Communiqué de presse | 16 Avr, 2024

Urban biodiversity spotlighted as IUCN Regional Conservation Forum opens in Mexico City

Urbanisation, the role of cities in reversing biodiversity loss, and protections for environmental defenders are just some of the many pressing conservation challenges to be discussed at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Regional Conservation Forum (RCF), which opens today in Mexico City.


Mexico City was announced as the newest Member of IUCN at the opening ceremony, putting the spotlight on the role that cities and urban areas can play in reversing biodiversity loss as catalysts for change towards a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable future.

Hosted by the Secretary of Environment of Mexico City, the RCF brings together representatives from States, government agencies, subnational governments, civil society organisations, IUCN Members and expert Commissions, and Indigenous peoples' organisations from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean to discuss the most pressing biodiversity conservation and sustainable development challenges facing the region. Justice for nature defenders, Indigenous finance, territorial governance, and the links between rights and conservation are some of the topics to be spotlighted during the RCF in Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park, among many others.

Today we begin this Forum in a complex global context that leads us to reflect on the critical environmental and social challenges facing our planet. Our expectations for the outcomes of this Forum are high, as Mesoamerica and the Caribbean have shown to be at the forefront of conservation action, paving the way for the design of innovative and inclusive solutions,” said Dr. Grethel Aguilar, IUCN Director General.

"Thank you very much for welcoming us to this Union, which I find fundamental for the challenges facing our country, our planet, and, of course, our cities," commented Dr. Marina Robles, Secretary of the Environment of Mexico City.

Serving as a space for engagement and dialogue, a key objective of the RCF is for Members to select priorities for the next IUCN World Conservation Congress, to take place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in October 2025. As such, the RCF exemplifies IUCN’s democratic and participatory decision-making process. IUCN Congresses take place every four years, setting the global conservation agenda for the years to come.

The RCF will also feature high-level panels and multi-stakeholder dialogues addressing strategic topics for the region, including climate adaptation through Nature-based Solutions, human rights in conservation and Other Effective Conservation Measures (OECMs). There will be 26 high-level panels and 30 multi-stakeholder dialogues across the four days, with participation of around 150 delegates from 81 Member organisations and around 70 delegates from the seven IUCN Commissions, donors and partners, and other strategic allies of IUCN in the region. Indigenous peoples, youth and women will play a central role in these discussions, reflecting the region’s diverse voices and perspectives which are essential for effective conservation action.