11th GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE
INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM
Ottawa, Canada, 14 October 2007
1. Arthur Dahl, the President of IEF, officially opened the 11th General Assembly of the IEF in Ottawa, Canada, on 14 October 2007 during the 11th Annual Conference. There were a total of 25 people present, of whom 9 were IEF members and 16 visitors.
2. There was a round of introductions of everyone who was present.
3. The General Assembly appointed Arthur Dahl and Sylvia Karlsson as chair and secretary of the meeting.
4. The agenda was approved.
5. The annual report (Annual Report 2006-2007) was presented by the IEF President and General Secretary and, after some consultation, was approved by the General Assembly.
Election of the Governing Board
6. The new Governing Board was elected. First Glenda Belinsky and Alina Gershuny were appointed tellers. After a prayer, the attending members cast their votes and the tellers took down the electronic votes received. There were 9 votes cast at the meeting and 5 electronic votes. The following members were elected: Arthur Dahl, Sylvia Karlsson, Peter Adriance, Victoria Thoresen, Duncan Hanks, Charles Boyle, and Irma Allen. There was a three way tie for the last place between Irma, Diana Cartwright and Halldor Thorgiersson, so a second ballot was necessary.
Consultation on activities and priorities for the coming year
7. There was a proposal to put resources such as practical ideas for children's classes and devotionals and other resources for the institute process on the IEF website. Some devotionals and other materials are already available there but there is considerable potential to add more.
The potential of establishing closer links with the Association for Baha’i Studies – North America was explored. The two organisations, both Baha’i inspired, could work in tandem, with considerable overlap in membership. The ABS has an academic approach to the application of Bahá'í teachings. Some earlier IEF conferences also had presentations of papers. There is space for dialogue and considerable synergies. The IEF is willing to collaborate in special interest group meetings and could sponsor a seminar at the ABS conference with a call for papers. It can also post materials on its web site. It was pointed out that IEF primarily works through its individual members and does not establish regional branches. It facilitates international dialogue and can encourage regional networks. There is no obstacle to working in collaboration with other partners to organise seminars in a regional context. For example, in the US Partnership for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, the partners host events in collaboration with others, and the IEF has served as a resource and co-sponsor.
8. There was a suggestion to put gender issues higher on the agenda and one offer from Eva Siekierska to contribute to that.
It was suggested that working towards creating a “will to respond” to climate change could be achieved by inviting scientists and other actors, bringing them together to facilitate ongoing learning. We need a sustained process of thinking. How could IEF reach out to all people trying to address an issue which is very complex?
The Consumer Citizenship Network (CCN) in Europe, to which IEF belongs, was mentioned as one approach through which IEF members can contribute. It has high status and considerable potential for cooperation with others both bottom-up and top-down. The CCN wants international contributions.
9. After thanks to all present for their contributions, the chair closed the General Assembly.
See the Annual Report 2006-2007 of the IEF