Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Friday 11 July 2008

1950s: Promoting the concept of Nature Conservation

In the mid of fifties, nature was basically seen as wildlife with a strong focus on outstanding natural features: species, sites and areas, threatened by economic development and population growth. People needed to become aware of the importance of wildlife. To do so the Commission focused on schools. In 1950 with the support of UNESCO 39.000 booklets for teachers and 130.000 illustrated pamphlets for students were distributed in Italy in a first campaign to raise awareness. The idea was that the Commission would call on experts and make IUPN indispensable to UNESCO, thereby up-scaling the Italian approach.

William Vogt, Ira Gabrielson, Max Nicholson, the first IUCN Publications: CEC products!

In 1952 Ira Gabrielson (USA, 1889-1977), another founding father of IUCN was elected as Chair. During his term the Commission produced one of the first major IUCN publications ‘A Guide to Conservation’, prepared by Laurence Palmer. In 1956 the General Assembly in Edinburgh, UK, changed the name to IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in order to overcome “a much more limited and perhaps more defensive or sentimental image”.

The change of name broadened the scope of the IUCN´s action. In the fifties the Commission focused on outdoor and out-of-school nature education in accordance with the slogan “take them out” promoted by the famous conservationist Edward Max Nicholson (UK, 1904-2003), also a founding father of IUCN. He served as EduC Chair from 1958-1960. EduC helped to organize youth summer camps and in 1956 helped to create the IYF - International Youth Federation for the Study and Protection of Nature with Jacques de Smidt the Dutch university student as its first President.

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