10th General Assembly 2006



Balliol College, Oxford, UK, 17 September 2006


The 10th General Assembly of the International Environment Forum was held immediately after the closing of the 10th Annual Conference of the IEF in the courtyard of Balliol College, Oxford, United Kingdom.

The following members attended: Arthur Dahl, Ineke Gisbjers, Minu Hemmati, Janne Karimaki, Sylvia Karlsson, Michael Richards, Halldor Thorgeirsson, Wendi Momen, (new member UK)
Guests: Lars Friberg, Dave Curtis, Moojan Momen, Phil Koomen, Ismael Ali, +5 other guests.

1. Opening
The President of the International Environment Forum, Dr. Arthur Dahl, formally opened the 10th General Assembly. The members and visitors present introduced themselves.

2. Election of officers of the General Assembly
The Assembly suggested that the sitting officers of the Board act as officers of the General Assembly, Arthur Dahl as chair and Sylvia Karlsson as secretary.

3. Agenda
The proposed agenda was approved (Annex 1).

4. Annual report
The General Secretary presented the Annual Report by going through its main points. The Assembly approved the report (Annual Report 2005-2006).

5. Election of the Governing Board
The assembly appointed Michael Richards and Janne Karimäki as tellers. After a prayer, the IEF members present cast their votes for the Board, and the two votes received by e-mail in response to the election call of 30 August were given in paper form to the tellers as well. However, because there had been a problem with the IEF e-mail for the week prior to the Assembly that prevented members sending in their ballots, it was decided that a new message would be sent to all members advising them that they had a further two weeks for voting, with ballots to be sent directly to the tellers. This e-mail was sent on 2 October with a voting deadline of 15 October. The tellers then added the votes from the General Assembly with the old and new electronic votes. Since there was a tie for the last place, a runoff election had to be organized, with 26 members voting by e-mail. The tellers sent their final report to the chair and secretary of the Assembly on 13 November. The elected Board members are (in alphabetical order): Peter Adriance (USA), Irma Allen (Swaziland), Charles Boyle (Australia), Arthur Dahl (Switzerland), Sylvia Karlsson (Finland), Roxanne Lalonde (Swaziland), Victoria Thoresen (Norway).

6. Consultation on activities and priorities for the coming year
-  There was consultation on the possible activities for the 15th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development to be held in May 2007. South Africa is planning a WSSD+5 in September 2007 in Johannesburg and this may include a forum on Partnerships where Baha'is could contribute bringing in business and NGOs.
-  The Wilmette Institute course on sustainable development will continue with IEF co-sponsorship and heavy involvement from IEF members as teachers.
-  Through IEF membership in the Consumer Citizenship Network, IEF members have an excellent opportunity to participate in its activities. The new programme will be circulated to relevent members in Europe inviting their involvement.
-  Mojan Momen informed of an academic network on religion and development which he can send information on.
-  There was an extensive discussion on developing educational material for children. First there is a need to check what is out there, and develop some generic core material. It was suggested that we contact the Ruhi Institute, with a copy to the Universal House of Justice, that we can offer content for possible Ruhi branch course books related to environment and development. BASED-UK could support this. Phil and Mark offered to start with developing ideas for a module on climate change, and Sam offered to take the lead on an environment module.
-  For the IEF web site, there were suggestions to start a blog on environment and sustainability issues, and to develop a list of practical things to do to make a difference.
-  On future IEF conferences, it was suggested that the European Baha'i Business Forum (EBBF) be invited to organize a session at the IEF conference, and vice versa. One possible opportunity for partnering on a conference would be the Irfan Conference at Acuto, Italy, in the first week of July. Other possibilities were the Baha'i-inspired school in Lucknow, India, with conference facilities, activities of the International Association on Science and Religion, and the coming International Congress on Environmental Education in South Africa.

7. Other business
There was no other business.

8. Closing of the General Assembly
The chair thanked all those present for their active participation, and closed the General Assembly.

Annex 1


 1.    Opening of the General Assembly         Introduction of members present
 2.    Election of officers of the General Assembly
 3.    Approval of the Agenda
 4.    Presentation and consultation on the Annual Report (Annual Report 2005-2006)
 5.    Election of the Governing Board
 6.    Consultation on activities and priorities for the coming year, including:
            - education activities
            - engagement in the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and the Consumer Citizenship Network
            - issue monitors
            - activities at CSD 15
            - future IEF Conferences
 7.   Other business
 8.   Closing of the General Assembly

See the Annual Report (Annual Report 2005-2006)