Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus

IUCN Congress Bulletin

Volume 39 Number 23 | Saturday, 10 September 2016


The IUCN World Conservation Congress

Friday, 9 September 2016 | Honolulu, US


Language: EN (HTML/PDF) FR (HTML/PDF) SP (HTML/PDF)
Visit our IISD/ENB+ Meeting Coverage from Honolulu, US at: http://enb.iisd.org/iucn/congress/2016/

After enjoying a day of excursions and respite from discussions in plenary, IUCN members reconvened on Friday for the 6th and 7th sittings of the Members’ Assembly.

6th SITTING OF THE MEMBERS’ ASSEMBLY

DISCUSSION OF THE DRAFT IUCN PROGRAMME 2017-20, REPORT OF THE CONGRESS PROGRAMME COMMITTEE, FOLLOWED BY THE ADOPTION OF THE IUCN PROGRAMME 2017- 2020:

IUCN President Zhang invited members to consider the draft IUCN Programme 2017-2020 (WCC-2016-2.1/1-Annex 1). John Robinson, Councillor for North America and Vice President, IUCN provided an update on the Hawaiʻi commitments, which he described as “an expression of key issues.” Tamar Pataridze, Chair of the Congress Programme Committee, announced that the Committee received and considered twelve proposed amendments.

Cyriaque Sendashonga, IUCN Global Director, presented the proposed amendments to the Programme under the themes: Energy, Rights of Nature, Geoheritage, Ecotourism, Healthy Parks Healthy People, Freshwater, Nature for All, Antarctic, Wildlife Trafficking, Sustainable Communities, and West Asia. She reported the Committee found that eleven out of the twelve proposals could be accommodated in the Programme.

Providing an explanation for the recommended rejection of the proposal to include Energy as a new theme in the Programme, Pataridze underscored IUCN’s recognition and support of the need to transition from fossil fuel-based economies to clean energy-based economies. She reported the views of the Programme Committee, that IUCN’s niche around climate change issues lies in its focus on nature-based solutions. She explained the Programme Committee questioned whether a shift in focus from ecosystems and nature-based solutions to technical-based energy solutions, would add any value. The Committee observed that the latter is already undertaken by “excellent outside organizations.” Robinson opened the floor for general comments on the Programme. Members called for: coherence of motions with the programmatic themes on species, governance and nature-based solutions; recognition of agreed-upon language and definitions of “biodiversity” from other UN processes; elaboration on the biodiversity-agriculture linkages, particularly regarding freshwater; and greater emphasis on ecosystem-based adaptation, mitigation measures and nature-based solutions.

Some members noted the challenge of voting on the approval of the amendments without the opportunity to review the specific changes proposed.

Director General Anderson said it would not be feasible to review the documents in plenary, noting that a separate document with notations of the particular amendments can be provided after the congress. Members voted not to defer the approval of the amendments. They also voted and approved: the recommendations of the Programme Committee to accept the 11 amendments to the program; to reject the new theme on energy; and the IUCN Programme 2017-2020.

PROGRESS REPORT OF THE RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE AND VOTE ON MOTIONS

Simon Stuart, Chair, IUCN Species Survival Commission, reported from the Resolutions Committee on progress made in the negotiations on motions that do not as yet enjoy members’ consensus. Explaining the great amount of work that IUCN staff and translators are undertaking in support of the negotiations, he invited Members’ understanding and patience for a slower pace in responding to their different secretarial requests. He also reminded that since time for negotiations was running out, the remaining time that should be spent on individual motions, should be very brief.

Margaret Beckel, Chair, IUCN Governance Committee of the Congress, provided updates on the work of the Committee. She noted that five of the six motions related to IUCN governance are ready for the plenary:

  • motion B: (on including indigenous peoples’ organizations in the structure of the Union);
  • motion C: (on the election of the IUCN President);
  • motion D: (on the Members’ Assembly’s sole authority to amend the Regulations pertaining to the objectives, nature of the membership and membership criteria);
  • motion E: (on enhanced practice and reforms of IUCN’s governance); and
  • motion F: (on proposed amendment to Article 6 of the IUCN Statutes concerning the dues of State and political/economic integration organization Members adhering to IUCN).

She noted that Motion A, on ‘Including local and regional authorities in the structure of the Union,’ is very close to consensus.

