Do we really need another international environmental organisation?

I was on the web the other day, and came across the latest news for the World Nature Organisation ( This is a relatively new initiative, launched in 2010 by several states which are threatened by rising sea levels and increasing droughts.

According to their own website the long-term vision is a world in which states, governments, companies and every individual is engaged in the protection of water, soil, oceans, mountains and trees. The World Nature Organisation envisions a humanity which gives nature a voice and values it as an all-encompassing basis of life. The website also states that World Nature Organization shall become the very first intergovernmental organization dedicated to worldwide environmental protection on a global scale.

I have worked for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for the past 24 years, and have had close relationships with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) throughout my career. The world has just established the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), to support the secretariat of the global Convention on Biological Diversity. These four institutions can all justifiably claim to be what the World Nature Organisation aims to become.

It makes me wonder whether we really need another international organization that is duplicating global efforts to protect the environment. In the Private Sector, companies that have a similar objective need to mark out their niche very clearly and find a market, and the alternative is mergers and acquisitions. Rather than launching another global environmental organization in times of austerity and euro-crisis, it may be more appropriate to look for synergies between the existing ones.



4 thoughts on “Do we really need another international environmental organisation?

  1. I agree we need to refresh our relationships and seek out synergies. I would also ask that the IUCN and UNEP and the CBD upgrade their communication. Enough conferences behind closed doors. We want access to livestreaming video from the conferences. Otherwise the silo behavior continues and the wheel reinvented once again.

    • I completely agree with your impression since I have been following the “careers of the persons behind it. I just don’t understand their business model, i.e. who’s gonna pay them for what.

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