From September 26-28, over 200 members of the BirdLife family flocked to Wallonia, Belgium for the 2018 BirdLife general partnership meeting.
Held every four to five years, these landmark meetings are where partners gather to elect a new governing council and review the conservation strategy for the years to come.
Representatives from over 117 partners attended the Global Partnership Meeting. This was the first time Te Ipukarea Society has attended as a full member of BirdLife, complete with voting rights.
As a new decade draws near, our planet finds itself at a critical crossroads. Nature is collapsing under the pressure of human-made factors such as habitat loss, climate change and deforestation, and we need to act now if we’re to reverse the damage we’ve done.
“If we wait until 2030, then I’m afraid it will be too late – we will have blown it,” said Mike Clarke, chief executive of the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) last week. He made the remarks in a presentation delivered to the BirdLife Partnership, regarding our role in shaping the discourse of the silent crisis threatening our planet – the collapse of biodiversity.
The talk was one of numerous topics discussed last week in Belgium as over 200 representatives representing 107 partners of the BirdLife family met to attend the 2018 BirdLife general partnership meeting.
Highlights of a packed 2018 GPM calendar included a review of progress towards the 2013-2022 strategy, a discussion of how to move forward with our key biodiversity area (KBA) work, and how to secure stronger financial sustainability and strengthen the partnership and its capacity, particularly in mega-biodiverse countries.
In addition to looking at our common work, our successes and our future plans, the BirdLife Partnership elected its government, at both regional and global levels. The BirdLife Partnership selected Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, from Brazil. Braulio brings vast expertise and experience to the role, having previously served as executive secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) from February 2012 to February 2017.
“I am honoured by the support I have received from the BirdLife Partners to take on the position of Chair of the Global Council,” said Braulio.
“I look forward to helping the BirdLife Partners continue to grow, making the partnership as strong as ever, particularly in light of the changes that the Global Conservation Agenda will have with the new deal for nature to be approved in 2020 in Beijing,”
The Partnership also re-elected Paul Sullivan from BirdLife Australia, representing the Pacific, along with newly-elected Kevin Hague from Forest and Bird in New Zealand. Kevin takes over from Philippe Raust from Manu in French Polynesia, who has represented the Pacific for the past eight years. Other BirdLife partners in the Pacific include Nature Fiji, and Palau Conservation Society, making six full partners from the Oceania region.
Te Ipukarea Society is grateful for the support it has received through BirdLife over the past 15 years. This has included the recent work on eradicating invasive species (rats), to protect the seabirds on Suwarrow, with additional financial support from GEF Small Grants Programme.
“We very much look forward to continuing our work with biodiversity conservation, now as a full member of BirdLife,” said technical director Kelvin Passfield.