12th General Assembly 2008



de Poort, The Netherlands, 20 September 2008


The 12th General Assembly of the International Environment Forum was held during the 12th Annual Conference of the IEF in de Poort, The Netherlands, on 20 September 2008, from 18:45 to 20:00.

Opening of the General Assembly
The General Assembly was opened, with 15 members (Annex 1) and four guests attending. After a round of introductions of all present, two tellers were appointed. Officers of the General Assembly were elected by secret ballot, with Arthur Dahl elected as chair and Sylvia Karlsson as secretary. The draft agenda was approved.

Annual report
The annual report of the International Environment Forum (Annual Report 2007-2008) was presented and approved, with comments invited from attending members who had carried out activities during the year.

Election of the Governing Board
Members voted both in person and by e-mail. There were 20 votes cast: 6 via email and 14 in person). One ballot was invalid.
The following governing board members were elected: Arthur Dahl (Switzerland), Sylvia Karlsson (Finland), Victoria Thoresen (Norway), Irma Allen (Swaziland), Peter Adriance (USA), Duncan Hanks (Canada) and Charles Boyle (Australia).

Consultation on activities and priorities for the coming year
It was proposed to create a calendar of events that IEF members are taking part in (like a weblog) on our website. The lack of helpers for the website could be addressed by having a weblog where members submit stories. Emily Firth offered to set up a project site on the IEF website which could mirror the EBBF blog with projects which members are doing.

Beth Bowen volunteered to be an issue monitor for climate change and health.
It was proposed that we need regional monitors to identify meetings coming up that IEF members could attend. One idea to get help would be to get an intern; even if we do not have an office, they could work from home.

More information should be spread about how to join the IEF.

It was proposed that the letter of 24 March 2008 which the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada sent to all groups after the 11th IEF conference encouraging them to "demonstrate ever-increasing sensitivity to environmental issues in the design and implementation of community activities" could be more widely shared.

Baha’i communities need people who can raise awareness about environmental issues.  The environment makes an excellent summer school topic, and course materials could be made available on the web site.  Larry Staudt has been asked to do a seminar at the Green Acre Bahá'í School (USA) next summer.

It was suggested that the Board take advantage of the climate statement from the Bahá'í International Community when it comes out. One idea was to have the next IEF conference in conjunction with the 15th Conference of the Parties of the Climate Convention in Copenhagen in December 2009. We could explore the possibility to apply for observer status with UNFCCC.

It would be nice if the conference videos could be made available on DVD and sent to those who do not have internet.

Since there was no other business raised, the chair closed the General Assembly and thanked everyone for attending.

ANNEX 1 - Participating members

Irma Allen, Beth Bowen, Diana Cartwright, Arthur Dahl, Emily Firth, Steve Hall, Sylvia Karlsson, Bruce Liggitt, Laurent Mesbah, Wendi Momen, Joachim Monkelbaan, Gordon Naylor, Lawrence Staudt, Victoria Thoresen, Daniel Truran

See the Annual Report 2007-2008 of the IEF