October 23, 2023
From October 11 – 13, three Goldman Environmental Prize winners attended the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Leaders Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. The three-day conference convened global leaders and experts in policy, finance, and science to discuss how to protect and restore biodiversity across various sectors.
Prize winners in attendance were Howard Wood (Scotland, 2015) of Community of Arran Seabed Trust, Maida Bilal (Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2021) of Fondacija Krug života Kruščica, and Ana Colovic Lesoska (North Macedonia, 2019) of Eko-svest.
Some Takeaways from Prize Winners about the Experience
“The IUCN Leaders Forum provided the space to meet IUCN staff and representatives of other international organizations. We heard many inspirational and motivational speeches at the forum, including practical examples and projects by young changemakers.”—Ana Colovic Lesoska
“It was refreshing to listen to individuals from the financial sector who have finally started conducting ecosystem risk assessments. Communities should likewise do their own risk assessments to determine which businesses are best suited as partners and weed out those only looking to greenwash. We need to effectively get funding down to communities to help achieve global biodiversity goals.”—Howard Wood
“It was very important to me to meet the other Prize winners, and to get advice and instructions on how to strengthen my work and overcome some of my challenges. This was a valuable experience—now I feel that I am not alone.”—Maida Bilal