IUCN Congress Bulletin


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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (iisd)


Vol. 39 No. 11
Sunday, 21 November 2004



Participants to the World Conservation Forum gathered in the morning to attend the closing sessions of the Global Synthesis Workshops and convened in the afternoon for the closing plenary of the Forum. Sponsored Workshops, Conservation Platforms, Knowledge Marketplace Roundtables and Future Dialogues sessions also took place throughout the day. Ministers and high-level representatives convened in the morning for a High-Level Roundtable on international environmental governance.

World Conservation Forum

Editor’s note: IISD’s coverage of the World Conservation Forum focused on the closing sessions of the Global Synthesis Workshops, a number of other sessions, and the closing plenary of the Forum.


ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT: This closing plenary was facilitated by Gwen van Boven, Spanconsultants, and comprised interactive sessions on implementing and operationalizing ecosystem management, and a presentation on ecosystem-based management of large marine ecosystems (LMEs).

The session began with a play by Simon Rietbergen, Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM), and Hillary Masundire, CEM Chair.

On implementing ecosystem management, participants discussed issues relating to the complexity of ecosystem management, availability of tools and instruments for managing ecosystems, effective communication among different sectors, and developing appropriate ecosystem indicators. Participants also identified key challenges of ecosystem management, highlighting: the lack of a common understanding of the concept; involvement of all stakeholders at appropriate stages; and tools and mechanisms for ecosystem management at different scales.

Ken Sherman, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, presented on the implementation of ecosystem-based management of LMEs, emphasizing transboundary diagnostic analysis, strategic action programme, and modular assessments that include indicators of ecosystem changes. He identified land-based pollution, restoration and sustainability of fisheries, and marine protected areas as the main issues in LMEs, and emphasized the 3Rs approach-reduce coastal pollution, restore damaged habitats and recover depleted fishery stocks.

On the role of IUCN, participants suggested that IUCN should ensure stakeholder participation in ecosystem management and increase public awareness and understanding.

HEALTH, POVERTY AND CONSERVATION: Responding to the Challenge of Human Well-Being: This closing plenary was chaired by Bill Jackson, IUCN, and facilitated by Gillian Martin Mehers, LEAD International. Gonzalo Oveida, IUCN, recapped the objectives of the Global Synthesis Workshop, and Itza Castaneda, UNDP, and Bob Fisher, Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy, reported on the issues emerging from the workshop’s four sub-themes. A stakeholder panel then discussed the question “What can the conservation community do.”

David McCauley, Asian Development Bank (ADB), presented insights from 14 ADB and IUCN-sponsored projects, identifying the synergies between poverty, health and conservation in South and Southeast Asia, particularly: the correlation between healthy ecosystems and healthy people; good governance; and approaches for poverty reduction in resource-scarce and resource-abundant communities.

Robert Bos, WHO, stressed the economic dimensions of health and conservation at the macro- and micro-economic levels and called for strengthened links between IUCN and WHO.

Raymond Forde, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, underscored the challenges of effectively linking conservation and poverty issues, and urged all IUCN members to integrate communities in their conservation work.

Esther Camac, International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests, presented the views of indigenous peoples regarding health, conservation and poverty, and said the question of poverty cannot be addressed without restoring degraded ecosystems.

Paul Mitchell, International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), summarized the business community’s perspective and said the business community will support sustainable development if it produces positive and profitable outcomes. He called for a mandate to ensure collaboration between private sector, civil society and governments to achieve sustainable development.

Participants then separated into small groups that discussed: corporate social responsibility and exploring market-based mechanisms; discrepancies between business speak and action; incorporation of conservation in the education system as a social responsibility; and disaster prevention and resource management.

In closing, Jackson reasserted the urgent need for a multi-sectoral approach to health, conservation and poverty.

BIODIVERSITY LOSS AND SPECIES EXTINCTION: Susan Mainka, IUCN, chaired the closing session, which consisted of a presentation, an open-floor discussion on key lessons learned and messages arising from the workshop, recommendations for the next WCC, a quiz and reports from the breakout sessions.

Doug Miller, GlobeScan, presented the outcomes of a global public opinion survey that explored the importance that people attribute to nature and said the results suggest that both high and low GDP countries consider biodiversity important.

