My Work Here is Done!

September 22, 2016


“My work here is done!” Those are the words of IGES President, Nancy Colleton, referring to the end of her tenure as acting Chair of the IUCN’s Commission on Education and Communication (CEC).


During the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii, August 31st—September 10th, Colleton oversaw numerous events and activities including the launch of the #NatureForAll pavilion and movement, the release of a new video, CEC meetings, sessions, and awards. With more than 10,000 in attendance, the Congress was the largest international environmental conference ever held on US soil.


Since September 2012, Colleton served as deputy chair of the CEC under Dr. Juliane Zeidler, who unexpectedly stepped down in April for health reasons.


“The last five months have been crazy!” said Colleton. “There was so much to do before the Congress,” she added referring to finalizing the new Commission mandate, providing IUCN program input for the new quadrennial, and reopening the chair nominations, all in addition to planning for the ten-day Congress. “Luckily we have one incredible Steering Committee, so everybody pitched in and we got the job done! Parks Canada also contributed a great deal.”


Colleton’s final presentation to the IUCN Assembly—more than 1,300 member organizations worldwide include the US State Department, and non-governmental organizations such as Conservation International—noted that the 2016 IUCN WCC provided many “firsts” for the Commission:


The #NatureForAll pavilion was the first CEC pavilion ever held at a Congress and hosted more than 80 events;

1. The launch of the #NatureForAll movement;

2. Active support from IUCN Goodwill Ambassador Alison Sudol, actress, singer, songwriter who starring in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them due out on November 18th;

3. A strengthened cooperation with World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA);

4. New partnerships with Google, National Geographic, the Global Environmental Facility, and Birdlife; and

5. A new high in CEC membership with more than 1,400 experts worldwide.


Sean Southey, chief executive officer of PCI Media in New York and newly-elected CEC Chair for 2016-2020, summed up Colleton’s work and report to the IUCN Assembly, “She left CEC at a real high point. The audience could not have been more inspired and energized.”


One reason for that inspiration is the “#NatureForAll” video Colleton left with the Assembly. As Executive Producer, Colleton worked with Pixeldust studios to create a fast-paced video to motivate people to connect with nature. The response to the video has been great. It is now being translated into six languages with early plans to show in more than 300 parks across China.