International Rangeland Congress
- Aims and Objectives
The aim of the International Rangeland Congress is to promote the interchange of scientific and technical information on all aspects of rangelands: research, planning, development, management, extension, education and training. For the fulfillment of this aim, an International Rangeland Congress shall normally be held every 3-5 years for the purpose of presenting papers and reports, organizing symposia and conducting pre-and post-Congress tours.
Membership of the Congress is open to any person interested in rangeland studies, their development or use in any country of the world.
- Types of Membership
There are three categories of membership:
- Full Membership (with voting rights) is available to any person interested in the study or use of rangelands. Full members are required to pay the registration fee as decided upon by the Congress Organizing Committee. The membership fee of persons invited by the host country or sponsoring organization will be borne by the inviting body. Full members will have voting rights as provided for in this Constitution.
- Temporary Membership (without voting rights) is granted to individuals who wish to attend only certain sessions of the Congress. The temporary membership is granted on a daily basis. The daily membership fee shall be determined by the Congress Organizing Committee.
- Associate Membership (without voting rights) refers to the membership of partners and children of full members who will be charged a nominal membership fee.
- Duration of Membership
Membership will be retained until the commencement of the next Congress.
- Types of Membership
- Management of the Organization
The Organization shall be managed by a Continuing Committee of elected representatives, a President and Vice- President, and co-opted members with special skills or experience. Each actual Congress, however, will be managed by an Organizing Committee under the guidance of a Congress chairperson (Congress Chair) who will take advice from the IRC President and the Continuing Committee.
- Continuing Committee Structure and Appointment
- The Members of the Continuing Committee
Shall consist of 17 professional rangeland specialists representing the broad geographical and ecological rangeland regions of the world, namely
- Europe and Russia, two members;
- North America (including Mexico), two members;
- Central and South America, two members;
- Northern Africa and the Middle East), two members;
- Africa south of the Sahara, two members;
- Central Asia and Mongolia, two members;
- South and East Asia, two members;
- Australasia, two members; and,
- the Congress Chair of the immediately preceding Congress Organizing Committee (or nominee from that Committee) – ex-officio.
- Continuing Committee Election Procedure
At each Congress half of the elected members of the Continuing Committee shall retire on a rotational basis and be replaced by members nominated and elected by full members of the Congress.
The procedure of the election shall be as follows:
- The President of the outgoing Continuing Committee shall, in consultation with the Congress Chair (or nominee), appoint a Nominating Committee of at least five members who shall be members of the International Rangeland Congress, preferably past Congress Chairs and past Presidents or members of the Continuing Committee, prior to the First Business Meeting;
- A call for candidates by region will be made at the First Business Meeting of the organization at the relevant Congress. Candidates, who shall be full members of that Congress, should be nominated in writing by 6 delegates of whom at least three must be from the region. This nomination, together with a brief profile of the candidate, shall be provided to the Nominating Committee. The statement should include information on the candidate’s ability to attend the next two Congress meetings, previous experience of International Rangeland or similar Congress meetings, and the particular background or skills that will allow the candidate to make a specific contribution to the Continuing Committee;
- Twenty-four hours before the Final Business Meeting of the organization at that Congress, the Nominating Committee will circulate one-paragraph summaries of the candidates to the members. Separate voting for the candidates for each region will take place during the Final Business Meeting by all the full member delegates present without discussion. The President shall announce the names and geographical region of the candidates prior to voting at the Final Business Meeting;
- The voting may be by show of hands or secret ballot at the discretion of the President of the Continuing Committee;
- The President shall announce the new members of the Continuing Committee at the Final Business Meeting;
- The term of office for each member of the Continuing Committee shall not exceed two terms. One term means the period between successive Congresses. The terms of office shall be arranged so that half the elected members will normally retire at each Congress.
- Election of President and Vice-President
The Continuing Committee President shall be elected for one term from among continuing members who have previously served a term, that is, only those members who have served one term shall be eligible for election.
- For the purpose of electing a new President, the retiring President will convene a meeting of the newly appointed Continuing Committee and hold an election either by show of hands or secret ballot. The names should be duly proposed and seconded, and the successful candidate shall be decided by a simple majority. This meeting will be held after the Final Business Meeting.
- The incoming President of the Continuing Committee shall assume office at the same meeting of the Continuing Committee. The out-going President shall hand over office after reviewing the activities of the Continuing Committee during their tenure of office.
- The incoming President shall at this meeting hold an election for the position of Vice President. This election shall be held by hand or secret ballot, with candidates duly nominated and seconded with the successful candidate being determined by a simple majority. The Vice President shall act in place of the President on such occasions as the President’s temporary absence due to health or other matters as advised by the President, and shall assume the office of President on the resignation, permanent incapacitation or death of the existing incumbent.
- Appointment of Co-opted and Other Continuing Committee Members
- The previous Congress Chair (or nominee from the Organizing Committee) will automatically be an ex-officio member of the Continuing Committee and will only serve one term.
