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Director’s Cut - Thursday, 28 January 2010
Announcements for our 2010 Funding Campaign, “Your Meeting Bulletin,” the Climate Calendar and a French-language Agreement with Donors
By Kimo Goree, Director of IISD Reporting Services (IISD RS) - kimo@iisd.org
Kimo Goree
Kimo Goree
Director of
IISD RS
This issue of the Director’s Cut will focus on four announcements:

Our 2010 Funding Proposal
Scheduling of Your Meeting Bulletin coverage for your event
The Climate-L.org Calendar Feed and expansion of the Climate-L.org model
Funding from Quebec, Belgium and France for the ENB in French for 2010-2012

The 2010 Earth Negotiations Bulletin Fundraising Campaign
The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) has begun fundraising for the Earth Negotiations Bulletin in 2010. Our new fundraising proposal is now available at http://www.iisd.ca/enbvol/ENB_CY_2010_Funding_Proposal.pdf

This last year was a magnificent one for all of us on the ENB Team! Our coverage of the climate change meetings leading up to and culminating in Copenhagen was a tour de force despite the mixed outcome of COP15. Our online and daily ENB coverage from the UNEP Governing Council, the Commission on Sustainable Development, the Stockholm Convention COP, the Desertification COP, IPCC and meetings of the CBD on Access and Benefits Sharing were accessed from all corners of the Earth and were a great success.

However…

This last year was also a very, very difficult one for us. With budgets being cut and our revenues down, we were asked to cover four additional UNFCCC meetings in Bonn, Bangkok and Barcelona at considerable expense. This meant that, despite some additional funding from some governments, we have been running a serious budget deficit and have had to cut back on reporting from some meetings.

Beginning in June 2009, when we realized that we might not have the funding to provide coverage of some upcoming negotiations, we began contacting our donors and the MEA Secretariats for assistance. Rather than cancel coverage of non-UNFCCC meetings, we began seeking specific additional funding since our general fundraising appeal had not generated enough money.

Unfortunately, we were not able to provide full coverage of the Ad hoc Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) to Prepare for the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) on Mercury in October due to lack of funding.

But, we were fortunate to receive emergency support for coverage of several other meetings. We would like to thank the following Secretariats and donors for their specific support so that we could provide ENB reports at the following negotiations:

The International Tropical Timer Organization for funding for our coverage of the forty-fifth session of the International Tropical Timber Council (ITTC);
The Stockholm Convention Secretariat for providing additional funding for full coverage of the fifth meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee;
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for assistance so we could field a full team for reporting from the twelfth regular session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture; and
The UNEP Ozone Secretariat for DSA and travel for two of our team members to attend the twenty-first Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol

During these last three months of our fiscal year (IISD’s current fiscal year runs from April 2009 through March 2010), we are doing what we can to continue our work with limited funds. In July 2009, anticipating a funding shortfall later in the fiscal year, we contacted the key developed country governments involved in preparations for the upcoming 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, to be held in March 2010, and provided them with copies of our funding proposal for coverage of COP15 in Doha. At present, our coverage of this meeting is on hold pending additional funding. Also, we are hoping to raise funds needed for coverage of the ninth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit-sharing under the Convention on Biological Diversity, to be held in Colombia in March.

As you can see, we are doing what we can to continue in operation. But, we need your help!

If you are able to circulate our funding proposal, we certainly appreciate your assistance. Also, if you should have any leads for potential donors, please let me know directly at kimo@iisd.org

Booking ENB Coverage of Your Meeting
During 2009, IISD Reporting Services brought two of our Team Leaders, Leonie Gordon and Robynne Boyd, onto our staff to work part time to handle the contracting for non-ENB conference reporting services. While we raise money directly from governments for our coverage of multilateral environmental agreement negotiations (UNFCCC, CBD, UNCCD, etc.), many organizations contract with us to write reports from conferences, symposia, workshops, regional meetings and IGO-organized summits. These reports are almost identical in style to the Earth Negotiations Bulletin and we distribute the reports through our extensive email networks and upload them to the Linkages website at www.iisd.ca. We call this service “Your Meeting Bulletin,” since we provide full ENB-like conference reporting from “your meeting.”

