Press release 070(2010)

The Council of Europe strengthens co-operation with the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network

Strasbourg, 27.01.2010 – The Council of Europe will sign today a Memorandum of Co-operation (MoC) with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the largest professional conservation network, founded in 1948 as the first global environmental organisation.

The MoC complements and updates a co-operation agreement between both organisations dating from 1962, and it will be signed during the European Conference “Post-2010 Biodiversity Vision and Target – The role of protected areas and ecological networks in Europe”, hosted by the Spanish Presidency of the EU and held in Madrid (Spain) on 26-27 January 2010.

The co-operation between the Council of Europe and IUCN will be carried out at an operational level through the Secretariat of the Bern Convention, the main CoE convention for the protection of nature in Europe. Both organisations will strive to promote joint activities, exchange information, and co-operate at the technical level on issues of common concern such as protected areas and ecological networks; threatened species; invasive alien species; biodiversity and climate change; and island biodiversity in Europe.

Head of the CoE’s Biological Diversity Unit Eladio Fernández-Galiano stressed: “A long story -over fifty years- of collaboration with IUCN shows both a strong commitment of the Council of Europe to biodiversity and a great appreciation of the strengths and expertise of IUCN, but we are even more interested in working together for the next fifty years, when biodiversity conservation will be deeply challenged by climate change.”

Regional Director (a.i.), for Pan-Europe Hans Friederich said: The Council of Europe’s Bern Convention is one of the most important instruments for biodiversity conservation in all of Europe. It is particularly significant to sign a cooperation agreement between the two parties during the International Year of Biodiversity 2010.

The Council of Europe’s Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern, 1979) is a binding international treaty in the field of nature conservation aimed at the protection the natural heritage of the European continent. The Bern Convention has 50 Contracting Parties, including the European Union, the EU-27, 18 other European States, and four African countries.

IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,000 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 60 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. IUCN works on biodiversity, climate change, energy, human livelihoods and greening the world economy by supporting scientific research, managing field projects all over the world, and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

Collaboration between the Council of Europe and IUCN has developed positively throughout the years, particularly in the field of action of several Groups of Experts under the Bern Convention eg. amphibians and reptiles, plants, invertebrates, large carnivores, invasive alien species, and biodiversity and climate change). This Memorandum of Co-operation expresses the common will to reaffirm and strengthen the links between both organisations, by providing an added value in terms of updating co-operation on specific technical issues.

The signature is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 27th January 2010, during the Conference “Post-2010 Biodiversity Vision and Target – The role of protected areas and ecological networks in Europe”, held in Madrid (IFEMA, Convention and Congress Centre, Feria de Madrid).

Text of the Memorandum of Co-operation

Contacts:

Eladio Fernandez-Galiano, Head of the Biological Diversity Unit, Tel. +33 6 65 29 18 20

eladio.fernandez-galiano@coe.int (www.coe.int/biodiversity)

Alison Coleman, IUCN Regional Communications Officer, Tel. + 32.2.739.0321 ; Alison.coleman@iucn.org (www.iucn.org)

Council of Europe Directorate of Communication
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 39 11

pressunit@coe.int

www.coe.int



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