At a recent IUCN Patrons of Nature meeting hosted by HSH Prince Albert of Monaco in Monte Carlo, Patrons pledged to scale-up their engagement to address IUCN’s global environmental priorities – species extinction, climate change, water scarcity, deforestation and ocean acidification – in honour of the organisation’s 70th Anniversary.
The IUCN Patrons of Nature meeting with HM Queen Noor Al Hussein and HRH Prince Carl Philip of Sweden, among others, also encouraged IUCN to use the anniversary celebrations being planned to reach out to new audiences and highlight its unique position as a science-based, solutions-oriented intergovernmental body that works on behalf of nature.
“We hope that IUCN’s anniversary in 2018 will be a celebration of nature. World leaders have set clear targets for a sustainable future and nature can help us achieve them. But time is short…we must act now,” says a letter signed by the Patrons of Nature.
“The existence of IUCN is critical not just for what it has achieved in the past but for how we look forward to the future, and get from where we are to a better place,” says world renowned marine advocate and IUCN Patron Sylvia Earle, Founder of Mission Blue and Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society.
“The planet is under such dire attack from humanity,” says IUCN Patron Frank Mars, a member of the Board of Directors of Mars, Inc., and the former Global President of Mars Symbioscience. “IUCN plays a critical role by presenting the facts, and providing solutions to help us mitigate and adapt to a changing world.”
IUCN Patron Richard Sneider, global philanthropist, Chair of the IUCN SSC Freshwater Fish Specialist Group and co-founder of One World Star Holdings International LTD, agreed, saying: “To have an international network of people that are willing to safeguard the planet and actually map out its species and habitats so we can determine the specific Action Plans needed is key for the well-being of the planet.”
The annual gathering of the Patrons of Nature in October provided an opportunity for the members to hear first-hand about IUCN’s 70th Anniversary plans and to consider how they could contribute to the platinum celebration in a way that would help advance the organisation’s ambitious conservation agenda.
“We all look forward to IUCN’s continuous leadership in the next 70 years. As a Chinese Patron of Nature, I will definitely take the responsibility of Patron of Nature and commit to more conservation work in China,” said IUCN Patron He Qiaonyu, an entrepreneur and environmental philanthropist.
“It is absolutely essential to have an organisation that acts as a convenor -- for policy, governments, NGOs, civil society and foundations -- that brings all the varied voices together,” said IUCN Patron Jessica Sweidan, co-founder of Synchronicity Earth, a UK-based charity. “IUCN is a diverse, global organisation that upholds the diversity of nature.”
IUCN founded the Patrons of Nature in 2011 to rally global leaders and mobilize resources in support of the Union’s vision of “a just world which values and conserves nature.” Patrons of Nature provide strategic support and guidance to the IUCN Director General and generate investment for IUCN’s Programme as well as specific flagship initiatives.
“It is really inspiring to be with people from different walks of life with different cultures, who all have different approaches to conservation but who are all completely passionate about it. That is the one thing that every Patron of Nature has in common,” says IUCN Patron Adam Sweidan, a founding partner and Chief Investment Officer of Aurum Fund Management Ltd.
“You always leave these meetings feeling very inspired, feeling that you are not doing enough and very motivated to do more, not just for the IUCN but for conservation in general,” he added.
Click here to learn more about IUCN’s Patrons of Nature.
Read more about IUCN’s 70th Anniversary here.