View from the Canopy - HoB Newsletter December 2013
As the year draws to an end, now is a good time to look back and reflect over the past twelve months. It has certainly been a time of change.
On the ground there have been some exciting developments: the discovery of rhino in Kalimantan, the inclusion of local people into the HoB process and the recommitment of the three Ministries in Brunei to the HoB vision spring to mind. But at the same time there have been some worrying trends - recent WWF data is suggesting significant levels of forest have continued to disappear since 2007, much of it unexpected. These losses underline the scale of the challenge that lies ahead. Succeeding in the Heart of Borneo will require large scale change across three countries. Change is happening, but the question that remains is whether it is fast enough.
Moving into 2014, we recognise that we need to shift up a gear. WWF can not solve all of the issues the HoB faces, but it is undoubtedly one of the largest players supporting the three governments and it is essential that the resources it can supply are used in the best way.
2013 was a largely introspective year working out how best to do this - a pit stop in the race towards 2020. But in November and December internal work throughout the year culminated in two meetings that finalised a suite of reforms to WWF's contribution to the HoB. These reforms are unlikely to hold much interest to anyone outside the network, but should ensure a ramping up of impact through a far more efficient channeling of resources. The details will be published soon as part of a new, single strategic plan of action for 2014-2020, but essentially they represent a major consolidation of network resources into a single regional programme - an unprecedented step for the network before now.
The immediate results will be a scaling up of capacity - in early 2014 WWF will be recruiting for new thematic leaders to work across the three countries on environmental economics and policy, on business, mining and finance, on monitoring and evaluation and on communications. This will be followed shortly by an update on the latest status of the Heart of Borneo, a report that will be painful reading for some and should spur an increase in effort from a number of organisations, including ourselves.
Most of us will be taking some time off at the end of the year, but look out for a new-look WWF HoB approach for 2014... We will be coming back stronger, faster and harder.