HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE SECOND IUCN WORLD CONSERVATION CONGRESS
Delegates met in parallel interactive sessions throughout the day to consider: mobilizing knowledge for biodiversity; agriculture, biodiversity, economy and society; local solutions promoting social equity and cultural diversity; developing and investing in biodiversity business; integrating biodiversity science into environment policy and management; and the ecological limits of climate change. Several contact groups also convened to consider budgetary matters and draft resolutions.
INTERACTIVE PARALLEL SESSIONS
MOBILIZING KNOWLEDGE FOR BIODIVERSITY: Generating, processing and transferring biodiversity knowledge - vital ingredients for conservation: This session, chaired by Joke Waller-Hunter, Director for Environment, OECD, reviewed the ways IUCN and its partners manage knowledge. Participants identified issues relating to IUCN's knowledge management strategy. Presentations included an overview of current practices within IUCN and its Commissions, followed by a description of tools for knowledge sharing: the World Conservation Monitoring Centre's database of Protected Areas; the Environmental Law Information and Learning Programme's online conservation law database (ECOLEX); the Asia Pacific Centre for Environmental Law's education programme; the WWF 'Conservation College'; the SSC Species Information Services (SIS); knowledge management in the Arabic region; the World Resources 2000 Report's communication strategy; knowledge networks as tools for institutional collaboration; and knowledge practices at the World Bank and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
The importance of access to information: Adel Farid Abdel-Kader, CEDARE, stated that ecologically viable development in an arid region with high population growth is only possible through knowledge management. Bart Romijn, AIDEnvironment, noted that many need IUCN's high quality knowledge and that it should be better delivered. Peter Croal, CIDA, cautioned that the rush to new communications technology must not ignore developing country information needs, which can often be met effectively through radio. Another participant noted that language barriers restrict access to information.
AGRICULTURE, BIODIVERSITY, ECONOMY AND SOCIETY: Farming in drylands: On desertification and sustainable development in African drylands, Walter Lusigi, World Bank, addressed development prospects, community-based natural resources management and non- farm opportunities. In a presentation on agro-biodiversity, Mohammed Ajlouni, Jordan Dryland Agro-biodiversity Project, outlined reasons for loss of biodiversity in Jordan, including exotic species introduction and tourism. John Benson, Royal Botanical Gardens, presented solutions to ecological threats to Australian rangelands, including eliminating predators damaging landscapes and ceasing land clearing.
Farming in wetlands: On degradation of the Mekong Delta, Kosal Mam, Wetlands International, described the impacts of land conversion, dams, irrigation and agro-chemicals on habitats and agriculture. Rene Marin, Circulo de Estudios Cientificos Aplicados, presented the Panama Macanas Reserve Project on wetlands and identified problems linked to pesticide use, cattle ranching, horticulture, fishing and forest cropping.
Farming in temperate areas: Chris Howe, WWF, overviewed the effects of the EU Common Agriculture Policy on agriculture and the environment. Regarding US agricultural policy, Annie Kirschenmann, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), outlined inconsistencies in US agencies' conservation and agriculture programmes. A presentation by Alexander Karpov, Society of Naturalists, on opportunities for sustainable agriculture in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) focused on socioeconomic and technological capacity, productivity, resource use and strategies.
Business impacts and influence on agriculture: On the theme of vertical integration, Peter Nowicki, Imperial College at Wye, discussed ways to ensure that farmers profit from the added value derived from agricultural products.
The trade debate: Wilfrid Legg, OECD, addressed the work of the OECD in reconciling agricultural trade and environmental policy goals. He suggested that trade liberalization and agricultural policy reform would help agriculture's domestic environmental performance. Vandana Shiva, Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, demonstrated how trade liberalization negatively impacts biodiversity and brings about environmental and social deregulation, stressing that the biggest challenge in reforming trade rules is accommodating global inequalities and the cost of environmental degradation.
GMOs' intrinsic value and impacts: On the role of GMOs in food security, Zhangliang Chen, National Laboratory of Plant Genetic Engineering, demonstrated how GMOs are safe both for the environment and for animal and human health. Bernward Geier, IFOAM, presented organic culture as an alternative to gene technology. He highlighted GMOs' threat to biodiversity and production and social patterns. Participants raised issues related to: the precautionary principle, the CBD and the Biosafety Protocol; consumers' rights; food distribution; technological follow-up; acceptable gene transfer; and IUCN's position.
