From 1 to 10 September, Hawaii hosts the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress, the world’s largest conservation event. Held every four years, the WCC brings together leaders from all around the world: governments, NGOs, public sector, business, etc., to discuss and propose solutions to environmental protection and development challenges.
The theme for this year’s Congress is “Planet at the crossroads”. As IUCN states in the WCC website, The ecosystems that underpin our economies, well-being and survival are collapsing. Species are becoming extinct at unprecedented rates. Our climate is in crisis. And it’s all happening on our watch.
With this in mind, IUCN seek to create new partnerships among the participants from all around the planet, in order to create synergies that bring solutions to the current situation. For IUCN each partner constitutes a vital piece of the puzzle – the knowledge, the tools, the resources. This is the collective challenge for the next 15 years, and this is the invitation that the 2016 IUCN Congress is offering to the world.
Watch the Official Promotional Video here.
The Mediterranean Wetlands Initiative, as a Regional Initiative of the Ramsar Convention of Wetlands – whose Secretariat is hosted by IUCN – strongly supports IUCN’s work and its MedWet/Com members’ participation in the Congress. Among all the sessions programmed, MedWet would like to highlight the presence of the Ramsar Convention Secretariat, many of the MedWet country governments which are IUCN members, UNEP/MAP, BirdLife International, World Wide Fund for Nature, Med-INA, The Greek Biotope and Wetland Centre (EKBY), and La Tour du Valat.
Regarding wetlands, the Ramsar Convention Secretariat will be participating to several events (see their article here) and will be organising two different sessions: “The Ramsar world wetland city scheme: inspiring local communities to value wetlands” (3 September 08.30-10.30) and “Women and Wetlands” (3 September 12.00-13.00).
The first one, conceived as a Knowledge Café, will explore how cities can play a vital and recognized role in the conservation and wise use of wetlands of all kinds. As can be read in the Congress website, the session is aimed at a wide range of civil society and the public, especially community groups, urban policy-makers, conservation practitioners and educators. The purpose of the workshop is to inform, to help develop and finalize tools, and to promote and strengthen the benefits and wise use of urban wetlands through the participation of stakeholders.
The second session, a Pavilion Event, will highlight the important role women play in wetlands, as collectors and distributors of water and water managers. The event is intended to provide a quick insight into the vital roles women play in wetland-based livelihoods, which support over one billion people around the world. This theme was chosen following the International Women’s Day theme: “Planet 50–50 by 2030: Step it up to Gender Equality”, to accelerate the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the effective implementation of the 5th Sustainable Development Goal on Gender Equality, which calls for ending all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, and ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership.
For more information about the Ramsar presence in the IUCN WCC, click here.
At the Mediterranean level, “The Mediterranean Sea conservation efforts: Achievements and Challenges” will be held on 6th September (Oceans Pavilion, 19.30-21.30). This event, organized by RAC/SPA and MedPAN, will present an opportunity to learn what is going on in the Mediterranean region, but also to exchange, socialize and celebrate the Mediterranean intangible natural and cultural heritage.
For more information about MedPAN presence at IUCN Congress, read here or read their flyer “Regional MPA managers networks, Let’s act together” here.
Another workshop will be “Challenges and Opportunities for Biocultural Conservation on Mediterranean Islands and Coasts”, which will showcase some relevant cases of biocultural practices from communities on the Mediterranean islands and coasts. It will highlight the challenges and the lessons learnt in addressing them, and will discuss ways and opportunities for supporting the communities and other actors in the quest for sustainability and conservation of their environments. This workshop is co-organized (3rd September, 14.30-16.30, 317 B) by IUCN’s Social Policy Programme and the Mediterranean Consortium on Nature and Culture, in collaboration with the IUCN Mediterranean Centre.
Concerning culture and traditional ways of life, the Mediterranean Consortium for Nature and Culture has organized “On the Move”, a photography exhibition from the Mediterranean showing the lives of the region’s mobile and nomadic pastoralists and the links between their practices and the maintenance of biodiversity (Room Kamehameha – Exhibit Hall). They will also hold a Knowledge Café (5 September, 17.00-19.00, 311/11) to bring together a range of practitioners and other interested parties around the important theme of Mobile Pastoralism, biodiversity and climate change worldwide.
And don’t forget our Wetlands focus on #NatureForAll campaign for the IUCN WCC 2016! More information here.
IUCN World Conservation Congress #IUCNcongress