Story | 29 Nov, 2023

The Government of Flanders and City of Bruges to host the IUCN Regional Conservation Forum for Europe, North and Central Asia 2024

We are excited to announce that the upcoming IUCN Regional Conservation Forum for Europe, North, and Central Asia (RCF) is set to unfold in the city of Bruges, Belgium, a UNESCO World Heritage site, from 30 September to 3 October 2024. As the Union prepares for the IUCN World Conservation Congress in 2025, this forum is a pivotal moment for the organisation to set directions for the next quadrennial. 

"We are delighted to host RCF 2024 in the historical city of Bruges. Working hand in hand with IUCN and local partners, we aim to make the RCF an impactful and inspiring event in the run up to the IUCN World Conservation Congress in 2025. By sharing inspiring success stories and stimulating debate, we aim to help leverage the momentum created by the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and advance the highly needed whole-of-society engagement in the implementation of the ambitious agenda for biodiversity and climate. By paying specific attention to sustainability, we also hope to deliver a benchmark for green RCFs," said IUCN Vice-President and Councillor Hilde Eggermont.

Once every four years, IUCN convenes its Regional Conservation Fora as a crucial platform for the IUCN Members, Commissions and the Secretariat to prepare for the upcoming IUCN World Conservation Congress. Bringing IUCN constituents from two Statutory Regions – West Europe, and East Europe, North and Central Asia, RCF 2024 will be a major opportunity to present their work and sustainable development issues and conservation priorities from the global to regional perspectives, advance the next IUCN quadrennial programme and help inform and steer IUCN’s strategic direction in the regions. 

“We are very grateful to the Flemish Government and the city of Bruges for offering to host RCF 2024. Equally so, we extend our gratitude to all IUCN members for their support to the preparation of what is expected to be the most exciting IUCN event in the region next year. RCF 2024 comes at a very critical moment for the society as a whole during which we will have to provide more solid evidence that we are capable of curbing the looming climate and biodiversity crises,” said Boris Erg, IUCN European Regional Director.

Apart from discussions related to IUCN governance, programme, and regional priorities, the RCF will offer sessions open to the participation of the wider community, thought leaders and creative thinkers who will join discussions and exchange sessions on topical issues. Located in the modern Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre, RCF 2024 will offer a vibrant and creative space for the exchange of ideas, views and thoughts on the transition needed to address the environmental challenge our society faces today, globally and locally. Set to meet the highest standards in sustainability, and based on the principles of diversity and inclusion, RCF 2024 will aim to:

  • Draw inspiration: To draw inspiration from the diversity of ideas, knowledge tools and practices offered by IUCN and its partners.
  • Build networks: To provide an opportunity for IUCN Members, experts and partners from the two regions to reinforce existing and forge new partnerships.
  • Identify areas of collaboration: To identify areas of mutual interest for collaborative actions across the two regions and present ideas for motions for the Congress.
  • Formulate priorities: To discuss and formulate priorities of relevance for the region and ensure their consideration during deliberations on the draft IUCN programme.

Envisaged as an intersection between the two regions, the Regional Conservation Forum for Europe, North and Central Asia 2024 is a collaborative effort by the Government of Flanders, the city of Bruges, the IUCN Belgian Focal Point, local partners and IUCN. 

Join us in Bruges as we delve into the inspiring discussions on transformative pathways at a critical junction for the society and environment in Europe, North and Central Asia.