Thursday, 30 April 2009

IUCN in retreat

IUCN -- the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources-- has just had a retreat. So I read in their newsletter today. And I always find the concept faintly worrying. To start with the idea of being in retreat has a distinctly negative connotation. And even if I sweep that aside, it then has a rather austere, monastic inference. Neither appeals to me. And while it might be a useful function, for the staff and board members to get together, I am not sure it is something that deserves publicity. Cynics in the conservation world have suggested that IUCN stands for International Union for Conversation about Nature, or even worse, I Used to Conserve Nature. The fact remains that too many meetings, with too many delegates are what IUCN has become known for. We need fewer conferences, fewer meetings, less research and more action. Much more action.

Needless to say there was no mention of the most serious of all conservation issues: human populations. IUCN seems to avoid this much of the time. But I was glad to hear over the weekend, that Sir David Attenborough has beome patron of the Optimum Population Trust.

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