended the contract of Deloitte and Touche to cover the audits of the 2003-2004 accounts, as they were only appointed as external auditors for the 2000-2002 period at the 2nd WCC. The Congress approved the appointment of Deloitte and Touche as external auditors for the 2005-2008 quadrennium.


DISCUSSION AND ADOPTION OF CHANGES TO THE STATUTES AND RULES OF PROCEDURE: Juan Mayr, Governance Committee Chair, presented the Report of the Governance Committee (CGR/3/2004/CRP07). He informed members that the Committee had focused its work on two fronts during this Congress: consulting members and the Congress on the content and purpose of the governance reforms as contained in the Annexes to the Report of the IUCN Council on Governance Reforms and Proposed Amendments to the Statutes and Rules of Procedure (CGR/3/2004/23); and providing advice to the Resolutions Committee on the governance-related motions. He also reported on the public consultation held with members concerning the proposed governance reforms and said that based on the outcomes of the consultation, the Committee had revised the Annexes (CGR/3/2004/23-REV1).

Kakabadse then requested Congress to take note of the Council's Report (CGR/3/2004/23), and called on Congress to consider the proposed amendments outlined in Annex 1 of revised document (CGR/3/2004/23-REV1). Welcoming the report, the US Department of State suggested developing an intersessional consultative mechanism to enhance dialogue between the Secretariat, Council and Members. Noting its objection to the transfer of proxies to the Council, Fundación Red Informatica Ecologista objected to the voting procedure. The Congress adopted the amendments to the Statutes.

Kakabadse requested the Congress to consider the amendments, outlined in Annex 2 of CGR/3/2004/23-REV1 to the Rules of Procedure as a package. Fundación Red Informatica Ecologista proposed adopting the amendments article by article, which was not supported by Congress, and the amendments were adopted as a package.

DISCUSSION AND ADOPTION OF DRAFT RESOLUTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: On behalf of the European Union, the Netherlands’ Ministry of Environment, Nature and Food Quality said the process of adopting motions does not allow for the consideration of all relevant views. Citing the adoption of the resolution calling for a moratorium on GMOs as an example, he said the EU does not support the resolution or the moratorium. He also noted concerns that several other motions have shifted the IUCN away from its core mission and mandate, and said that future Congresses should hold focused discussions on how to integrate motions into the programme of work.

Governance-related resolutions: The following resolutions were approved with no amendments: Improving the transparency of the IUCN Council (RES002-REV1); Fulfilling the right to optional use of the official languages in the internal and external communication documents of IUCN and its members (RES006-REV1); and Implementation of an IUCN programme for the Insular Caribbean (RES007-REV1).

The resolution on engagement by IUCN with local and regional government authorities (RES004-REV1) was approved with minor amendments.

On the resolution concerning Endorsement of the Earth Charter (RES003-REV1), the US Department of State stated it would submit a written statement for the record.

Policy-related resolutions: The following resolutions were approved with no amendments: The Mediterranean Mountain Partnership (RES008-REV1); Ratification and implementation of the revised African Convention (RES009-REV1); Protecting the Earth’s waters for public and ecological benefit (RES010-REV1); Management of large terrestrial herbivores in southern Africa (RES012-REV1); and the Harold Jefferson Coolidge Medal (RES014). The resolution on HIV/AIDS pandemic and conservation (RES013-REV1) was approved with minor amendments.

Programme-related resolutions: The following resolutions were approved with no amendments: Horizontal evaluation of international conventions, treaties and agreements on the environment (RES016-REV1); Policy on capacity building and technology transfer (RES020-REV1); Cherishing volunteers (RES023); Conservation and sustainable development of mountain regions (RES031); Durban Action Plan and CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas (RES035-REV1); Military Activities and the production, stockpiling and use of weapons that are detriment to the environment (RES043-REV1); Environmental protection of the Mediterranean Sea from the risk of maritime traffic (RES054-REV1); International cooperation on forest management (RES055-REV1); Governance of natural resources for conservation and Sustainable Development (RES062 and RES063-REV1); The uses of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (RES074); Urgent measures to secure the survival of the critically endangered Western Gray Whales (Eschrichtius robsutus) RES076-REV1; and Sturgeon (Acipenseriformes) conservation within the Caspian, and Azov and Black Sea Basin (RES077-REV1).

