18 januari 2008
Dutch IUCN launches 1 percent initiative for nature
This was the challenging proposal made by Willem Ferwerda, director of the IUCN National Committee of The Netherlands in the first of a series of 'Sustainable Conversations', which are to broadcast over the coming weeks in the new television channel Het Gesprek (The Conversation). In his opinion the proposed Fund should also support the millions of people who are dependent on vulnerable ecosystems and it should help them build a better life without harming the environment.
A 1% Earth Profit Fund was first proposed in 2005 by Richard Steiner, professor at the University of Alaska and member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy. The idea failed to attract much attention, but Ferwerda feels its time has now come. 'There is a greater sense of urgency now. We need business to play a more substantial role in nature protection because it is obvious that governments and NGOs can't do the job alone.'
Last summer Ferwerda launched the Leaders for Nature initiative. Some 80 CEOs and other business leaders signed a letter to the newly formed government in the Netherlands, asking political leaders to take decisive action for the sustainable management of our natural systems. They also promised to go on with their efforts for greater sustainability. The IUCN has now expanded Leaders for Nature to Switzerland, and several other countries are investigating rolling out the initiative.
Meanwhile, in the Netherlands a Young Leaders for Nature branch has been created. On January 12 some 250 Young Professionals from 20 different companies (including Akzo Nobel, DSM, KLM, TNT and Rabobank) gathered for a forum on sustainable business and biodiversity. During this Young Leaders for Nature Forum the Young Professionals interviewed members of their company's board, as well as its coordinator for responsible business. In the morning session they prepared for these interviews through discussions and workshops on themes such as business and biodiversity, Cradle to Cradle, leadership, the ecological footprint and performance management. In the afternoon concrete plans to stimulate sustainability within their company were discussed.
The Forum was held as a follow-up to the letter sent by these young professionals to their CEOs, in support of the letter they sent to the Dutch political leaders.
P+ webtip: Leaders for Nature Netherlands
P+ webtip 2: Duurzaam gesprek met Ferwerda