LOCAL SOLUTIONS THAT PROMOTE SOCIAL EQUITY AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY: Gender within natural resource management: Chair Khawar Mumtaz, IUCN Councillor, noted that a gender policy and Plan of Action have been approved by the Council, and identified the session's goal to assess the effectiveness of IUCN's gender equity work. Panelists spoke about mainstreaming gender in IUCN, noting that: gender awareness has improved; IUCN is working on developing quantitative and qualitative indicators of change regarding gender issues; and more training and capacity building and gender guidelines for new IUCN projects are needed. One panelist reported that IUCN's internal gender audit found that: women are not part of IUCN's senior management; all Commission Chairs are male; and Commissions have no specific gender mainstreaming activities. Panelists also stressed that gender equity is a prerequisite for sustainable development and a basic human right. Speakers presented on gender connections to ecosystem management issues in Mesoamerica and North Africa.
Indigenous people and traditional communities in protected areas: Chair Joanna Sutherland, CEL, said the session aimed to assess progress in meeting three resolutions adopted by the 1996 Congress: establishing a collaborative management working group; ensuring that indigenous property rights and CBD implementation issues were addressed; and developing appropriate policies and programs for indigenous peoples. Speakers presented on recognition of indigenous peoples' rights to participate in protected areas management, drawing examples from Belize, South Asia, China and East Africa. Participants stressed, inter alia: the importance of livelihood security; the need to develop direct dialogue with local communities; balancing social and conservation concerns; recognizing and securing tenure rights; reversing past policies of expropriation and eviction; recognizing the link between cultural and biological diversity; changing to an inclusionary model; building on traditional knowledge and institutional structures; social equity as a human right and a conservation aid; and development of an IUCN indigenous peoples' advisory group.
DEVELOPING AND INVESTING IN BIODIVERSITY BUSINESS: Global business partnerships: Mark Rose, Executive Director, Flora and Fauna International, shared experiences from working with BP Amoco to mainstream biodiversity conservation into its operations. Wouter Veening, Netherlands IUCN Committee, outlined an integral biodiversity assessment system developed to evaluate green projects. Dan Biller, OECD, discussed financial mechanisms for creating markets for biodiversity, including non-market transfer payments, financial institutions and investment funds. Robert Barrington, Earthwatch Institute, overviewed corporate biodiversity strategies, underscoring harnessing businesses' skills, resources, operational reach and impact to conserve biodiversity. Christopher Holz, Conservation International (CI), addressed conservation tourism, underscoring regional capacity development, a biological corridor approach, and local community and private sector involvement.
Gordan Shepard, WWF, explained how the Forest Stewardship Council's forest product certification programme was developed. Antonio Compagnoni, IFOAM, highlighted conservation agriculture through case studies from dairy and agriculture cooperatives in Italy. Dorota Matera, IUCN Poland, spoke about organic farming in Central and Eastern Europe. Paul Holthus, Marine Aquarium Council, detailed certification for sustainability in the collection, commerce and culture of marine ornamentals.
Investing in biodiversity economics: Zeke Oman, International Finance Corporation (IFC), overviewed IFC's biodiversity projects. Philipe Lisbona, A2R, detailed the Terra Capital Fund, which invests in organic agriculture, aquaculture, native species reforestation, non-timber forest products and nature tourism. Constantine Bartel, UNCTAD, discussed the Kijani Initiative, which develops and invests in biodiversity business in Africa. Isidore Gwashure, African Wildlife Foundation, detailed the work of the Foundation, which facilitates stakeholder collaboration. Jennifer Morris, CI, described activities of CI's Conservation Enterprise fund, which invests in biodiversity hot spots globally. Nicole Casellini, IUCN Vietnam, discussed organic farming, traditional knowledge and genetic resources in Vietnam. Tammy Newman, the Nature Conservancy, detailed the EcoEnterprise Fund, a venture capital fund investing in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Daniele Giovannucci, World Bank, discussed sustainable coffee markets in Chiapas and El Salvador, underscoring collaboration. He supported certification to ensure marketplace credibility, capture niche markets and cement the link between commerce and conservation. Juan Marco Alvarez, Salva Natura, shared experiences with the "Eco OK" coffee certification programme in El Salvador. Frank Vorhies, IUCN Economics Unit, overviewed the World Heritage Enterprise Project, which invests to enhance the conservation status of world heritage sites.
