22nd General Assembly 2018



An electronic meeting over the Internet
25 August 2018

The 22nd General Assembly of the International Environment Forum was held over the Internet using the Zoom platform on 25 August 2018. The election of the IEF Governing Board took place by e-voting on 14-24 August before the General Assembly.

1. Opening of the General Assembly
IEF President Arthur Dahl opened the General Assembly and welcomed the members who had logged in.

2. Introduction of members participating
The seven members connected over Zoom were Arthur Dahl (Geneva), John Kendall (Vancouver Island), Laurent Mesbah (Sarajevo), Paul Maloney (Montreal), Christine Muller (Rhode Island), Rafael Shayani (Brasilia), and Daniel Truran (Madrid), who all introduced themselves briefly.

3. Approval of the officers of the General Assembly
The board recommended that the IEF President also preside at the General Assembly. Since the meeting was recorded, a secretary was not necessary.

4. Approval of the agenda
The agenda was approved as proposed.

5. Report on the election of the Governing Board
The president provided the report of the teller, who could not be present. The Governing Board for the next year includes Arthur Dahl, Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, Christine Muller, Victoria Thoresen, Laurent Mesbah, Wendi Momen, and Michael Richards*.

6. Presentation, consultation and approval of the Annual Report 2017-2018
The president provided a summary of the main points in the Annual Report 2017-2018. Participants commented on the impressive accomplishments over the past year. The Annual Report was approved.

7. Consultation on activities and priorities for the coming year
Much of the consultation revolved around improving communications with the membership to increase their involvement in IEF. One suggestion was to use Google Docs for joint work spaces on key issues. Zoom meetings could also be organized among members interested in topics like water and energy. This would require finding some volunteers to lead the discussions. Short video clips are increasingly being used instead of written text, as the first IEF experience at the HLPF in New York shows. More should be collected, and featured regularly on the IEF YouTube channel as well as on the web site.

Another discussion concerned activities at the local level in communities, which are now a priority for Baha'is. Many members are involved in local actions for the environment and sustainability that we are not aware of. They should be invited to share their stories to inspire others to act, either in reports for the newsletter or as video clips. The IEF should consider how it can encourage more such local action, for example by providing ideas, materials and case studies.

In response to a question about IEF support to activities in Baha'i communities, the president described the IEF focus on building capacity in individuals and involvement in public discourses in its field, while respecting the initiative of Baha'i institutions.

One event that the IEF might consider becoming involved in is the Global Landscapes Forum, led by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) alongside the Conferences of the Parties to the UNFCCC, where IEF members might be able to participate on panels. A participant agreed to write up an article on this for the newsletter.

Another suggestion was to make joining IEF easier by simplifying the membership application form and featuring this more prominently on the web site.

8. Other business
There was no other business.

9. Closing of the General Assembly
After one hour of discussion, the IEF President thanked all the participants for their contributions, and closed the General Assembly.

* Michael Richards indicated that he was unable to serve on the board, so a by-election will be called.

Last updated 25 August 2018