The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress is the world’s largest conservation event. Held every four years, it aims to improve how the natural environment is managed for human, social and economic development. The World Conservation Congress 2012 was recently held in September on Jeju Island in the Republic of Korea.
The congress had two Main Parts. The Members’ Assembly is IUCN’s highest decision-making body. A unique global environmental parliament, it involves governments and NGOs – large and small, national and international – making joint decisions. The Forum which is a hub of public debates bringing together people from all walks of life to discuss the world’s most pressing conservation issues. For 2012, the IUCN World Conservation Congress adopted a new format, aiming for greater coherence and cross-fertilization between the two parts with main messages of each day of the Forum being presented to the Assembly the following morning.
Thousands of high-level decision makers from governments, NGOs, academia and business, as well as hundreds of media representatives came together to discuss the most crucial issues affecting our world today. The main issues on the agenda were valuing and conserving nature, governing nature’s use and sharing its benefits equitably and deploying nature-based solutions to global challenges such as Climate, Food and the Economy.
At the opening ceremony the outgoing IUCN president, Ashok Khosla said “For conservation to be successful, we must address not just the imperatives of the natural environment, but also of the economic, social and political environments. Conservation policies and action cannot succeed for long unless nations and communities use their resources efficiently, distribute the benefits equitably and empower their citizens actively and inclusively. This requires high levels of responsibility in governance – with firm commitment to social justice through transparent processes and the participation of all those in making decisions that affect them”.
As part of the congress, the Members’ Assembly adopted a number of resolutions which will guide IUCN’s programme of work.
IUCN members also elected their new President during the 2012 IUCN World Conservation Congress. Mr Zhang Xinsheng of China will lead the world’s largest environmental organization for the next four years. He succeeds Ashok Khosla, who successfully represented IUCN since the last Congress held in Barcelona.
For more information go to www.iucn.org