The following programme-related resolutions were approved with minor amendments: Resource-based conflicts in Darfur, Sudan (RES034-REV1); IUCN Guidelines for protected areas management categories (RES036-REV1); Community Conserved Areas (RES037-REV1); Influencing Private Sector actions in favour of biodiversity (RES046-REV1); Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and biodiversity (RES061-REV1 Annotated); Poverty Reduction, food security and conservation (RES064-REV1); Promoting food sovereignty to conserve biodiversity and end hunger (RES067-REV1 Annotated); The Haitian Environmental Crisis (RES080); Indigenous Peoples, Protected Areas and the CBD Programme of Work (RES081); Indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation and conservation of nature in the Amazon and Chaco region (RES082); and Freshwater Protected Areas (RES039-REV1).

The following resolutions were approved with reservations: On undersea noise pollution (RES053-REV1), the US Department of State said it would submit a written reservation, and Norway’s Ministry of Environment questioned the extent of the undersea noise problem and said the adoption of the resolution was premature. On conservation and sustainable management of high seas biodiversity (RES057-REV1), Turkey’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry said it would submit a written reservation. Stressing that Japan could not support the resolution, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said all marine resources should be sustainably used and management should be based on scientific information. On conservation in regions in violent conflict of West Asia-strengthening IUCN’s presence to protect the natural and human environment (RES069- REV1), the US Department of State said it would introduce a written reservation. On the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna Rivers Commission (RES079), India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests said this was a bilateral issue between the governments concerned and noted that the adoption of this resolution would set a bad precedent. He urged the motion to be withdrawn. Following the adoption of the decision, he requested a reservation to be placed on the record.

On the resolution concerning protection of seamounts, deep sea corals and other vulnerable deep sea habitats (RES051-REV1), Canada’s Fisheries and Oceans, with Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Norway’s Ministry of Environment, noted that they did not support paragraphs relating to calls upon the UN General Assembly to adopt: at its 60th session, a resolution calling for an interim prohibition on high-seas bottom trawling for areas not covered by regional fisheries management organization (RFMOs); and at its 61st session, a resolution calling for the elimination of destructive fishing practices and an interim prohibition on bottom trawling in areas covered by RFMOs. Spain’s Iberian Council for the Defense of Nature suggested including the expression “high-seas” before “bottom trawling” to text relating to the call on the 61st session of the General Assembly. Bangladesh’s Coastal Area Resource Level and Management Association proposed an amendment to add a paragraph with a request to the Director General “to assist in the organization of an Ocean Summit in an appropriate time.” The Congress approved the resolution with the two amendments.

The resolution on the application of an ecosystem approach to agriculture and biodiversity conservation (RES060-REV1) was rejected. Germany’s Ministry of Environment, Nature and Nuclear Safety expressed concern over the resolution’s focus on the work of Ecoagriculture Partners, and called for the resolution to be withdrawn. The Ecological Society of Philippines, Al-Khat Al Akhdar, and the Salim Ali Center for Ornithology and Natural History said the resolution implies support for GMOs, and also called for its withdrawal.

Policy-related recommendations: The following recommendations were approved with no amendment: Implementation of the Principle 10 by building comprehensive good governance systems (REC001); The Extractive Industries Review (REC002); Improving capacity to achieve sustainable development and Address consequences of globalization (REC004-REV1); Humane trapping standards (REC005); Education for sustainable development (REC009); and Protected Areas in the Mediterranean (REC012).

The following recommendation were approved with minor amendment: Conservation and sustainable use of seals (REC006-REV1); Application of the IUCN Sustainable Use Policy to sustainable consumptive utilization of wildlife and recreational hunting in Southern Africa (REC007-REV1); Applying the Precautionary principle in Environmental Decision making and Management (REC008-REV1); Coordination of sustainable development programmes for energy (REC010); Support for amendment to Basel Convention restricting Transboundary Shipment of Hazardous Waste (REC011); Nomination of large-scale multi-states serial World Heritage Routes (REC013-REV1); and Inclusion of Mont Blanc massif in UNESCO’s World Heritage List (REC014-REV1).


The IUCN Congress Bulletin summary report on the 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress will be available online on Sunday, 28 November 2004 at: http://enb.iisd.org/crs/iucn/wcc3/

The IUCN Congress Bulletin is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org>. This issue is written and edited by Karen Alvarenga, Ph.D.; Robynne Boyd; Bo-Alex Fredvik; Miquel Muñoz; Prisna Nuengsigkapian; Richard Sherman; and Sarantuyaa Zandaryaa, Ph.D. The digital editors are David Fernau and Diego Noguera. The editor is Lynn M. Wagner, Ph.D. <lynn@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by IUCN with assistance from the World Bank. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists (ASCII and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <http://enb.iisd.org>. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 212 East 47th St. #21F, New York, NY 10017, USA.