Opening of CI Europe Office

6/27/2010

Worldwide environment NGO expands outreach to key European Institutions

Conservation International (CI), a leading organisation dedicated to preserving nature’s diversity for the well-being of humanity, announced today the opening of Conservation International Europe (CI - Europe), its new presence in the heart of the European Union headquarters.

The European policy office is an effort led by CI’s Center for Conservation and Government (CCG) aimed at ensuring that conservation is at the heart of EU decisions and accelerating CI’s policy engagement at EU level.  This is critical to Conservation International’s aim of helping societies adopt a more sustainable approach to development – one that considers and values nature at every turn. CI’s presence in the European Union is crucial to build a coherent policy approach in the environmental policy arena.

CI’s global reach and on-the-ground presence in 40 countries gives us a unique perspective and the ability to bring local insights to global issues,” said Russell Mittermeier, Ph.D., President of Conservation International. “With the EU at the leading edge of environmental leadership it became critical for us to have a permanent presence in the epicentre of European decision-making.”

CI - Europe will collaborate closely with CI’s worldwide policy team on international conventions and all relevant international fora, ensuring coherence and consistency of the organisation’s approach to EU policies. CI is reinforcing its presence on the European scene in order to build strategic partnerships with key EU policy makers and opinion formers, positioning itself as a trusted policy player in the environment policy arena.

CI’s engagement in EU policy dialogues includes – but is not limited to, Climate Change, Avoided Deforestation (REDD+), EU Overseas Development Aid, EU Overseas Entities and the Economics of Biodiversity.

CI recognises that the EU and its Member States have a growing influence in the global environmental policy arena, and that influencing the EU institutions is a critical component of efforts to achieve CI’s mission. The EU is the world’s largest provider of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the world, has a massive global impact on forests and fisheries, is present in many hotspots and high biodiversity wilderness areas through its Overseas Entities, and is heavily involved in international discussions on climate change, ecosystem services and the economics of biodiversity.

Jean-Philippe Palasi, Director of European Union Policy for CI – Europe said: “We are excited to join the dialogue and work closely with stakeholders at EU and Member State levels in raising the political priority of nature on the European agenda. As a science and field-based organisation with global outreach, CI has the capacity to play a role at EU level in promoting the importance of nature as the foundation of human development.” 

The official launch reception will be held in the European Parliament on the 29th of June in conjunction with a seminar on biodiversity and development aid co-organised by CI and BirdLife with the support of the French Development Agency (FAD), and hosted by Mr. Jo Leinen, Member of European Parliament, Chairman of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health & Food Safety.

CI - Europe is headed by Jean-Philippe Palasi, Director for European Union Policy, recently joined by Ingrid Mocaer, Manager, Finance, Operations and Public Funding. CI - Europe is registered as a Belgian ASBL and located Avenue de la Toison d'Or, 67, 1060 Brussels, Belgium.

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