Belgian expert on biodiversity is elected to join the global nature council


Hilde Eggermont, coordinator of the Belgian Biodiversity Platform, has become an elected member of the global council of the ‘International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’ and will be involved for the next four years. The council of the IUCN is the most important decision-making authority in the period between two world congresses. Its primary role is to outline strategic guidelines, assume responsibility on behalf of members and provide help in communicating to the global community.

Hilde Eggermont is a Doctor in Biology and aims to bridge the gap between science and strategy with her present activities for the Belgian Biodiversity Platform. She hopes to give louder support to scientific research as well as involving a broader spectrum of stakeholders in nature conservation, not forgetting the younger generation.

In Eggermont's opinion we can tackle global problems together: “Ecosystems that are fundamental to our economy, our welfare and our future are under immense pressure. Species are becoming extinct at a rate we have never seen before. The climate is reaching a turning point. I strongly believe that scientific research and the close involvement of stakeholders is essential to turn the tide, protect nature and achieve our sustainability objectives”.

She also stresses the key role played by the IUCN across the various sectors: “I hope to be able to increase the impact of IUCN's work and influence policy makers using my expertise. It will still take many years to integrate biodiversity into plans made by the government, the private sector and development partnerships. However, I am sure that the IUCN has sufficient clout to accomplish this in collaboration with other players. IUCN is needed more than ever before!”

Luc Bas, Director of the European Regional IUCN office in Brussels adds: “Dr Eggermont will help to determine the focus of IUCN's activities in the coming 4 years. The European regional IUCN office in Brussels is looking forward to working closely with the Belgian Council member in translating the results of the world congress in Europe.”

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is a global authority for nature conservation and a unique alliance between both governmental and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). It offers the public and private sectors and NGOs both the knowledge and methods to allow progress, economic development and nature conservation to co-exist. Founded in 1948, IUCN has evolved to become the world's biggest and most diverse environmental network. It utilises the experience and extent of its 1,300 member organisations together with input from around 16,000 experts, organised in 6 commissions.

The regional council members supervise the general development and implementation of the strategy and IUCN schemes. They are a sounding board for IUCN members in the various regions, they act as an IUCN Ambassador and collaborate with the President and Director General in realising the IUCN's mission.