Members then to voted and approved on:

  • motion 26: (on protected areas and other areas important for biodiversity in relation to environmentally damaging industrial activities and infrastructure development);
  • motion 37: (on supporting privately protected areas);
  • motion 53: (on increasing marine protected area coverage for effective marine biodiversity conservation);
  • motion 59: (on the IUCN response to the Paris Climate Change Agreement);
  • motion 61: (on taking greater account of the ocean in the climate regime);
  • motion 63: (on natural capital);
  • motion 64: (on the IUCN’s policy on biodiversity offsets);
  • motion 90: (on a path forward to address concerns over the use of lead ammunition in hunting) as amended by the assembly;
  • motion 100: (on two dams on the Santa Cruz River in Argentina); and
  • motion 103: (on vicuña (Vicugna vicugna) conservation and the illegal trade in its fiber.

Related to motion 53 (on increasing marine protected area coverage for effective marine biodiversity conservation), the governments of China, Japan and South Africa expressed lack of support for a paragraph that encourages the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to consider a new process for developing post-2020 targets, to increase the percentage of highly protected marine areas to 30% by 2030. China explained that each country has different circumstances and the motions need to adapt to those circumstances. South Africa said the target of 30% is too ambitious, further underscoring the need to consider the means of implementation required for its attainment. Japan noted that the Aichi Targets need to be discussed under the CBD, and cautioned against prejudicing the results of those negotiations in this process.

Members then considered, voted and approved the following governance motions on:

  • motion B: (on including indigenous peoples’ organizations in the structure of the Union);
  • motion C: (on election of the IUCN President);
  • motion D: (on the Members’ Assembly’s sole authority to amend the regulations pertaining to the objectives, nature of the membership and membership criteria), as amended;
  • motion E: (on enhanced practice and reforms of IUCN’s governance); and
  • motion F: (on proposed amendment to Article 6 of the IUCN Statutes concerning the dues of State and political/economic integration organisation Members adhering to IUCN).

7th SITTING OF THE MEMBERS’ ASSEMBLY 

PRESENTATION AND ELECTION OF CANDIDATES FOR POSITIONS OF COMMISSION CHAIRS, TREASURER AND PRESIDENT

 IUCN Election officer, Michael Wilson, shared information pertaining to the election process for the six Commission Chairs, the Treasurer and the President of the Union.

Session Chair Malik Amin Aslam Khan called on the candidates to discuss how they would: implement the mandates and priorities of their respective Commissions; bring to bear their personal strengths to lead the respective Commissions; and organize their work and lives to meet the responsibility of chairing a Commission.

The following candidates presented their bids: Katalin Czippán (Hungary) and Sean Southey (Canada/South Africa) for the Commission on Education and Communication (CEE); Angela Andrade (Colombia) for the Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM); Meher Noshirwani (Pakistan) and Kristen Walker Painemilla (US) for the Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP); Elizabeth Bennett (UK) and Jon Paul Rodriguez (Venezuela) for the Species Survival Commission (SSC); Antonio Herman Benjamin (Brazil) for the World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL); and Christophe Lefebvre (France) and Kathy MacKinnon (UK) for the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA).

Patrick de Heney (Switzerland /UK) and Zhang Xinsheng (China) presented their bids for re-election as Treasurer and President of IUCN respectively.

REPORT OF THE DIRECTOR GENERAL AND TREASURER ON THE FINANCES OF IUCN 2012-2016 

Inger Andersen, IUCN Director General, chaired this session. IUCN Treasurer, Patrick de Heney, introduced the Report of the Director General and Treasurer on the Finances of IUCN 2012-2016. He presented the IUCN achievements, including: reserves increased; a growing project portfolio; successful mitigation of the withdrawal of a significant framework donor in 2013; “Fit for purpose” IT systems; turbulent financial markets effectively navigated; and “significant progress” in governance reforms. He noted a few recommendations from the statutory auditors, including: reinforcing monitoring controls between headquarters, regional and country levels in order to cover the risks associated with a decentralized organization; improving oversight of key balance sheet items; further improving the internal control framework by taking a risk-based approached; improving monitoring of amounts spent through implementing partners; and strengthening IT governance and procedures.

REPORT OF THE CONGRESS FINANCE AND AUDIT COMMITTEE, CONGRESS APPROVAL OF THE AUDITED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR THE YEARS 2012-2015 AND APPOINTMENT OF THE EXTERNAL AUDITORS

Spencer Thomas, Chair, Finance and Audit Committee, introduced the report, noting a deficit of CHF 1 million in 2012, a surplus of CHF 3 million in 2013 and in 2014, and a surplus of CHF 1 million in 2015. He said the Finance and Audit Committee recommended that the Congress appoint PricewaterhouseCoopers as external auditors of IUCN for the years 2017-2020.

