As economic difficulties continue to dominate international debate, IUCN’s World Conservation Congress has put nature back centre stage in the quest to recover our natural assets and use nature to solve a growing list of economic and social issues.
“The Congress, which has become known in Korea as “Nature’s Olympics”, has brought home gold for conservation,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. “It has demonstrated how nature-based solutions, as expressed in the Congress slogan “Nature+”, help us address many of our most pressing challenges.”
More than 10,000 people participated in the 2012 Congress on Jeju Island, including over 5,000 conservation experts from 153 countries and more than 550 events.
The crisis facing the natural world was underlined with new statistics on the decline of Caribbean corals and the publication of the top 100 most endangered species. Other highlights include updates on the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems, the IUCN Green List of Protected Areas, the Protected Planet Report and new findings on locally managed forests.
A strong emphasis was put on business responsibility. Major corporations, such as Nespresso and Rio Tinto, set new standards in sustainable practise, while Microsoft and Google signed up to support innovative conservation technologies. A €20m investment in biodiversity and protected areas management was announced by IUCN and the European Union.
More than 180 motions were proposed to the Members’ Assembly, IUCN’s unique global environmental parliament bringing together governments and non-governmental organizations to debate and vote.
The Assembly approved resolutions on a wide range of issues including action to recover Atlantic bluefin tuna stocks and avert extinctions of rare dolphin species; shutting down illegal bear farms; scaling back offshore drilling in French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana; and providing better payment channels for ecosystem services in poor countries. More....