During the open-floor discussion, moderated by Charles McNeill, UNDP, participants identified several key lessons learned, including the: need for an institutional framework to support individual actions; economic implications of invasive alien species (IAS); and social and economic impacts of climate change. Participants also identified key messages that need to be communicated to the public, including: enhancing evaluation studies on biodiversity and agriculture; providing disincentives for the illegal timber and endangered species trade; increasing environmental education; and supporting youth participation. On recommendations for the 4th WCC, participants suggested, inter alia, ensuring greater interaction among participants and panelists during sessions, increasing governmental and gender representation, and assessing the progress made to achieve the 2010 Biodiversity Target.

Participants then presented the main outcomes of the breakout session discussions. On IAS, Geoffrey Howard, IUCN, said impacts on biodiversity will be greater than anticipated due to lack of data and enhanced adaptability of IAS to climate change. On climate change, Brett Orlando, IUCN, highlighted that companies have started to take action to mitigate climate change. On medicinal species, Samuel Lee, TRAFFIC, stressed the importance of working with holders of traditional knowledge, as well as users of such species.

MARKETS, BUSINESS AND THE ENVIRONMENT: Moderated by Yolanda Kakabadse, IUCN President, this closing session comprised a presentation on ethics, summaries of the three breakout sessions, and an open-floor discussion.

Kakabadse highlighted the need for more integration between IUCN and the private sector, and questioned whether IUCN and the private sector share the same ethical principles.

John Ronald Engel, Center for Humans and Nature, suggested IUCN consider developing “moral terms of reference” for engaging with the private sector, which could include procedural guidelines for building IUCN-business relationships and the scope of an IUCN-business agenda.

Summarizing the breakout session on investment, corporate responsibility and partnerships, Frank Vorhies, Earthwatch Europe, noted the need to: enhance environmental regulation; address community issues; and identify tools to foster investment on conservation.

On the session concerning trade and environment, Simon Tay, Singapore’s National Environment Agency, noted the feasibility of building a “friendship” between trade and environment, despite concerns about ways to reconcile the two issues. He summarized the session’s recommendations to IUCN, namely to: identify opportunities to discuss conservation issues in the WTO; enable the conservation community to promote the integration of environment and trade policies; and promote capacity building.

On the session entitled “ecosystem for sale in an unequal word,” Joshua Bishop, IUCN, highlighted some key conclusions, including the need to: develop new financial mechanisms for biodiversity conservation; establish environmental incentive schemes; and generate benefits to rural communities.

Jeffrey McNeely, IUCN, facilitated the open discussion, which addressed ways to build partnerships between the conservation and the business communities, and addressed the limits to such relationships.


MINING AND CONSERVATION? DEVELOPING GOOD PRACTICE GUIDANCE: Moderated by Richard Cellarius, Sierra Club, this session hosted five presentations and a discussion on the IUCN-ICMM Dialogue on mining and conservation.

Moderator Richard Cellarius, Sierra Club, underscored the importance of following the terms of reference established by IUCN to continue the dialogue with the mining sector.

While noting that ICMM had expressed an interest in resolving some of their members’ environmental problems, Mohammad Rafiq, IUCN, said the mining sector needs to make a greater effort in addressing past environment impacts. In order to guarantee the Dialogue’s continuity, he urged the mining sector to show substantial progress in their conservation activities.

John Gardner, Alcoa, highlighted good practices, general principles and management tools reported in the IUCN and ICMM publication “Integrating mining and biodiversity conservation: Case studies from around the world.”

Assheton Carter, Conservation International, outlined a discussion paper on the contributions of mining companies to biodiversity conservation, and pointed to the benefits and shortcomings of applying conservation offsets to compensate for residual and unavoidable biodiversity loss caused by mining activities.

Andrew Parsons, ICMM, summarized progress on drafting the Good Practice Guidance (GPG) for Mining and Biodiversity and the White Paper (WP) on Mining Industry Contributions to Biodiversity Conservation, and said the first drafts will be available for comment in 2005.

Saliem Fakir, IUCN, highlighted key issues to emerge from the South Africa Dialogue that focused on environment, poverty, government practices, local communities and mining activities.

In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed, inter alia: the rationale behind establishing the IUCN-ICMM Dialogue; the need to establish a timeframe for the mining sector to deal with prior informed consent and legacy issues; and suggestions on ways to elaborate the GPG and WP.

COUNTDOWN 2010 - HALT THE LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY: This session chaired by Alistair Gammell, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, focused on the 2010 Countdown campaign, which aims to halt the loss of biodiversity in Europe by 2010.

Achim Steiner, IUCN Director General, said the target can be scientifically documented and monitored, and emphasized the need to work with governments, the private sector and civil society to identify actions to meet the target.

