It does not happen every day that I meet three European Commissioners, but last week I managed to do so. IUCN Director-General Julia Marton-Lefèvre and her Deputy Poul Engberg-Pedersen visited Brussels, and we had arranged meetings with Commissioners Potocnik, Piebalgs and Damanaki. Good discussions all around, but the following really struck me.
European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs and European Commissioner for Development Janez Potocnik have co-signed the foreword to a new publication about the European Commission’s work on biodiversity and development: “Life, lives and livelihoods”. I did not yet see it on the web, but the cover looks like this.
This joint action is a very welcome development, and it fits completely with the thinking in IUCN about nature-based solutions for development challenges. In the statement, the two Commissioners reflect on the need to support partner countries to find synergies between preserving limited natural resources, including biodiversity, and overcoming poverty through investment in natural capital. They conclude their joint statement by stressing that: “biodiversity preservation is everybody’s business and our children and our grandchildren expect us to get it right.”
It sounds very encouraging, and I hope that the good intentions can be translated into joint action on the ground!