IUCN World Conservation Congress ends with Calls for Higher Ambition at Crucial Policy Summits to Come
Four days of intensive discussions among thousands of attendees result in clear priority areas for policy action
As thousands of practitioners, scientists, policy specialists and conservationists concluded four intensive days of discussions and presentations at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, four clear calls for priority action emerged: -
I) To stem the massive loss of wildlife and nature, we must collectively halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030
II) We must broaden and accelerate the scale of climate action with unprecedented speed
III) We must consider the environmental impacts of infrastructure (e.g. roads, rail, renewables) within economic stimulus recovery packages
IV) We must urgently uphold human rights to access adequate food, health, water and a healthy environment.
Speaking at the conclusion of the event, Linda Krueger, Director for Biodiversity and Infrastructure Policy at The Nature Conservancy and head of the organization’s delegation at the Congress, said:
“Systematic disregard for the environment, rapid loss of biodiversity and the escalating climate emergency have pushed the natural world – our underlying life-support system – to its limits.
“Our relationship with the planet is out-of-balance – risking the health and livelihoods of communities around the world today and for generations to come. But it’s not too late to change the balance of the scales. We must act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and secure a nature-positive world to reduce the likelihood of future global pandemics, fight climate change and land degradation, and enhance natural and national security.
“This Congress is a kick-starter not just for the environmental community but as a reminder that these are whole-of-society challenges that need whole-of-society solutions. It was a chance to drive ambition among the national governments that are already negotiating the make-or-break post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and planning their positions for November’s UN Climate Change Conference COP15 in Glasgow. Whether it achieved these objectives – only time, and the levels of commitments made at these more legally-binding summits will tell.
“Right now, we can safely say that levels of ambition and action on all fronts are still far too low. NGO activists, Indigenous communities, academics, businesses and faith groups alike share growing concern at this apparent lack of high-level commitment to environmental progress. With global economic output forecast to double over the next two decades, alongside trillions of dollars tabled for investment in new energy, infrastructure and extractives projects across the world, it’s critical that nature-positive thinking is urgently mainstreamed into policy thinking.
“We all need to see climate and biodiversity commitments in line with those made in the Leaders Pledge for Nature and the G7 2030 Nature Compact Communiqué to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 for a nature-positive future. We’ve seen plenty of good conversations and energy in Marseille – now we need global policymakers to translate this goodwill into regulation, investment and action.”
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.