Tamás Marghescu, IUCN Regional Office for Europe, described the campaign as an independent communication and technical support instrument to profile the global 2010 commitments in the EU and pan-European context. He outlined the campaign’s added value, and noted that it will mobilize funding for conservation and support the implementation of the CBD targets at the regional and local levels.

Claude Martin, WWF International, suggested linking the campaign with other EU agendas, such as the reform of the Common Agriculture Policy, water reform directive, chemicals legislation, and fisheries reform.

Juan Dary, Guatemala’s Minister of Environment, said the campaign will not only benefit Europe, but will have positive global repercussions.

Noting that biodiversity issues are struggling to maintain political attention, Nick Hansley, European Commission, stressed the need to keep the campaign in the forefront of political and public profiles.

Andre van der Zande, Dutch Ministry for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, welcomed the simple message of countdown 2010 and highlighted the need to implement the campaign at local and regional levels.


ESTIMATING AND REALIZING THE VALUE OF ECOSYSTEM SERVICES: Chaired by Rudolf de Groot, Wageningen University, this session comprised five presentations and a discussion. De Groot opened the session by asking why ecosystem valuation is needed, and noted that the economic value of ecosystem functions is generally underestimated.

John Reid, Conservation Strategy Fund USA, elaborated on ecosystem valuation tools. He underscored that conservation NGOs need to understand the economics of both conservation and development.

Konrad von Ritter, The Nature Conservancy, emphasized that ecosystem valuation is only a useful tool if it is accessible, affordable and credible, and outlined the most common mistakes made by ecosystem valuation analysts.

Sitanon Jesdapipat, Chulalongkorn University, elaborated on mechanisms to finance ecosystem services, and noted that financing alone will not guarantee project success. Mikkel Kallesoe, IUCN, described different projects coordinated by the Regional Environmental Economics Programme that related to integrating economic values of wetlands into river basin management.

In the ensuing discussion, participants discussed how to market existing global ecosystem services at the international level.


The closing plenary of the World Conservation Forum was chaired by Yolanda Kakabadse and comprised three keynote addresses, summary reports of the Forum, two panel debates, and two video messages.

Keynote addresses: Kim Hak-Su, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific delivered a message on behalf of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He said the meeting comes at a crucial time in our work for peace and sustainable development, underscored that unsustainable practices are deeply interwoven with the fabric of human life, and stressed the need to move from an era of exploitation to an era of stewardship.

Tadao Chino, President of the Asian Development Bank, underscored the need for a shift in political will to address the environmental consequences of economic growth. He praised IUCN for keeping the world focused on the vital links between people and nature and on how to address the adverse impacts of development on biodiversity.

Jeffrey Sachs, Millennium Project, identified 2005 as a critical year, describing it as a “make or break” year for the MDGs. He called attention to the 2005 high-level UN meeting that will review progress towards implementation of these goals and said that while the MDGs would not be achieved under a business-as-usual approach, the tools, science and technology existed to attain them. He also highlighted that the 2005 G-8 Summit has prioritized climate change and would seek to engage the United States in addressing the issue. He stressed the need for peace, debt cancellation and a significant increase in ODA to meet poverty reduction and environment goals.

Forum summary report: In her report on the Forum, Hugette Labelle, Chair of the Preparatory Committee of the 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress, welcomed the emergence of new issues and noted that 40 workshops addressed issues of health and biodiversity, 50 on the role of business, and 60 on the links between biodiversity conservation and poverty eradication. She urged the conservation movement to find additional and better ways to link conservation and sustainable livelihoods, ensure greater inclusiveness, and mobilize the private sector and civil society to work together.

In their joint report on the Forum, Hillary Masundire, CEM Chair, and Bill Jackson, IUCN, highlighted the: rights-based approach to biodiversity conservation; links between poverty eradication and biodiversity; need to protect biodiversity for medical purposes; and importance of economic incentives to protect ecosystem services.

Panel debates: Changing world: New strategies: Moderated by Achim Steiner, this panel addressed the: role of the private sector; rights-based approaches to biodiversity conservation; environment and international financial institutions; and payment for environmental services.

Musharraf Hai, Unilever Pakistan, underscored the importance of building bridges between conservation leaders and business leaders. She highlighted the need to make a difference in the lives of the people and communities, and underscored the need to balance voluntary compliance and government regulation.

Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Costa Rica�s Minister of Environment, Mining and Energy, said the payment for environment services in Costa Rica had a significant impact on halting deforestation and called for global recognition of such payments.

Robynne Stein, University of Witwatersrand, urged giving content to the concept of environment rights by recognizing the corresponding duties and responsibilities associated with rights-based approaches to environmental management.

