Summary Report of the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2020
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress will focus on nature-based recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, currently being negotiated under the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Congress is being structured around seven main themes: landscapes; freshwater; oceans; climate change; rights and governance; economic and financial systems; and knowledge, innovation, and technology. On the first day of the Congress, four Summits will be held: the World Summit of Indigenous Peoples and Nature; the Global Youth Summit; the IUCN Local Action Summit; and the IUCN CEO Summit.
Held once every four years, the IUCN World Conservation Congress brings together several thousand leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, Indigenous Peoples organizations, the private sector, and academia, with the goal of conserving the environment and promoting nature-based solutions to global challenges. IUCN will hold its Congress in Marseille, France, in a hybrid (in-person and virtual) format. It will be the first major environmental event held in a hybrid format since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
IUCN is a membership Union of more than 1,400 organizations, including more than 18,000 experts. The Union’s collective experience, expertise, and commitment has made IUCN a leading global authority on environmental and conservations issues.
The IUCN Congress has three main components:
- The Members’ Assembly, IUCN’s highest decision-making body, takes decisions on pressing conservation and sustainable development issues, which, although not legally binding, often pave the way for relevant recommendations in multilateral environmental fora;
- The Forum, which includes more than 600 sessions on the economic, social, scientific, and technical aspects of issues covering the thematic areas of the Congress, ranging from high-level dialogues to training and capacity building sessions, as well as exhibitions and social events; and
The Exhibition, in which IUCN Members, partners, and others showcase their research and innovations, hosting pavilions, booths, and events for both Congress participants and the general public, reaching a broader audience.
IUCN’s World Conservation Congress 2020 was originally scheduled to take place from 11-19 June 2020 in Marseille, France. Due to the extraordinary situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it will take place in a hybrid format from 3-11 September 2021. A few events will be held only virtually, while many in-person events will also be livestreamed. The Congress is expected to attract more than 1,000 in person participants, representing 160 countries and will include more than 1,300 interactive sessions.
Funding for Earth Negotiations Bulletin coverage of the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2020 has been provided by IUCN.