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2016 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress
Planet at the Crossroads

1-10 September 2016 | Honolulu, US

Summary Highlights, 1-10 September 2016

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Daily Web CoverageAbout | 1 Sep | 2 Sep | 3 Sep | 4 Sep | 5 Sep | 6 Sep | 7 Sep | 9 Sep | 10 Sep | Summary

George Greene, Chair, Council Governance Committee, IUCN; Zhang Xinsheng, President, IUCN; and Inger Andersen, IUCN Director General

Highlights for Saturday, 10 September 2016

IISD Reporting Services - 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress
On Saturday, IUCN members convened for the last day of the IUCN World Conservation Congress to attend the 8th sitting of the Members’ Assembly. In the morning, members: considered and adopted the IUCN Financial plan 2017-2020; adopted the report of the Congress Governance Committee, including amendments to the statutes; adopted the report of the Credentials Committee; and approved the report of the Membership Dues 2017-2020 and of the list of members in arrears with payment of dues and whose rights are rescinded. During the final consideration of the Progress Report of the Resolutions Committee, members focused on motion on ‘closure of domestic markets for elephant ivory’ and after considering and rejecting several proposed amendments to the motion, approved the motion.

This was followed by the presentation of the Hawaiʻi Commitments, which aimed to capture the spirit of the formal and informal deliberations of the Congress from the high-level dialogues during the Forum, and issues of strategic importance arising from the Members' Assembly.

During the closing ceremony in the afternoon, the Secretariat recognized outgoing members of the IUCN Council 2012-2016 and President Elect, Zhang Xinsheng delivered a closing message as incoming President. Zhang expressed deep appreciation to the host Hawaiʻi and, following a local traditional presentation by Na Pualei O Likolehua, Ka Pa Hula O Ka Lei Lehua and Hālau o Kekuhi, closed the Congress at 16:19 pm.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, has produced daily reports, daily web coverage, summary videos from the Forum and the Members Assembly, as well as a summary report from the IUCN Congress 2016, which is available in HTML and PDF format.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth and Diego Noguera
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Enrique Lahmann, Global Director, IUCN Union Development Group (center), receives gifts from the Congress host, Hawai‘i


David Ige, Governor of Hawai‘i

Chipper Wichman, WCC Vice-Chair,
Hawai‘i Host Committee

Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Bhutan


Highlights for Friday, 9 September 2016

IISD Reporting Services - 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress
After enjoying a day of excursions and respite from discussions in plenary, apart from some contact group meetings, IUCN members reconvened on Friday for the 6th sitting of the Members’ Assembly. In the morning, members considered and adopted the draft IUCN Programme 2017-2020 and the Report of the Congress Programme Committee. Members called for: coherence of motions with the programmatic themes on species, governance and nature-based solutions; recognition of agreed-upon language and definitions of “biodiversity” from other UN processes; elaboration on the biodiversity-agriculture linkages, particularly regarding freshwater; and greater emphasis on ecosystem-based adaptation, mitigation measures and nature-based solutions.

In the afternoon, during the 7th sitting of the Members’ Assembly, members heard presentations by, and voted for candidates for the positions of: President, Treasurer and the Chairs of: the Species Survival Commission; the World Commissions on Environmental Law and on Protected Areas; and on the Commissions Education and Communication; Ecosystem Management; and Environmental, Economic and Social Policy. The Secretariat presented: the IUCN's Financial Report by the Director General and Treasurer for the period 2012-2016; the report of the Congress Finance and Audit Committee of the Audited Financial Statements for the years 2012-2015; and the appointment of the external auditors, assigning this role to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In the evening, the Members’ Assembly resumed voting on a number of motions. The Secretariat also presented the outcome of the elections for positions of the IUCN Regional Councillors, Commission Chairs, Treasurer and President for the period 2017-2020. The Members’ Assembly re-elected Zhang Xinsheng as IUCN President and Patrick de Heney as Treasurer for the period 2017-2020. A contact group met in the evening on motion 7 on closure of domestic markets for elephant ivory.

