IEF 23rd General Assembly



Auckland, New Zealand and over the Internet
5 April 2019

The 23nd General Assembly of the International Environment Forum was held in Auckland, New Zealand, and over the Internet using the Zoom platform on Friday 5 April 2019. Eight members were able to participate, three in person: Arthur Dahl (Switzerland), Marjolein Lips-Wiersma (New Zealand) and Dennis Worley (New Zealand), and 5 over Zoom: Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen (Netherlands), Christine Muller (USA), Rafael Shayani (Brazil), Victoria Thoresen (Norway) and Daniel Truran (Spain).

1. Opening of the General Assembly by the IEF President
Arthur Dahl opened the General Assembly at 19:00 and welcomed all the participants who attended despite the time differences in their home countries.

2. Introduction of members participating
The members present and on-line introduced themselves.

3. Approval of the officers of the General Assembly
The IEF President presided at the General Assembly. A Secretary was not needed since the session was recorded.

4. Approval of the agenda
The Agenda was approved as presented.

5. Report on the election of the Governing Board
The election of the IEF Governing Board was held by e-voting from 21 March to 4 April before the General Assembly so that the results could be announced during the meeting. Twelve members voted, but one ballot lacked enough names and was invalid. The teller reported that the Governing Board for 2019-2020 consists of Sylvia Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, Arthur Dahl, Christine Muller, Halldor Thorgeirsson, Laurent Mesbah, Victoria Thoresen and Wendi Momen, the same composition as last year.

6. Presentation, consultation and approval of the Annual Report 2018-2019
The President summarized the Annual Report, which was then approved with appreciation by the General Assembly.

7. Consultation on activities and priorities for the coming year
Participants had a number of suggestions for future activities.

  • UNESCO and UN Environment have been developing educational materials on values and lifestyles in support of the Sustainable Development Goals, but there is a request to bring these down to the pre-school level where values and examples are already influencing future behaviour. It is important to get children outdoors and in contact with nature. IEF could consider on-line resources in support of children's classes, and games children could play. Sustainability projects could also be developed for junior youth to empower them and give them the experience of making a difference. Examples mentioned that had worked in the past were tree planting and supporting a local plastic bag ban. Schools often provide information on environmental sustainability, but no possibility to work for change and no hope for the future. More outreach is needed to young people, for example at the Townshend International School in the Czech Republic. It would also be good to involve older people who may have more time and interest than the parents of the youth.
  • IEF should continue to follow international discourses and contribute to them when possible. For example members could provide perspectives on the Sustainable Development Goals on Education and Reducing Inequality at the up-coming High Level Political Forum in New York in July, either by attending programs open to the public or by creating brief videos.
  • The question was discussed: How can members become more actively involved with IEF?
    - Members could write short notes/articles for the IEF Newsletter.
    - Members could create educational materials.
    - Members can help with the maintenance of the website.
    - Members can take their own initiatives to contribute to social discourse about sustainability.
    - Members can create brief videos.
    - Members can monitor issues and identify where IEF could contribute to social discourse.
    - Members can help with hosting an IEF Annual Meeting.
  • The consultation on possible locations for future IEF conferences resulted in three concrete suggestions:
    - We could ask the Townshend School if they were interested in having a conference with student engagement there.
    - Africa is an important part of the world to support sustainable development. We could explore possibilities there in the future.
    - We could partner with ebbf whose conference will likely take place in Lisbon in May. Daniel Truran affirmed that such a collaboration would be very welcome. Victoria Thoresen has connections with schools for teachers close to Lisbon. If planned well in advance, we could offer something where the youth can be involved.
  • It would be of advantage if IEF was registered somewhere because a legal existence could open new doors. However, we have not found a country that would register an organisation not rooted in a particular country. This may be worthwhile to pursue.
  • We could share more relevant content from the IEF website and activities of IEF members on the IEF Facebook Page.
  • The issue of the long term sustainability of IEF was raised. Young people could be trained in the work Arthur Dahl has been doing.

8. Other business
There was no other business.

9. Closing of the General Assembly
After thanking all the participants, the President closed the General Assembly at 20:15.

The audio recording of the General Assembly is available at and the video recording is at

Last updated 14 April 2019