WCS at the IUCN World Conservation Congress

About the IUCN World Conservation Congress

Honolulu, Hawai’i
1-10 September, 2016

The Importance of World Conservation Congress

Every four years the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) holds the World Conservation Congress, the world’s largest conservation-focused global forum. This unique, high profile event will explore critical conservation issues that motivate and inspire action. IUCN is composed of more than 1,300 member organizations that can attend the Congress, including government agencies, national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), scientific institutions, and others. This year marks the first IUCN Congress to be held in the United States and is expected to bring together more than 3,000 leaders and representatives from government, conservation and other NGOs, civil society, indigenous peoples, business, UN agencies, intergovernmental organizations, and academia, to influence the direction of conservation and global sustainable development for the next four years.

The two main elements of the Congress are: the Forum which is a series of workshops, roundtables (Knowledge Cafés), training sessions (Conservation Campuses), lectures, and panel discussions to discuss and debate emerging and critical conservation issues. At the Members’ Assembly, IUCN members elect the IUCN Council (the main governing body) and vote on motions on various conservation issues and initiatives. The adopted motions both influence government actions and decision-making and guide IUCN’s work plan and policies for the next four years.

The Role of WCS in the World Conservation Congress

The World Conservation Congress is a high priority for WCS and provides an important opportunity for us to promote the conservation and protection of wildlife and wild places. At the Congress, WCS will work to ensure there is significant attention on the conservation of wildlife and wild places, including: the conservation of threatened and endangered species; the establishment, management, and conservation of protected areas; the need to take strong action to stop wildlife trafficking, including efforts to end the ivory trade; and the need to protect the world’s great intact forests and other intact ecosystems.

WCS is playing a major role in organizing content for the Forum including keynote talks, workshops, and panel discussions, as well as promoting the adoption of key motions for the Members’ Assembly. WCS will be employing digital and social media to broadly share the messages from the Congress. WCS will also focus on key motions at the Congress, including those addressing the need for conservation action for: elephants (and the closure of domestic ivory markets); pangolins; helmeted hornbills; eels; sharks and rays; whales and dolphins; tigers; giraffes; and intact forests. We will also use this Congress to continue our ongoing efforts to highlight the threat of poaching and wildlife trafficking, and to push for adoption of strong decisions and resolutions that will feed into the CITES Conference of the Parties that is taking place in South Africa two weeks after the Congress.

WCS will also focus on key motions at the Congress, including those addressing the need for conservation action for: elephants (and the closure of domestic ivory markets); pangolins; helmeted hornbills; eels; sharks and rays; whales and dolphins; tigers; giraffes; and intact forests.

We will also use this Congress to continue our ongoing efforts to highlight the threat of poaching and wildlife trafficking, and to push for adoption of strong decisions and resolutions that will feed into the CITES Conference of the Parties that is taking place in South Africa two weeks after the Congress.