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View of the dais during discussions of the draft IUCN programme 2017-2020


Sean Southey, Chair, Commission on Education and Communication

Jon Paul Rodríguez, Chair,
Species Survival Commission

Angela Andrade, Chair,
Commission on Ecosystem Management


Antonio Herman Benjamin, Chair, World Commission on Environmental Law

Kathy MacKinnon, Chair, World Commission on Protected Areas

Kristen Walker Painemilla, Chair, Commission on Environmental,
Economic and Social Policy


Delegates vote for various motions throughout the morning

Highlights for Wednesday, 7 September 2016

IISD Reporting Services - 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress
IUCN members convened in plenary for the 4th sitting of the Congress on Wednesday morning to continue discussing issues of strategic importance for the Union. Members also considered how the IUCN should address the challenge of building constituencies for nature. The Chairs of the respective IUCN Commissions then delivered their reports.

In the 5th sitting in the afternoon, IUCN introduced the Regional Councillor candidates from the eight regional panel discussions, and invited candidates from each region to respond to two questions: what critical issues are currently facing IUCN and what role the Council should play in addressing them; and how they would make IUCN more relevant in their respective region. Members were then invited to vote for 28 Councillor seats, before approving the mandates of the IUCN Commission 2017-2020 and hearing the report of the meeting of all recognized National and Regional Committees, held on 1 September 2016. Members voted in favor of the motion on strengthening corporate biodiversity measurement, valuation and reporting.

Contact groups met throughout the day to advance deliberations on Motions, including on: incorporating urban dimensions of conservation into IUCN's work; protection of primary forests, including intact forest landscapes; IUCN’s response to the Paris Climate Change Agreement; and taking greater account of the ocean in the climate regime.

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Panel speakers discussing issues of strategic importance for IUCN - building constituencies for nature


Malik Amin Aslam Khan,
Vice-President, IUCN

Nizar Hani, Lead Advisor, Ministry
of Envrionment, Lebanon

Kobie Brand, Regional Director, ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability


Highlights for Tuesday, 6 September 2016

IISD Reporting Services - 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress
The 1st Sitting of the Members' Assembly of the IUCN convened on Tuesday morning, with IUCN President Zhang Xinsheng calling on members to look for “convergence of interests and to find solutions.” Throughout the morning, delegates considered: the appointment and first report of the Congress Credentials Committee, adoption of the agenda; appointment of the Resolutions, Finance, and Programme Committees of the Congress; the reports of the Director General and Council; and the first report of the Resolutions Committee.

In the afternoon, during the 2nd Sitting of the Members’ Assembly, the IUCN presented information about the purpose and process of the Hawai‘i Commitments; and presented the Draft IUCN Programme 2017-2020, and the Financial Plan 2017-2020. Director General Inger Anderson introduced IUCN's three strategic themes of agriculture and biodiversity, oceans and islands, and building constituencies. The meeting then discussed, through a series of panel sessions, how the IUCN should address the challenges of: conserving nature in the face of industrial agriculture; and preserving the health of the world’s oceans.

In the evening, delegates attended an award ceremony, which included the presentation of the laureates of the John C. Phillips Memorial Medal and the Harold Jefferson Coolidge Memorial Medal, and approval of the laureates for Honorary Membership of IUCN.

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Members' Assembly: Morning Session


View of the dais at the start of the Members' Assembly


Jason Clay, Senior Vice President of Market Transformation, WWF

Jeffrey Sachs, Director, The Earth Institute, Columbia University


Highlights for Monday, 5 September 2016

IISD Reporting Services - 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress On Monday, participants attended the final day of the Forum, with events during the morning focusing on: ways to strengthen IUCN’s role in saving the world’s primary forests through Resolution 060; the role of World Heritage Sites in biodiversity conservation and serving as areas for ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction (DRR); and ways of securing global action on peatlands.

In the afternoon, during a high-level event on spirituality and conservation, a panel of spiritual leaders convened to share the common belief that spirituality is at the heart of conservation, as well as share their diverse experiences. Moderator Ranney closed the session by announcing that IUCN will continue to carry forward the dialogue of connecting spirituality and conservation. Other events included a “shout out” for species conservation action and developing a new legal framework to live in harmony with nature.

