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International Advisory Board meeting at WECF offices

The International Advisory Board of WECF met from 22nd - 24th of September 2008 at WECF’s offices in Munich

21.10.2008 |Bistra Mihaylova

The International Advisory Board of WECF met from 22nd - 24th of September 2008 at WECF’s offices in Munich. The IAB meets once or twice a year to provide strategic direction to WECF and to make decisions on WECF membership and membership policy.

Of the 11 IAB members, 8 were present, namely:

  • Sveta Slesarenok, BSWC - Ukraine
  • Irene Dankelman, the Netherlands
  • Elena Malvelyan, AWHHE - Armenia
  • Victoria Elias, Russia
  • Diana Iskreva , Earth Forever Foundation, Bulgaria
  • Anna Tsvetkova, MAMA-86, Ukraine
  • Viviana Avendano, Spain
  • Helen Lynn, UK

Furthermore, the chair of the International Board of Trustees, Marie Kranendonk, of the Netherlands, also participated.

During the first day the IAB members and WECF directors, evaluated progress on the ongoing workplan for the year 2008. The 2008 workplan was developed at the WECF general members meeting in Belgrade, October 2007. WECF staff, the working group leaders for the thematic and cross cutting areas, presented the results in each area (Chemicals, Water and Sanitation, Energy, Agriculture/Biodiversity, Gender, Environmental Rights and Public Participation). WECF executive Director Sascha Gabizon presented the 2007 audited financial report and the budget for 2008. The IAB members assessed the new member applications and approved 2 new members, from Georgia and Armenia, and requested more information about other applicants.

The WECF International Advisory Board Meeting 2008

During the second day the IAB members went through the draft strategic 5 year framework, which had been drafted by WECF staff following their strategy meeting in June 2008, and based on the input of the General Members Meeting in Belgrade. Sascha Gabizon presented the introduction to the strategic planning. The thematic coordinators presented the goals, strategies, key activities and potential donors of their programmes. The IAB members made a great number of suggestions for improvement. During the breaks, the IAB members were interviewed about their vision for WECF for an image film which is currently being made, as a tool to better inform donors about all the aspects of WECF’s work.

During the third day, the IAB gave their input to the proposed Membership and Gender policy of the WECF network. On the gender policy, the IAB recommended among others to:

  • Address women-men’s differences in the region and topics which WECF addresses: e.g. in the EECCA region, men die in average 10 years earlier than women, on the other hand, women and girls suffer more health effects from a lack of safe sanitation.
  • Gender equality is a condition for best/better results.
  • Gender approach is qualitative, not only quantitative (numbers of women taking part in WECF trainings)
  • On membership policy the IAB recommended to develop an MoU with all full members, which gives a clear definition of:
  • What kind of services members can expect from the WECF secretariat
  • What is the obligation of the members towards the WECF secretariat and the network
  • What are the basic principles and guidelines which WECF members should endorse and adhere to

Sabine Bock (Energy Coordinator and Director of WECF Germany) presents the strategic plan in the area of safe energy and climate protection

Amongst the obligations from members towards the network, the IAB recommended that, in addition to membership fees and inkind contributions to policy campaigns, they would find it essential that member organizations support each other with policy actions, such as letters to policy makers about the asbestos problem in Eastern Europe, the Sasyk dam disaster in Ukraine, and the possible pollution of Sevan lake by a mining company.

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