Last year we were hired to report from more than thirty-five meetings by clients including UNEP, UNDP, FAO, UNISDR, CMS, UNIDO, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, GEF, the International Hydropower Association, PEMSEA, WMO, UNECE, and the 5th World Water Forum Secretariat.

Our calendar for 2010 is already beginning to fill up and some of the busy periods for international meetings are close to full. If you are interested in receiving a quote for services, please contact Ms. Gordon at leonie@iisd.org or Ms. Boyd at robynne@iisd.org and visit http://www.iisd.ca/crs/promo/ for more information on our for-hire services and http://www.iisd.ca/crs/ to see a complete list of non-ENB meetings we have covered for our clients since 1996.

Climate-L.org Calendar Feed and Expansion of the Climate-L.org Model
You can now import climate change meeting information from our Climate-L.org site into your desktop calendar program using an iCal feed at webcal://climate-l.org/subscribe/icalendar/

Climate-L.org is a knowledge management project for international negotiations and related activities on climate change run by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) with funding provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. On this website, information on United Nations activities is provided in cooperation with the UN system agencies, funds and programmes through the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) Secretariat and the UN Communications Group (UNCG) Task Force on Climate Change. On the Climate-L.org site we are using some fairly sophisticated Web 2.0 tools, content management software and semantically aware coding to build a next-generation knowledgebase tracking international activities to prevent global climate change.

Our publication, The Daily Feed, highlighting original articles written for the Climate-L.org site by our team of Thematic Experts on activities related to climate change, is distributed on weekdays through the CLIMATE-L list serve.

During UNFCCC COP15 in Copenhagen, IISD Reporting Services announced our new iCal feature, which was well received in the climate policy community. Our team of Thematic Experts assembles information on upcoming climate change meetings and posts this into our knowledgebase at http://climate-l.iisd.org . Now, anyone can subscribe to the iCal version of the calendar.

The iCal Subscription will provide readers with real time access to the events listed on Climate-L.org within their default Calendar program. This iCal feed is supported on a variety of different platforms from Microsoft Outlook (2007), Google Calendar/Reader, Mozilla Thunderbird/Lightning, iPhones, Mac iCal, HTC Hero Android (smart phone), and current Entourage versions. 

The calendar looks like this in Microsoft Outlook:

iCalendar

If you are planning an event that should be listed in the Climate-L.org Calendar Feed, please send information to the Climate-L.org Content Editor, Alice Bisiaux - alice@iisd.org

Our Climate-L.org Project has now entered Phase III with a new round of funding for 2010-2011 from Swiss SDC. We have completed most of the programming on our content management platform and set up the systems for workflow, editing, story assignments and automating the process of adding and tagging content. The platform is now stable enough for us to begin providing these same services for other policy areas.

During the next year, we will be expanding our knowledgebase, franchising the model into some of the other policy areas where we have already built up sizeable online communities using our “L” lists. We hope to find funding this year to set up a similar  Climate-L.org-type knowledge management system for FORESTS-L, ENERGY-L and WATER-L, building out both our stream of updated original content and our calendar feed.

Funding for French Translation of the ENB
And last but certainly not least, we are very pleased to announce that the Government of France, the Belgium Walloon Region, the Province of Québec and the International Organization of the Francophone (OIF and IEPF) signed a three-year funding agreement with IISD at the meeting of Francophone Ministers and Heads of Delegations at COP15 in Copenhagen. This agreement will provide funding for the translation of all issues of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin into French from 2010 through 2012. (Sign up for delivery of French language versions of the ENB by email at http://www.iisd.ca/email/ )
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