INTEGRATING BIODIVERSITY SCIENCE INTO ENVIRONMENT POLICY AND MANAGEMENT: Biological research priorities to achieve conservation: Tim Sullivan, the Chicago Zoological Society, acted as the main facilitator. Panelists outlined: current priority research areas for biodiversity including habitat loss, fragmentation, overexploitation, exotic species, pollution and climate change; the implications of local and commercial bushmeat consumption for conservation in tropical forests; methods for exchange of scientific information and local knowledge between biologists and artisanal fishers, in particular for seahorse populations; strategies and policies to address invasive species, particularly gray squirrels in Europe; ways to conserve fragmented landscapes by establishing biodiversity corridors; research priorities for designing effective marine reserve networks; and ecological implications of economic crisis. Panelists focused on how to make research relevant and accessible for local communities and decision-makers.
Working groups: Participant broke into working groups to consider interactions between scientists and practitioners and how to better integrate information from biological science into policy and management. On the first topic, participants noted that scientists must provide user-friendly data, clear data maps and information on ecological restoration and economic valuation of biological functions to practitioners while working with a multidisciplinary approach. Participants suggested practitioners could benefit from understanding the value and limits of science, taxonomic methodology and emerging scientific areas including genetics, metapopulation dynamics and geographic information systems (GIS). On integrating scientific information into policy, group members stressed that scientists must improve synthesis of information, understand core cultural differences, ensure that science is relevant and make information accessible in a timely manner.
THE ECOLOGICAL LIMITS OF CLIMATE CHANGE: Brett Orlando, IUCN Climate Change Programme Officer, provided an overview of climate change within IUCN's new programme. Atiq Rahman, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, discussed the linkages between climate change and the sustainable use of natural resources. Janos Pasztor, Information and Outreach, UNFCCC, briefed participants on key issues within the UNFCCC. On carbon sequestration and biodiversity, political will and technical viability emerged as critical elements to ensure environmentally sound sequestration projects.
Nick Davidson, Ramsar Convention Deputy Secretary General, suggested that IUCN develop a framework for joint activities between adaptive management of wetlands and climate change. Lynn Holowesko, WCPA, called for increased initiatives on the restoration of damaged marine ecosystems. Richard Sandbrook, IUCN Regional Councillor for Western Europe, stressed that climate change mitigation measures could help address the equity issue that divides the North and South.
Climate change vulnerability and adaptation: Participants divided into regional groups for discussion. The Middle East group suggested developing national climate change action plans. The OECD group proposed that IUCN track scientific results and distribute this information to government and civil society. The Pacific and Southeast Asia Group recommended that IUCN build capacity for negotiation. The Latin America Group proposed that IUCN create a separate commission on climate change.
21st SITTING OF THE CONGRESS
THE FINANCE AND AUDIT COMMITTEE CHAIR'S REPORT: Committee Chair Jorge Caillaux reviewed the financial report for 1996-2000 (CGR/2/2000/6) and introduced the financial outlook for 2001-2004 (CGR/2/2000/10), about which the Committee has expressed concern regarding the feasibility of the proposed 8% growth. Caillaux also addressed the membership dues proposal and the repercussions of Congress resolutions with financial implications, but not including budgetary provisions.
DRAFT RESOLUTIONS: The following resolutions were provisionally adopted without a vote: regionalization of IUCN (CGR2.GOV004); implementation and monitoring of international conventions (CGR2.GOV005); changes in the IUCN regional office for Mesoamerica (CGR2.GOV008); IUCN's work in Oceania (CGR2.GOV010); cooperation with parliaments (CGR2.GOV012); and use of IUCN's name and logo (CGR2.GOV015).
The following resolutions were withdrawn: safety of IUCN personnel and associated volunteers (CGR2.GOV011); and mining concessions and protected areas in Mesoamerica (CGR2.GOV014).
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY PANEL: A panel on the results of the interactive sessions and their implications for the IUCN programme will take place at 8:00 am in the Cultural Palace, Sport City.
22nd CONGRESS SITTING: The 22nd sitting will convene at 10:30 pm in the Cultural Palace to discuss and adopt draft resolutions and recommendations.
TECHNICAL DISCUSSIONS: Discussions on the External Review of the IUCN Programme, the new programme, budget and membership policy will be held at 2:00 pm.
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