The ICCA Consortium’s 16th General Assembly was a success, with 229 unique participants over the three days, multimedia reports on key areas of work and several key decisions made about the Statutes, Council, process for developing and approving new organizational policies and procedures and more.
By Holly Jonas, ICCA Consortium Global Coordinator
At the start of 2020, we were planning to hold the 16th General Assembly (GA) in France alongside the IUCN World Conservation Congress in June. Once the pandemic hit, it was clear that we should adapt to an online format and hold it later in the year out of respect for the many countries that were particularly hard-hit by COVID-19. Although it was sad to not be with each other in person for the GA, especially during such a challenging year, we did the best we could in the circumstances.
The 16th General Assembly was held online from 28-30 October from 14:00-16:30 CET each day to accommodate as many time zones as possible (download the agenda in English). A record number of 229 unique participants from our membership participated from around the world over the course of the three-day Assembly.
Key outcomes of the Assembly include:
- Approving several changes to the Statutes, including removing the monetary membership fee and strengthening some procedural aspects of General Assemblies;
- Approving by consensus the following Council members: Sudeep Jana Thing as Secretary; June Rubis as co-chair of the thematic area of work on documenting territories of life; Sarah Alakara as co-chair of the thematic area of work on sustaining territories of life; and Peter Kallang as the regional representative for Southeast Asia;
- Agreeing that the new draft Governance Procedures and new draft Membership Policy and Procedures will be reviewed in detail by the Council and full membership and tabled for formal approval at the next General Assembly (expected in June 2021);
- Noting the reports of the 2020 work programme, Council, Treasurer and Auditor of Accounts, and noting the 2021 action plan and budget; and
- Appointing Marc Foggin as the Auditor of Accounts for the coming year.
Links to presentations and video reports are provided below and in the full minutes.
After the GA, we shared a short trilingual feedback questionnaire to which 38 people responded. Overall impressions of the GA were very positive, with several people commenting on how well prepared and organized it was despite the circumstances. Many also acknowledged the calm, positive and inclusive atmosphere and creative use of multimedia materials and interactive tools. A number of people said that it was better to have the GA online as it enabled more people to participate from home and at a much lower cost. At the same time, however, the online format also posed challenges for people who do not have reliable internet connection or who had to join outside of normal working hours due to time zone differences; the online format also limited the ability of people to communicate and connect with each other informally. A key area for improvement for the next online GA is clarifying the process for consensus-based decision-making and use of the poll function to support that and clarifying the role of Honorary members in contributing to discussions and decisions. Another constructive suggestion is to have more preparatory discussions in advance in regional groupings about key documents and decisions tabled for approval.
The Secretariat extends our deep appreciation to:
- All of our Members and Honorary members who joined the GA and made your voices heard in our top governance body through video updates and live participation;
- Sudeep Jana Thing (Interim Secretary of Council) and Teddy Baguilat Jr. (President) for respectively taking a lead on preparations on behalf of the Council and ably chairing the Assembly;
- An impressive team of interpreters who provided simultaneous interpretation in English, French and Spanish throughout the Assembly;
- Translators who helped prepare documents before the GA and subtitles afterwards for all of the video updates; and
- SwedBio at the Stockholm Resilience Centre for financial support.
Presentations and Video Reports
Download the full minutes of the General Assembly.
Day 1 of the GA (28 October):
- View the videos of the “round call” of participating Members, Honorary members and invited observers on our YouTube channel.
- View the videos of the 2019/2020 programme updates on our YouTube channel.
(Click “CC” and “Settings” for subtitles in English, Spanish or French).
Day 2 of the GA (29 October):
- View the proposed changes to the Statutes.
- View the Treasurer’s written report.
- View the Auditor of Accounts’ written report.
Day 3 of the GA (30 October):
- View the presentation of the 2021 Action Plan framework and indicative budget.
- View the presentation of the Council’s report on the evolving governance of the ICCA Consortium.
- View the presentation of the draft Governance Procedures.
- View the presentation of the draft Membership Policy and Procedures.
- View the biographies of the nominated Council members.
Featured image: Part of the banner of the 16th General Assembly. Photo: ICCA Consortium