Countdown begins to the world’s leading environmental summit

The IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016 to take place 1-10 September in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi

The IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016 will take place 1-10 September in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi

Gland, Switzerland, 1 September 2015 (IUCN) – Today marks one year to the opening of the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016, the world’s largest and most inclusive environmental decision-making forum that will define the future path for nature conservation.

The IUCN Congress will be held under the theme ‘Planet at the crossroads’, emphasising that nature conservation and human progress are not a zero-sum game, and that credible and accessible choices exist that can promote general welfare while supporting and enhancing our planet’s natural assets.

“The world is facing a rapidly closing window – our planet is at the crossroads,” says Inger Andersen, IUCN Director General. “The path we choose today will define nature’s ability to support us as a species during our lifetimes and for generations to come. The IUCN World Conservation Congress is a forum of dialogue and decision which will help us determine that path.”

With the adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) later this month and momentum building towards a global agreement to tackle climate change in Paris this December, the world is setting an ambitious agenda for addressing fundamental social and environmental global challenges. The IUCN Congress will guide the efforts of IUCN’s almost 1,300 member organisations – some of the most influential players on the environmental scene – including over 200 government members, in support of these global ambitions.

Held every four years, the IUCN World Conservation Congress gathers between 6,000 and 8,000 delegates from around the world, including world leaders and representatives from governments, science, academia, Indigenous peoples groups, businesses and conservation.

This will be the first time the IUCN Congress will be hosted by the USA, having received strong endorsement from US President Barack Obama.

The IUCN Congress will include a unique global environmental parliament session – the Members’ Assembly – where IUCN’s member organisations will identify the most significant concerns and trends in conservation and guide IUCN’s work for the coming years. The Members’ Assembly will be preceded by a hub of public debate – the Forum – which will bring together people from all walks of life to discuss the world’s most pressing conservation and sustainability challenges.

The Members’ Assembly has produced policy for the most important global conservation treaties and initiatives over the past 68 years. These include the World Heritage Convention, the Ramsar Convention, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Participants of previous IUCN Congresses include His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, UN Foundation Chairman Ted Turner, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, and Ocean Elder and marine conservation champion Dr Sylvia Earle.

Media opportunities at the IUCN Congress:
- Latest news – The latest environmental news from IUCN and its partners will be announced at the Congress.
- Government announcements – The IUCN Congress will present an opportunity for government leaders to announce major commitments and new conservation initiatives.
- Interview opportunities – The IUCN Congress will provide a unique opportunity to interview leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, Indigenous peoples, business and academia.
- Press trip – Members of the media will be invited to attend a field trip to a nearby project illustrating some of the conservation issues discussed at the IUCN Congress, accompanied by some of IUCN’s top experts.

Follow us on @IUCN #IUCNcongress and Facebook

For more information please contact
Ewa Magiera, IUCN Media Relations, e-mail: [email protected], mobile +41 76 505 33 78
Mark Gnadt, IUCN Congress Communications Officer, e-mail: [email protected], mobile +41 79 560 62 89

About IUCN
IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges.

IUCN’s work focusses on valuing and conserving nature, ensuring effective and equitable governance of its use, and deploying nature-based solutions to global challenges in climate, food and development. IUCN supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world, and brings governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organisation, with almost 1,300 government and NGO Members and more than 15,000 volunteer experts in 185 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by almost 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.

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