World Conservation Congress: a major international meeting on biodiversity

From 3 to 11 September 2021, France will host for the first time the World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Marseille.

This event is one of the largest international events for biodiversity. It is organized every 4 years and mobilizes nature conservation experts from the political world, research, associations and major international organizations, but also companies and citizens.

This Congress will demonstrate a global commitment around 7 key issues:

  • landscapes,
  • pure water,
  • oceans,
  • climate change,
  • rights and management,
  • knowledge, innovation and technology,
  • economic and financial systems.

By organizing this Congress, France reaffirms its commitment to the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems and, more generally, its leading role at international level in environmental and climate issues.

This meeting between states, societies, scientists, representatives of the private sector and civil society therefore represents a unique opportunity to maintain international mobilization in favor of biodiversity at the highest level. It will be one of the first major environmental events since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic ahead of the COP15 Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming and COP26’s climate change in Glasgow. .

The Congress thus provides an opportunity to present the results of the initiatives launched on the occasion of the “One Planet Summit” in January 2021 in Paris, dedicated to biodiversity (especially the Great Green Wall or the plan for an exemplary Mediterranean).

It also prepares COP15 from the Convention on Biological Diversity, which should be for biodiversity, what Paris COP21 was for the climate, by defining the global framework for biodiversity after 2020. The World Conservation Congress will really promote exchanges between participants on the main objectives of this global framework (protection of 30% of the planet, restoration of ecosystems, protection of species, mobilization of financial resources, etc.).

In the context of the health crisis, the links between biodiversity and health and the issues of nature-based economic recovery will be at the heart of discussions, reiterating the “one health” approach that France actively supports through the Panel of High Level Experts or the PREZODE initiative (“Prevention of risks of zoonotic occurrence and pandemics “).

The congress will be held from 3 to 11 September 2021 in the Parc Chanot in Marseille in a hybrid format that allows the public to attend a variety of events on site or to attend certain events at a distance.

Seats open to the public

The Nature Generation Spaces: from September 4 to 11, 2021

Newly proposed by France, this biodiversity village welcomes the general public free of charge and without registration and highlights more than 300 events and projects by French actors and citizens committed to biodiversity conservation. The actors present in Espaces Générations Nature will increase public awareness of various themes (gardening, climate change, agriculture and soil, innovations and participatory sciences, etc.).

The exhibition hall: 4 to 9 September 2021

A venue for meetings and exchanges for the public, delegated and invited personalities, the exhibition hall allows exhibitors to present their research, innovations and other work. It brings together pavilions and stands of actors from many countries.

The French pavilion will host more than 80 events highlighting France’s strategic priorities for biodiversity: national strategy to combat imported deforestation, agroecology, the fight against environmental crime, funding for the protection of biodiversity or the links between biodiversity and climate …

Areas reserved for delegates and IUCN members

Forum: 4.-7. September 2021

The forum is a space for public debate and gives actors from all over the world the opportunity to develop and think about solutions for sustainable development and nature protection. “High-level dialogues” will involve, in particular, heads of state, ministers, leaders of international organizations, leaders of non-governmental organizations, the private sector and scientists.

Membership Meeting: September 8-10, 2021

The Assembly of Members brings together more than 1,300 members representing more than 160 states, government agencies, economic development agencies, scientific and academic institutions, companies, civil society and indigenous peoples, to make joint decisions.

Members will negotiate the proposals, which aim to guide the work of the IUCN and provide members’ views on major environmental issues. France is at the initiative of a dozen proposals, in particular on environmental crime, light pollution, mature forests, the links between climate and biodiversity, great apes, …

On the occasion of the IUCN World Congress, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, met with Pacôme Moubelet Boubeya, Gabon’s Foreign Minister, in Marseilles on 6 September 2021.

Ministers recalled the common will of our two countries to mobilize all the actors involved to put an end to the destruction of forests. This is essential action to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement, the objectives of the future post-2020 global biodiversity framework, as well as the objectives of sustainable development.

In this spirit, the ministers agreed to bring together interested actors in the private sector on the sidelines Choiseul Africa Business Forum Nice on 23 and 25 November 2021, to create a business forum for the establishment of sustainable value chains in Africa within the framework of existing mechanisms. Ministers will jointly present this forum at a dedicated event on the sidelines of COP26 in Glasgow with members of the Tropical Forest Conservation Alliance and interested sections of civil society.

Watch the video by Pierre Henri Guignard, Special Envoy for the Tropical Forest Alliance

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