- The Continuing Committee (on a simple majority vote) will have the power to co-opt additional ex-officio members with special skills or knowledge that will assist the Committee in meeting it’s responsibilities (as set out below) during the current term
- The Members of the Continuing Committee
- Continuing Committee Responsibilities
- The responsibility of the Continuing Committee will be to provide continuity to the International Rangeland Congress between meetings of the Congress. This will include:
- The President, in consultation with the Continuing Committee, shall advise the Organizing Committee of the forthcoming Congress and provide recommendations regarding its proposed programs and arrangements;
- The President shall receive proposals for hosting the next Congress.
- To be accepted for consideration, the proposals must conform to Continuing Committee guidelines.
- All proposals from potential host countries or sponsoring organizations must be received by the preceding Congress.
- The President shall put the names of the proposed host countries to vote by the members of the Continuing Committee by correspondence. The names will be accompanied by details of the facilities that can be offered by these countries for the holding of the Congress. If one country receives two thirds or more of the votes, that is not less than twelve out of seventeen, the country shall be elected as the host for the next Congress.
- If no country receives a clear two thirds majority by the time of the Final Business Meeting, the President shall put the names of the countries before the Final Business Meeting for voting according to Clause 7 using secret ballot papers which will be issued to the voting members by the President of the Continuing Committee;
- The President, on behalf of the Continuing Committee, shall ensure that the lists and materials as required by the Constitution are handed over to the Organizing Committee of the next Congress;
- The Continuing Committee, through the President, shall ensure that an updated copy of the International Rangeland Congress Constitution is provided, and is available, to the Organizing Committee of the next Congress and is adhered to at all times, subject to (a) the financial limitations imposed by bankruptcy and insolvency law; or (b) the committing of any unlawful acts. Furthermore, the Continuing Committee shall maintain an updated list of resolutions relevant to future Organizing Committees and shall provide, and make available, such a list to the next Organizing Committee at any time; and
- Conduct any other necessary affairs that require attention between meetings of the Congress including making alternate arrangements if the invited country is unable to proceed with the Congress, by inviting the country obtaining the next highest votes to host the Congress;
- Duties of the President of the Continuing Committee
The President will:
- Manage the affairs of the Continuing Committee in the period between Congresses including liaising with the Organizing Committee of the next Congress, circulating information to Continuing Committee members, organizing meetings, teleconferences, email discussions or other appropriate means of enabling Committee members to participate in decision-making;
- Manage the financial affairs of the Continuing Committee such that any income is prudently and conservatively invested (in internationally generally accepted accounting terms) and that all costs and expenses incurred are agreed to by a majority of the Continuing Committee;
- Cause a set of financial statements to be prepared for the period of the President’s trusteeship that would be acceptable to a registered auditor;
- At the President’s discretion (but taking into account any nominations at the preceding Congress under this Constitution), appoint an alternate member from the same region to act in the event of the death of a Continuing Committee member, or their inability to fulfill their obligations, for the remainder of that person’s term Any person so appointed as a substitute will remain eligible for future election for a full two terms if they are appointed as a replacement for a second term member;
- Preside over the First and Final Business Meetings at the next Congress;
- Form a Nominating Committee for the purposes and in the manner described above for the election of Continuing Committee Members;
- Form a Resolutions Committee for the purposes and in the manner described below to receive and assess the suitability of Resolutions;
- Convene and conduct the meeting of the newly appointed Continuing Committee after the Final Business Meeting for the purpose of electing the new President and handing over office;
- Announce the venue for the next Congress or hold an election for this purpose as prescribed in this Constitution; and
- Present an address at the First Plenary Session.
- Legal Form of the International Rangeland Congress
The Continuing Committee will have the right to determine whether the organization will incorporate entirely (or as an associated unit or subsidiary for the business management of the organization) as a company, association or other entity and who shall be the members and directors / managers of that entity. The Board of such entity shall consist of five members of the Continuing Committee (including the President and Vice-President).
- Continuing Committee Structure and Appointment
- Management of Individual Congresses
- Management Structure
- The host country or sponsoring organization within the host country will, in consultation with the Continuing Committee, name the Congress Chair, or alternatively an Honorary Chair plus an Executive Officer, and appoint an Organizing Committee;
- The Congress Chair, or the Honorary Chair and the Executive Officer, on behalf of the appointed Organizing Committee, will be completely responsible for the organization of the Congress;
- Once the country and its nominated Organizing Committee has been accepted to act as host to the Congress, it will, after consulting with the Continuing Committee, take the responsibility for deciding the precise venue, location, program, number of participants, etc;
- By mutual agreement, the host country or sponsoring organization within the host country of the ensuing Congress may allocate funds to cover office expenditure incurred by the President on behalf of the Continuing Committee but will regardless provide all the necessary facilities and meet all necessary costs of the Continuing Committee in holding committee and business meetings at the Congress.
- Congress Structure and Content
- Every Congress shall commence with an inaugural function presided over by the Congress Chair, at which no business shall be transacted. The details of the inaugural function will be the responsibility of the Organizing Committee.
- There will be at least two business meetings of the Congress, one at or near the beginning, and one at the end.
- The Organizing Committee is encouraged to consider the provision of educational and refresher workshops, pre and post congress tours, and mid congress tours and other matters or exhibitions consistent with the aims of the organization, as well as technical sessions.
