New directions set at IUCN Congress

The IUCN World Conservation Congress has come to a close in Hawai'i.  It has set the global conservation agenda for the next four years and will define a roadmap for the implementation of the historic climate agreements adopted in 2015. The IUCN Congress closed with the presentation of the Hawai'i Commitments. 

This document, titled “Navigating Island Earth”, was shaped by IUCN Congress debates and deliberations and opened for comment to some 10,000 participants from 192 countries. It outlines opportunities to address some of the greatest challenges facing nature conservation and calls for a commitment to implement them.

It summarizes the collective commitment by all who attended the Congress to undertake profound transformations in how human societies live on Earth, with particular attention to making our patterns of production and consumption more sustainable.

Inger Andersen, IUCN Director General said this year's IUCN Congress came at a pivotal time in our planet’s history as we find ourselves at a crossroad, facing challenges of unprecedented magnitude.

”Today we leave Hawaiʻi equipped with a much clearer roadmap for advancing on the post-2015 agenda, confident that we have taken our first steps on the road to a sustainable future where nature and human progress support each other," she said.

With more than 10,000 registered participants the IUCN Congress, the event brought together leaders from government, civil society, indigenous, faith and spiritual communities, the private sector, and academia, to collectively decide on actions to address the most pressing conservation and sustainable development challenges.

Key decisions included closure of domestic markets for elephant ivory, the urgency of protecting the high seas, the need to protect primary forests, no-go areas for industrial activities within protected areas and an official IUCN policy on biodiversity offsets.

IUCN President Zhang Xinsheng says IUCN’s more than 1,300 members are behind these decisions. It gives them the weight to drive the real change needed to address some of the biggest challenges our planet faces today.”

The IUCN Congress put new issues on the global sustainability agenda, including the importance of linking spirituality, religion, culture and conservation, and the need to implement nature-based solutions

The next IUCN World Conservation Congress will take place in 2020.

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