You may have seen a recent message from the IUCN Director-General about the re-organisation of the IUCN Secretariat as a result of a decrease in funding, and in particular the envisaged changes in the management of IUCN in Europe. The position of Regional Director for Europe has been abolished, and the Head of Office in Brussels has left. A new Director for the Brussels Office is being recruited as you read this – the deadline for applications was mid- December. The individual IUCN programme responsibilities in the European Region have been integrated in the respective IUCN Global Programmes, and a European coordinator has been appointed to ensure coherence.
What does all this mean for nature conservation in Europe? The changes are aimed to enhance integration between the IUCN project activities in Europe and the global IUCN network, and to strengthen the role of European IUCN Members and National Committees. The expectation is that this will make the overall work of IUCN in Europe more effective, despite a reduced Secretariat budget.
What does it mean for me? I have decided to leave IUCN, and become independent. I am also pursuing some very interesting opportunities with other organisations. I will maintain this blog, and will keep writing about nature conservation and development. I have my Twitter account @hansfriederich, and I use LinkedIn as a means for communication with former colleagues and business relations.
Keep in touch, and let’s look to the future. Happy New Year to all!
Hans – thanks for all you have done for European nature conservation over the years. Times are indeed hard and financial resources are in short supply – still there is always room for new ideas and I wish you luck in your new venture. When I left Natural England last year, I set up on my own and have not looked back – so it can be done! If you ever want to talk over any UK ideas please get in touch.