In the ensuing discussions, members asked questions on issues related to, inter alia, IUCN’s revenues from real estate, budgetary deficits, expenditure performance, capacity building, and strategies for expanding IUCN’s donors base. Responding to questions, Andersen said that: moving from single-programme financing to multi-programming platforms decreases costs and is more appealing to donors; IUCN is just finalizing its registration for the Green Climate Fund (GCF); IUCN would be delighted to serve as implementing agency for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the GCF, but the respective institutions need to formally invite IUCN to perform that function; and IUCN is looking into optimizing costs without reducing the impact of its footprint on the ground. De Heney explained that IUCN does not buy real estate for investment purposes but it received real estate as a gift and sold it to a conservation organization in Nairobi, at a very good price.

Members then voted and approved the Financial Statements for 2012-2016; the Financial Statements for 2012-2016; and the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers as external auditors of IUCN for the years 2017-2020.

PROGRESS REPORT OF THE RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE FOLLOWED BY DISCUSSION AND VOTE ON MOTIONS

Simon Stuart, Chair of the Motions Working Group, updated members on the status of discussions of several motions in the respective contact groups. He then presented a list of motions ready for voting.

Several points of order were raised in response to the Resolution Committee’s report that discussions on motion 7 (on closure of domestic markets for elephant ivory) would continue in the contact group. Some members called for taking a vote on the motion in plenary and opposed continued discussions in the contact group. Members then voted and approved:

  • Motion 65 (on improving standards in ecotourism);
  • Motion 66 (on mitigating the impacts of oil palm expansion and operations on biodiversity);
  • Motion 48bis (on assessing the global applicability of the concept of ancient forests as understood in European forest policy and management);
  • Motion 101 (on South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary);
  • Motion 105 (on support for peace and nature in Colombia);
  • Motion 102 (on urging the Congress of the Republic of Peru to shelve permanently the bill that proposes a road that will affect the Alto Purús National Park and other areas);
  • Motion 104 (on support for increased conservation effort for Hawaii’s threatened birds); and
  • Motion 49 (on advancing conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction).

Margaret Beckel, Chair of the Governance Committee of the Congress updated members that governance motion A (on including regional governments in the structure of the Union) would be presented to plenary on Saturday with two options.

On the rejected proposal on the South China Sea, the USA Center for Environmental Legal Studies stressed that peace, the environment and sustainable development are interrelated. He informed that his organization withdraws its support for the motion. The Philippines made a plea to members to take action and support conservation and protection measures of the biodiversity-rich ecosystem in the South China Sea.

REPORT FROM THE ELECTION OFFICER ON THE RESULTS OF ALL ELECTIONS

Election Officer Wilson assured members that the statutes and rules of procedures have been adhered to during the election process. Presenting the election results, he announced Xinsheng Zhang (China) as President and Patrick de Heney (Switzerland/UK) as Treasurer of the Union.

He also announced Commission Chairs as follows: Sean Southey (Canada/South Africa), CEC; Angela Andrade (Colombia), CEM; Kristen Walker Painemilla (US), CEESP; Jon Paul Rodriguez (Venezuela), SSC; Antonio Herman Benjamin (Brazil), CEL; and Kathy MacKinnon (UK), WCPA.

He further announced Regional Councillors for Africa: Mamadou Diallo (Senegal); Jesca Eriyo Osuna (Uganda); Ali Kaka (Kenya); and Jennifer Mohamed-Katerere (South Africa). Regional Councillors for Meso and South America: Lider Sucre (Panama); Marco Vinicio Cerezo Blandón (Guatemala); Carlos César Durigan (Brazil); and Jenny Gruenberger (Bolivia). Regional Councillors for North America and the Caribbean: John Robinson (US); Luis Rodriguez-Rivera (Puerto Rico); Rick Bates (Canada); and Sixto Inchaustegui (Dominican Republic). Regional Councillors for South and East Asia: Mangal Man Shakya (Nepal); Youngbae Suh (Republic of Korea); Masahiko Horie (Japan); Amran Hamzah (Malaysia) and Malik Amin Aslam Khan (Pakistan). Regional Councillors for West Asia: Ayman Rabi (Palestine); Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri (United Arab Emirates); and Said Ahmad Damhoureyeh (Jordan). Regional Councillors for Oceania: Anna Tiraa (Cook Islands); Andrew Bignell (New Zealand); and Peter Cochrane (Australia). Regional Councillors for East Europe, North and Central Asia: Rustam Sagitov (Russian Federation); Michael Hosek (Czech Republic); and Tamar Pataridze (Georgia). Regional Councillors for West Europe: Jan Olov Westerberg (Sweden); Hilde Eggermont (Belgium); and Jonathan Hughes (UK).