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Addressing global challenges

One year from now, leaders from government, UN agencies, business, industry and civil society organizations will come together in the Republic of Korea to debate and decide on solutions to the world’s most pressing environment and development challenges.

The occasion is the 2012 IUCN World Conservation Congress which will run from 6 to 15 September. Held every four years, the IUCN Congress is the world’s largest and most important conservation event. It aims to improve how we manage our natural environment for human, social and economic development.

> Read more
> Watch Enrique Lahmann talk about the Congress themes
Enrique Lahmann

Conserving and valuing biodiversity

biodiversity frog sub banner

Biological diversity is essential for human well‐being. It provides food security, human health, clean air and water. It contributes directly to local livelihoods and economic development. But despite its fundamental importance for life on this planet, biodiversity continues to be lost.

> Interview: Josephine Langley, coordinator of IUCN's work on biodiversity
> Video: Save our Species initiative
> Story: Save Our Species (SOS), a global response to the challenge of biodiversity loss

Sharing nature’s benefits

Water focus square

Nature has always supported the growth and prosperity of human societies and the economic value of this support is enormous. Nature’s benefits, however, are not equally shared. Sharing benefits with respect to natural resource management, as well as making laws more transparent and equitable, are good for both people and biodiversity.

> Interview: Georgina Peard, Network Officer for IUCN’s Commission on Environment, Social and Economic Policy
> Video: forests and poverty
> Story: Water democracy takes hold

Food security

Women preparing food in Bali, Indonesia

Humans consume more than 7,000 species of plants and animals, very few of which have been domesticated through agriculture. For many people, wild sources of food are essential for nutritional health. To achieve food security for a burgeoning global population, what grows in the wild is just as important as what grows on farms.

> Interview: Dr Gill Shepherd, Special Adviser to IUCN on Ecosystem Management
> Video: Preserving life and land in Kenya
> Story: Resolving conflict, securing food

Nature-based solutions to climate change

Mangroves plantation

The impacts of climate change are already being felt: sea levels are rising, storms are becoming more violent, and droughts are intensifying. While richer nations can try to ‘buy’ protection in the form of engineered solutions, people in developing countries need a proven, accessible and affordable option. One such option already exists—conserving and managing nature.

> Interview: Radhika Murti of IUCN’s Ecosystem Management Programme
> Video: natural solutions to climate change
> Story: Restoring mangroves in Vietnam

Green economy

Green Economy

These are turbulent times for the global economy. The financial and economic crises over the past five years have given new impetus to the transition towards more sustainable forms of economic development, as seen in the growing popularity of a ‘green economy’.

> Interview: David Huberman, Coordinator of IUCN’s work on Greening the Economy
> Video: the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity
> Story : calculating the role that mangroves play in slowing climate change

Facts and figures

IUCN's Jean-Christophe Vié addresses the World Conservation Congress The IUCN World Conservation Congress at a glance.
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Official Congress website

2012 Congress logo More details about this major conservation event. 
> Congress site


Test your knowledge

ICC Jeju (far right) and Mt. Halla, Jeju, Republic of Korea How much do you know about IUCN World Conservation Congresses? Find out by having a go at our quiz !
> Take the quiz now!


A visual journey through Jeju

Summit of Mt. Halla The wonders of Jeju and a glance at previous IUCN Congresses
> Photo gallery


Regional fora

Foro Sudamericano de Miembros UICN. Lima, Perú, julio 2011. IUCN’s regional offices are preparing for the Congress by holding Regional Conservation Fora which debate the most critical issues facing each region.
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Check here for selected publications from previous Congresses, or search our catalogue.
> Selected Publications
> Search catalogue


Publications: Species on the Edge of Survival

Species on the edge of survival This new book profiles 365 plants, animals and fungi listed on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™.
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> Take the quiz on Facebook!


IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature © 2011

IUCN helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. It supports scientific research, manages field projects all over the world and brings governments, non-government organizations, United Nations agencies, companies and local communities together to develop and implement policy, laws and best practice.

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Photo credits: Header banner © IUCN; Enrique Lahmann © IUCN; sharing nature's benefits © Taco Anema; food security © Andrea Quesada; climate change © IUCN Pakistan; green economy © David Puter/iStockPhotos; Facts and figures © Group J.Muntaner; Congress logo © IUCN ; Quiz and photo gallery © Jeju special self governing province; regional fora © UICN Sur; Species on the Edge of Survival © IUCN.