What is the IUCN World Congress and why does it matter?

Posted on 03 September 2021

What is the IUCN World Conservation Congress?

The IUCN World Conservation Congress brings together the conservation community to address and agree on critical issues facing our planet. The IUCN’s unique and inclusive membership across government and non-governmental organizations gives the Congress a powerful mandate. The more than 1,400+ government, civil society and indigenous peoples’ Member organisations vote on major issues, action which guides humanity’s relationship with our planet for decades ahead.

Why is the IUCN Congress so important for nature this year? 

The IUCN Congress is important because it is probably the last big event bringing together key leaders and influencers before some important UN negotiations coming up in the next few months. These negotiations agree on the actions that countries will take over the next decade towards restoring nature and limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.

During the congress, discussions are being held around key themes like Climate Change, Fresh Water, Landscapes, Oceans, Rights and Governance, Economic and Financial Systems and Knowledge, Innovation and Technology.

The natural world does so much to sustain and protect us and all those we share this planet with. We must protect and restore nature in order to mitigate the worst consequences of climate change and provide a safe, stable and equitable future for all.

What is the Post-2020 Partnership and why is it so important for nature this year?

The Post-2020 Partnership is an international coalition of conservation and development groups, along with representatives from the UN, international financial institutions, business, youth and Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities who have come together in collaboration at the IUCN congress to put pressure on governments to be more ambitious in the targets it sets to restore nature and mitigate climate change.

Collectively, the Partnership has organised a week of talks at the Congress - like a mini conference within the larger conference with 120 speakers from 60 countries. Over the six days of the event, this diverse array of people will explore the challenges and opportunities for creating ambitious targets for nature and climate change in order to create a world that is sustainable, healthy and livable for all. At the end of the discussion this group will put a collective call out to Governments to take the right steps and put in place agreements on the actions that countries must take over the next decade to restore nature, mitigate the worst effects of climate change and ensure sustainable and healthy food systems for the whole planet. Want to help secure a healthier planet for all?
Here’s what you can do to help...

  • Call on world leaders to listen to the scientific community, and health and environmental experts around the world by adding your voice to our petition.

  • Join some of the virtual livestream sessions to learn more about the issues facing our planet. Check out the full programme.

  • Join our 30 day challenge to take steps each day (and beyond) and create a more sustainable future for our planet.