A Different General Meeting

Edenkoben July 6, 2023

It was very difficult for us to attend this year's general meeting. Until now we have always been looking forward to the reunion with like-minded people and to the reports and exchange of ideas about our projects. However, the death of Gabriele weighed like a dark shadow over our meeting. We are mourning with Werner and our pain continues. With uneasy feeings we entered the room of the zoo school we had come to love and where we founded our association fifteen years ago and elected Gabriele as our first chairwoman.

Visibly moved, our second chairwoman, Christina Schubert, remembered Gabriele. She should have welcomed the guests in her lovely way and led them through the program with the dynamics she was known for. For today and the future of the association, it is important to continue our work in her spirit. This became noticeable during the following hours and to some people, including myself, it occasionally seemed as if Gabriele was still among us and would accompany our discussion with interest and benevolence.

The lively exchange with our Chilean and Peruvian partners proved that continuity in the association will also be maintained in the future. The outlook on future tasks here in Germany also set important accents. Particularly appreciated was the willingness of Werner Knauf to take over the office of the first chairman and to continue the work of the so far well-approved team.

Course of the General Meeting

24 members and 8 guests attended the general meeting. The following members informed about the activities in the current year:
- Dr. Alejandro Simeone: Video presentation "Research for survival - summary of the first results".
- Nancy Duman B: Video presentation "Protection of the Humboldt Archipelago - Resume of the political and legal disputes 2022/23"
- Werner Knauf: Powerpoint presentation "Environmental education in Peru - summary 2022/2023".
- Dr. Christina Schubert: Review 2022/2023
- Klaus Blumer: Cash and audit report

Afterwards there were discussions about the individual contributions.

Results of the re-elections:

First chairperson: Werner Knauf
Second chairperson: Dr. Christina Schubert
Treasurer: Klaus Blumer
Auditors: Susanne Janz and Reinhold Knauber

Chairman Werner Knauf informed that Ms Meike Kagel and Mr Erich Greiner will sit in on the work of the board in future.

According to Werner Knauf, on proposal of the board the following projects will be carried out after reviewing the finances:


- Foundation of Sphenisco Chile
- Continuation of public relations, especially of social media campaigns.
- New forms such as "murals" and info points could be tested in coastal villages.
- Continuation of legal activities.
- Continuation and expansion of research projects (counts, breeding success,foraging on the island under El Nino conditions, foraging on Tilgo Island in the vicinity of the planned harbors).
- Continuation of environmental education (photo exhibitions, teacher seminars)
- Establishment of a rescue station for Humboldt penguins and other marine animals
- Supporting sustainable projects in coastal villages.
- The declaration of a Marine Protected Area is reportedly imminent. If this happens, it would be an important task to help co-manage the marine protected zone. Keyword citizen participation


- The environmental education program will continue until August 2024, as outlined.
- The studies on breeding success on the Ballestas Islands are to be continued. A recently obtained report on this needs to be evaluated.


The suggested establishment of a rescue station was seen critically in the discussion,as there is still a need for more information.

Ms Schützendübe asked about the effects of the avian flu. According to information provided by Dr. Simeone, 1,900 Humboldt penguins supposedly died in the previous year. Nancy Duman reported that 450 animals had died. However, it is unclear whether the animals died from avian flu, as the dead animals have not been examined.

As with previous general meetings, we met to conclude the meeting in the evening in a restaurant in the southern Palatinate. By choosing the restaurant "Mühlengrund" near Heuchelheim, Werner had made a good choice. We continued our discussions about the association’s work, exchanged private information and spent a few hours in a relaxed atmosphere.

Hans-Joachim Schatz

translated by Angelika Veelken

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