Ian Johnson, World Bank, highlighted the growing recognition of environment within international institutions, called for increased advocacy to make the case for sustainable development, and said corporate social responsibility will become �the way of the future.�

Historical milestones and future directions: Moderated by Peter Bridgewater, Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention, this panel sought to find common viewpoints across different generations on the future direction for global environmental challenges. Majority of the panelists identified climate change as the most pressing environmental challenge facing the world.

Mohammed El-Ashry, former Chair/CEO of the Global Environment Facility, stressed the need to make the environmental case in economic terms, and to address socioeconomic issues in biodiversity conservation. He also underscored the need for public awareness and advocacy on environmental issues.

Emil Salim, former Minister of Environment of Indonesia, called for a paradigm shift in development based on sustainable use, renewable energy, and access and benefit-sharing.

Jeanne Ng, World Business Council on Sustainable Development Young Manager, underscored the need for cooperation and partnerships to foster a shared understanding and vision for the future. She also urged greater involvement of younger generations in decision-making processes.

Mireille Attalah-Aug�, IUCN Young Professional, stressed the need to engage businesses in the development of clean and affordable energy. She also called on young professionals to �acquire knowledge, build partnerships, and change business-as-usual.�

Video messages: In a video message, Sting said the Congress theme of �People and Nature � only one world� resonated with him as an artist, and underscored the responsibility of humans towards all species and to future generations.

In the second video message, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Wangari Maathai called on the Congress to celebrate the recognition of the link between environment and peace by the Nobel Peace Committee. She invited Congress participants to share in the glory and spread the message of the importance of sustainable environmental management, good governance and equity for peace.


INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE (IEG): Co-hosted by Minister Suwit and Achim Steiner, this morning roundtable was moderated by Laurence Tubiana, IDDRI, and comprised two presentations, a breakout discussion and a wrap-up session. In their opening remarks, speakers underscored the need to strengthen IEG and consider the linkages between trade and MEAs. One speaker stressed the need for building the capacity of developing countries to implement initiatives at the national level, as well as effectively participate in international negotiations. Highlighting the impact of the trade agenda on environmental issues, another speaker drew attention to the need for a World Environment Organization (WEO). He further noted the emerging influence of civil society, particularly NGOs and the private sector, on environmental decision-making at the global level.

The first presenter said the economy and environment nexus, rather than the trade and environment interface, is the appropriate entry point for addressing IEG. He highlighted the critical situation of the global commons and the lack of capacity of national governments to address poverty and environment issues. Noting that such challenges could not be solved through trade policy or the honoring of national commitments to environmental agreements, he stressed the need for a significant transfer of financial resources from developed to developing countries and highlighted the role of the Millennium Development Goals in providing these resources and addressing poverty and environmental degradation. He also emphasized the need to hold multilateral development banks and export credit agencies accountable through a rigorous monitoring of poverty reduction strategies.

The second speaker highlighted the need to recognize the most appropriate level at which to address environmental issues, noting that certain issues were best tackled at the local or regional level. He said that while civil society influence in international environmental decision-making has increased, an effective means of engaging these emerging actors remains to be established. He stressed careful consideration of the need for a WEO, highlighting the success of several MEAs. In conclusion, he underscored the need to: identify the means of achieving sustainable development goals; increase the profile of environment issues, while ensuring that the environment is not used as a trade barrier; and achieve policy coherence between international organizations.

Participants then held deliberations in breakout groups and reported back to the session. In the discussions, participants highlighted the lack of synergy among MEAs and discussed the need for a WEO and a strengthened UNEP. Participants also underscored the need for: multi-disciplinary approaches; policy coherence; national implementation; new models for IEG; public awareness; good governance in both developed and developing countries; access to markets; enabling environments for green accounting; monitoring of poverty reduction strategies; mainstreaming environment into development programmes; and engaging the WTO.

The IUCN Congress Bulletin is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin � <enb@iisd.org>. This issue is written and edited by Karen Alvarenga, Ph.D.; Robynne Boyd; Bo-Alex Fredvik; Miquel Mu�oz; Prisna Nuengsigkapian; Richard Sherman; and Sarantuyaa Zandaryaa, Ph.D. The digital editors are David Fernau and Diego Noguera. The editor is Lynn M. Wagner, Ph.D. <lynn@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James �Kimo� Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by IUCN with assistance from the World Bank. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists (ASCII and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <http://enb.iisd.org>. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 212 East 47th St. #21F, New York, NY 10017, USA.