NCUK CEO, Chris Mahon reports: The 84th Meeting of the IUCN NCUK Executive Committee (ExCo) took place on the 24th July, hosted by IUCN Member the Natural History Museum, in London. The occasion gave participants the opportunity to view the magnificent new exhibit of a blue whale. Recalling my address at last year’s World Conservation Congress urging IUCN to “Be More Whale” in its scale of engagement and ambition with Members and National Committees, this seemed an apposite venue.
This meeting of ExCo, the second this year, was held to discuss a number of issues and receive a variety of reports. It was recorded with regret that the city of Belfast had withdrawn its bid to host the next World Conservation Congress and that the proposal to form a Regional Committee for Europe, North and Central Asia was finding some issues which need to be resolved.
Positive reports were delivered on progress with the NCUK’s projects, notably the success of the ‘Peatland Programme’ , both nationally and internationally, and its secured funding for the next 4 years. The work on ‘River Restoration and Biodiversity’ continues into Phase 3 and is now seeking demonstration projects. The many facets of protected area activity under the ‘Putting Nature on the Map’ project were reported, particularly progress in its work on Protected Area Management Effectiveness and on Private Protected Areas.
The NCUK is particularly interested in how it can assist in progressing the reporting of UK activity in meeting the CBD Aichi Targets and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as part of its ongoing work programme 2017-20. Opportunities to do this are being explored.
A membership review also took place, confirming that there are now 45 IUCN Members based in the UK and its Overseas Territories. The ExCo especially welcomed recent IUCN Member, the Margaret Pyke Trust with the Population Sustainability Network.
IUCN Regional Councillor Jonathan Hughes gave a presentation on the 3rd World Forum on Natural Capital which will take place in Edinburgh in November. ExCo agreed to synchronise its next meeting with this event so that meeting will be in the Scottish capital around the 27th/28th November.
The meeting was chaired by Stuart Brooks and attended by representatives from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, World Wildlife Fund UK, World Commission on Protected Areas, Royal Society for Protection of Birds, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, British Ecological Society, UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum, The Wildlife Trusts and Scottish Environment Link.