Article | 13 Oct, 2023

IUCN Leaders Forum 2023 closes with call to action towards a nature-positive world

Geneva, Switzerland 13 October 2023 – The second IUCN Leaders Forum closed today with a rousing call to use cross-sector collaboration to turn the "tide for nature" and transform global commitments into inclusive action towards a nature-positive world.

Today’s closing ceremony ended three days of high-level debate and partnership building with global leaders, conservation experts, business representatives, local communities and Indigenous peoples’ groups.

Sessions over the three-day event were focused on incentivising the business sector to engage in conserving nature, and developing partnerships to stimulate finance for conservation programmes at the national and global levels.

“We close this second Leaders Forum here in Geneva, inspired to put word into deed when it comes to conserving nature. We have reached a point where business as usual simply isn’t an option, so when we make promises to the planet, we need to find ways to make those a reality” said Dr Grethel Aguilar, Acting Director General of IUCN.

“To turn the tide for nature, we need to transform our consumption patterns, our economies, and our societies in profound ways. That takes collaboration that bridges many sectors and goes far beyond the conservation community. It takes our collective will, but also creativity, resources, and the best minds coming together.”

Experts discussed tools and actions for realising the Global Biodiversity Framework, and how to integrate the climate and nature agendas.

Indigenous peoples’ representatives brought invaluable expertise to the conference, where they spoke about the importance of including Indigenous and local communities in planning and implementing conservation action on the ground.

IUCN President Razan Al Mubarak unveiled the Ocean Breakthroughs – a global marine conservation and climate action initiative of five science-based targets across key ocean sectors: marine conservation, ocean renewable energy, shipping, aquatic food, and coastal tourism, to be reached by 2030 to achieve a healthy and productive ocean. Attaining these goals will deliver significant biodiversity gains as well as reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 35 % by 2050.

On the second day of the event, IUCN and Huawei signed a strategic cooperation agreement for the second edition of the Tech4Nature partnership, which will see the scaling up of the use of digital technologies to drive the effective and equitable management of protected and conserved areas.