South Africa participates in the 2016 International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress

03 September 2016


The South African delegation, through the Department of Environmental Affairs, IUCN members from conservation institutions and NGOs, are participating in the 2016 World Conservation Congress (WCC), of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUNCN) World Congress including its High Level Segment (IUCN), taking place in Hawaii, United States of America.

Accompanying the delegation is the Parliament’s Chairperson of Portfolio Committee on Environmental Affairs, Mr Phillemon Mapulane.

The 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress is convened under the theme “Planet at the crossroads,” which signifies the state of the planet, the difficult choices and sacrifices that humans have to make in order to halt among others biodiversity loss and provide solutions to challenges posed by climate change.

The high level segment will focus on amongst others wildlife trafficking, oceans conservation, conservation finance, youth engagement, and interface between spirituality and conservation. All these dialogues are relevant to South Africa as a third mega diverse country in the world.

The IUCN World Conservation Congress is held every four years, and brings together thousands of leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous peoples, business, and academia, with the goal of conserving the environment and harnessing the solutions nature offers to global challenges.It provides a platform for different sectors to work together to create good environmental governance, engaging all sectors of society to share both the responsibilities and the benefits of conservation. IUCN provides a platform for science policy interface on species conservation as well as  ecosystem and landascepe approaches to addressing CC and DLDD.

The Congress aims to improve the management of natural environment for human, social and economic development, while recognising that this cannot be achieved by conservationists alone.

South Africa submitted and is leading on discussion points covering a range of issues pertinent to conservation in response to IUCN’s call for contribution for the Forum agenda. These discussion areas will form part of the Forum showcasing South Africa’s commitment to nature conservation such as sustainable financing of South Africa's Protected Areas, ocean economy management effectiveness and biosphere reserve management.

To date, IUCN Members have convened in 19 sessions of the General Assembly and five sessions of the World Conservation Congress (WCC), and adopted a total of 1,193 Resolutions and Recommendations. These Resolutions and Recommendations are cumulative, implying that many of them do not have an explicitly stated end date and thus have been in force ever since their adoption at the Members Assembly.

The Congress is the place where IUCN’s more than 1,300 Member organisations exercise their rights, influence the global conservation agenda and guide IUCN’s work plan for the four years to follow.

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