- Publishing of the Proceedings will be arranged by the host organization and copies will be provided to all full embers.
- An additional number of copies shall be made available for sale to the public and libraries throughout the world.
- Likewise, the Congress host will be responsible for inviting contributions to the Congress and presenting them in the form of pre-Congress documents.
- Copyright shall be vested jointly in the Continuing Committee and the host Organizing Committee (until the next Congress).
- Congress Chair Responsibilities
- The Congress (or Honorary) Chair will Chair the Congress Organizing Committee;
- The duties of the Congress Chair will include chairing the inaugural function and, where thought appropriate by the Congress Chair in consultation with the President of the Continuing Committee, opening and closing Plenary Sessions;
- The Congress Chair will become an ex-officio member of the Continuing Committee for one term immediately following their term in office. Alternatively, the Congress Chair may nominate an ex-officio member to participate on the Continuing Committee
- Post Congress Responsibilities
- Within one month from the last day of the Congress, the Organizing Committee will pay to the Continuing Committee a levy of $10 (US) per head for each full membership attributable to the Congress, or such other amount as decided by the Continuing Committee and advised to the Organizing Committee at least 18 months before the Congress.
- At the completion of the Congress, the Organizing Committee of that Congress should hand on as much information as possible to the organizers of the next Congress and to the President of the Continuing Committee. This should include (preferably in digital form):
- The complete mailing list used by the outgoing Organizing Committee.
- A full list of members of the immediate past Congress, associates, etc.
- The list of pre-registrants including the names of the people who were unable to attend the Congress.
- Samples of all relevant forms and documents, membership badges, etc.
- Detailed budget and expenditure of the last two Congresses.
- Management Structure
- Business Meetings
There will be at least two business meetings of the Congress, one at or near the beginning, and one at the end. The business to be considered at these business meetings will include the matters set out in this constitution for the continuing management and development of the organization;
- First Business Meeting
- Preferably on the same day as the first Plenary Session, the First Business Meeting shall be held presided over by the President of the Continuing Committee. The length and location of this meeting will be determined by the President in consultation with the Congress Chair.
- The First Business Meeting shall include a report to the membership on the activities of the Continuing Committee during the preceding period, a call for nominations for the positions of the retiring Continuing Committee members, an outline of the resolutions procedure, and the foreshadowing of any amendments to the Constitution that may have been proposed (meeting the requirements of the existing Constitution for submission).
- Final Business Meeting
- Any amendments to the Constitution of the Congress that have been put by the proposer to the Continuing Committee in accordance with the Constitution will be announced at least 48 hours before the Final Business Meeting and accepted or rejected only at that meeting.
- At the Final Business Meeting, the President will first hold the election for the Continuing Committee, secondly hold any necessary election for the succeeding Congress venue, and then put any amendments to the Constitution. The time for presenting an amendment should be not more than five minutes. Resolutions as listed by the Resolutions Committee will be announced and put to the Final Business Meeting. The President will announce the various voting results. The meeting may also consider other matters of general business.
- First Business Meeting
- Amendments to the Constitution and Resolutions
- Amendments to the Constitution
These may be proposed by any full member, and must be seconded by another full member.
- They must be transmitted in writing to the President of the Continuing Committee at least six months prior to the Congress session, if they have not already been passed as a resolution (7B (ii) and (iii)) and foreshadowed as an amendment to the constitution at the previous Congress.
- The Continuing Committee will receive the proposed amendments and determine whether they are relevant. Proposals endorsed by the Continuing Committee will be announced in detail by the President of the Continuing Committee at the First Business Meeting or no later than 48 hours before the Final Business Meeting.
- At the Final Business Meeting, at least the proposer and seconder will be invited to speak to the proposed amendments and two members will be invited to speak against the proposals. The original proposer and seconder may nominate alternate speakers on their behalf (in writing delivered to the President of the Continuing Committee prior to the First Business Meeting of the Congress at which the proposed amendment is to be considered) if they are unable to attend the Congress where the proposed Amendment to the Constitution is considered.
- Acceptance or rejection will be decided by a vote or ballot at the Final Business Meeting. Those full members in attendance at the Final Business Meeting shall constitute a quorum. Two thirds of the total votes cast in the Final Business Meeting must be in the affirmative for the amendment to be adopted. Any amendment thus passed will become effective at the end of the Congress in which it has been adopted.
- Resolutions of the International Rangeland Congress
These will be non-binding and the procedure for their proposal will be as follows:
- Prior to the commencement of the First Business Meeting, the President of the Continuing Committee shall appoint a Resolutions Committee. The composition and number of members of the Committee will be determined in consultation with the Continuing Committee.
- Resolutions must be handed to members of the Resolutions Committee at least 24 hours before the Final Business Meeting. The Resolutions Committee, operating under guidelines determined by the Continuing Committee, will list the resolutions meeting these guidelines for discussion at the Final Business Meeting.
- Resolutions must be proposed and seconded by full members. Voting will be by simple majority by hand or secret ballot as determined by the meeting chair.
- Amendments to the Constitution