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Environment as an Area of Focus

Environment as a new, unique Area of Focus

Ian Riseley at RI International Assembly Announcing Environment as AOF

Ian Riseley, Past President of Rotary International,  announcing the role of the Rotary Foundation's Environmental Issues Task Force, at International Assembly in January, San Diego, California, USA.

At their January 2020 meeting, the Trustees  . . . to clarify their October 2019 decision regarding environment issues, amended decision 42 to read: The Trustees agree to add Environmental Issues as a new Area of Focus or add Environmental Issues to an existing Area of Focus.
https://my.rotary.org/en/trustee-decisions

ESRAG supports the creation of  a new and unique Area of Focus for the Environment. The less desirable alternative would be to combine the Environment with one of the existing six Areas of Focus, which ESRAG does not support. ESRAG's GreenPosition Paper about adding the  Environment as an AOF is the first in a series of position papers about important environmental topics.  You can read this initial Green Paper, issued January 22, 2020, here: ESRAG's position about the Addition of the Environment as an Area of Focus

This paper was the basis of Karen Kendrick-Hands' presentation to The Rotary Foundation's Environmental Issues Task Force, February 3, 2020, when as ESRAG's Representative, she traveled  to the Rotary International Headquarters, in Evanston, Illinois to present at the opening morning session. Here are her slides (7.5 mb) and closing remarks

The balance of the three day meeting was closed, and discussions were confidential.

According to TRF staff, The Environmental Issues Task Force is finalizing a confidential recommendation to the Foundation Trustees. Changing what is included in the existing areas of focus does not require Board approval but adding an area of focus does. No matter which way the Trustees go, there will be a final decision by the end of April, which will be well-publicized.

ESRAG believes that having a new, unique Area of Focus on the environment is important to the future of Rotary and the world. What does Rotary lose when the Environment isn’t coequal with the other AOFs? 
  • An array of timely, high impact, and worthwhile projects
  • Attracting the next generation of Rotarians
  • Being attractive to the next generation of potential funders within and outside of Rotary.
  • Perceived status in rest of Humanitarian NGO world

Rotary risks losing its relevance in the face of environmental crises if it is ‘missing in action.'

Without a focus on the Environment, Rotary clubs risk missing the opportunity to proactively work 'upstream' to prevent and mitigate disasters rather than reactively responding to problems 'downstream' after they occur.

Bill and Melinda Gates just added Climate action to the work in which they invest; The Rotary Foundation should be in sync with one of its major funding partners. 

 
You may want to share your views and experiences with any Trustee whom you know or who represents your District. The Foundation Trustees and RI's Board of Directors are scheduled to meet jointly on April 24, 2020. Below is a list of the the current Trustees of The Rotary Foundation, with members of the Environmental Issues Task force  and the 2 non-Trustee members of the Task Force listed in BOLD. 
 

Chair Gary Huang, RC Taipei, Taiwan 
Chair-Elect Ravi Ravindran, RC Colombo, Sri Lanka 
Vice Chair Kenneth M. Shuppert, Jr , RC Decatur, AL, USA
Trustee Jorge  Aufranc, RC Guatemala Sur, Guatemala 
Trustee Brenda M.  Cressey,  RC Paso Robles, CA USA
Trustee Hipolito S.  Ferrerira, RC Contagem-Cidade Industrial, MG, Brazil 
Trustee John F. Germ, RC Chattanooga, TN USA 
Trustee Per Hoyen, RC Aarup, Denmark  
Trustee Jennifer E.  Jones, RC Windsor-Roseland, ON Canada
Trustee Seija Kita, RC Urawa East, Saitama, Japan 
Trustee Julia D. Phelps, RC Amesbury, NH, USA 
Trustee Ian H.S. Riseley, RC Sandringham, Victoria, Australia (Task Force Chair)
Trustee Gulam A.  Vahanvaty, RC Bombay Mah, India 
Trustee Michael F. Webb, RC Mendip, England 
Trustee Sang Koo Yun, RC Sae Hanyang, Republic of Korea 
Rotaractor Elyse LinRC Taipei Tin Harbour, Taiwan 
RI BOD liaison Jan Lucas Ket, RC Purmerend, Netherlands 
       
Abby McNear, The Rotary Foundation Staff, Mgr Rotary Grants.

Please copy Karen D. Kendrick-Hands, ESRAG's Liaison to the Task Force, if you comment.