IUCN joins forces with businesses for World Conservation Congress

04 September 2008 | International news release

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has joined forces with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) for its World Conservation Congress, the world’s largest ever conservation event.

The agreement is designed to address ecosystem degradation, strengthen the business case for biodiversity conservation and put biodiversity considerations at the heart of the business operations of WBCSD member companies.

“We felt that the old model of treating the environment as separate from economic decision-making did not work,” says Björn Stigson, president of the WBCSD. “We all must make economic decisions based on environmental realities. To put a value on our use of natural resources is one way to create that link, bringing us to truly integrated decision-making.”

“The private sector, like other sectors, uses and affects nature in multiple ways and simply cannot be left out of this equation,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. “We are very pleased to have this opportunity to work closely with WBCSD and its members – companies that are committed to making positive environmental changes – to ensure that all parts of society are involved in a more sustainable future.”

Based in Switzerland, and with offices and members throughout the world, both organizations are widely recognized as global leaders in their respective fields.

By promoting the presence of a major business NGO, business is now acknowledged as an equal stakeholder when it comes to solving the world’s biodiversity crisis.

The World Conservation Congress 2008 to be held in Barcelona, Spain, during October provides an extraordinary opportunity for governments, researchers, civil society, NGOs and the private sector to work together and start taking action. Some 8,000 participants and over 300 international journalists are expected to attend.

The WBCSD is leading the coordination of private sector participation during the first four days of the event. It is expected that some 70 global corporations will attend. The WBCSD will also coordinate a number of workshops and events aiming to present thoughtful business responses to the simultaneous requirements of ecosystem protection and economic development.

For further information please contact:
• Lynette Thorstensen, WBCSD, Tel: +41 22 839 3141
• Sarah Horsley, IUCN, Tel: +41 22 999 0127.
• World Conservation Congress 2008: www.iucn.org/congress

About IUCN

IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges by supporting scientific research; managing field projects all over the world; and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN, international conventions and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

The world's oldest and largest global environmental network, IUCN is a democratic membership union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists and experts in some 160 countries. IUCN's work is supported by over 1,000 professional staff in 60 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. IUCN's headquarters are located in Gland, near Geneva, in Switzerland. www.iucn.org


The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is a unique, CEO-led, global association of some 200 companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development. The Council provides a platform for companies to explore sustainable development, share knowledge, experiences and best practices, and to advocate business positions on these issues in a variety of forums, working with governments and non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations. www.wbcsd.org