In the evening, participants attended an event on conservation finance, which highlighted lessons from the field, and a State of Hawaiʻi's Interagency Climate Adaptation Committee event focusing on their climate change adaptation initiative.

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Participants during the session on Supporting Protected Area Designation and Management through
Identifying the Most Important Sites for Biodiversity: Launch of the Key Biodiversity Areas


Neil Hannahs (right), Kamehameha Schools, moderates the session on Building the Climate Resilience of US Landscapes -
Highlights and Lessons Learned from the Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative


Pualani Kanakaʻole Kanahele, Hawaiian Spiritual Leader, presented a traditional Hawaiian blessing
to open the session on Connections: Spirituality and Conservation


Participants during Fabian Huwyler’s presentation at the session on Conservation Finance: Lessons from the Field


Highlights for Sunday, 4 September 2016

On Sunday, participants attended the Forum for the third day, engaging with a variety of conservation issues, including an update on the IUCN’s Red List, managing ecosystems to reduce risks to disasters, managing conflicts between business and civil society over the use of natural resources, discovering the ways in which indigenous values and health indicators are helping management of invasive species, and finding nature-based solutions for sustainable development.

In the afternoon, during a high-level event on actions required for a sustainable ocean, two panels discussed potential ways to address management of oceans, such as legislation, research and monitoring, and combatting pollution and illegal fishing.

Other afternoon events included a launch of guidelines on climate change best practices, the place of the law in the future of conservation, how to manage transboundary ecosystems through experiences in “hydro-diplomacy” and governance of shared waters, and ways of transforming Africa’s development through Chinese investments.

In the evening participants attended events on gender-responsive financing for the global environment and the IUCN Green List that aims to raise the standard for new generation of protected and conserved areas.

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Panel speakers for the session on Nature-Based Solutions for Sustainable Development


Participants engage in an interactive session during the event on Indigenous peoples’ Cultural Connections to Forests:
How Indigenous Values and Health Indicators are Helping Manage Invasive Species


US Forest Service employees take part in a chat show style session
(L-R): US Forest Service employees John Crockett;
Flint Hughes
; Jeanne Wade-Evans; Fabian Garcia; Nadia Tase; and Heather McMillen


Panelists and Green List protected areas managers posed for a photo at the end of the event on The IUCN Green List -
Raising the Standard for New Generation of Protected and Conserved Areas


Highlights for Saturday, 3 September 2016

On Saturday, participants attended the second day of the Forum, during which they continued to explore solutions to some of the planet’s most pressing conservation and sustainability challenges. High-level events convened on empowering next generations, with panelists sharing new approaches to conservation of nature and integrated approaches to empowerment. In another high-level event, panelists addressed ending wildlife trafficking with perspectives from government as well as solutions from the private sector, civil society NGOs and CITES.

Throughout the day, participants explored: achieving the conservation imperative for sustainable development; engaging Pacific youth as future environmental and cultural leaders; making pledges towards achieving the Bonn Challenge; incorporating climate adaptation into agency-level planning in the Pacific islands region; and the importance of gender equality for SDG implementation and conservation projects.

In other events, panelists discussed: Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA); the Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel (WGWAP); effective Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EBA); new Bonn Challenge pledges; and solutions for a crowded planet in global commons.

During the Heritage Heroes awards, Bibhuti Lahkar was announced as the winner for presented his work on the Manas Tiger Reserve and his efforts in the area of capacity building for local youth, NGOs, and ex-poachers.

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Jane Goodall, UN Messenger of Peace, during the session on Conservation 2.0: Empowering Next Generations


L-R: Alison Sudol, Goodwill Ambassador, IUCN; Bruno Monteferri, Founder and Director, Conservamos por Naturaleza; Paul Rose, National Geographic Society; Jane Goodall, UN Messenger of Peace; Rick Bates, CEO, Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF); Justin Bogardus, Independent Filmmaker; Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, AFPAT; Anne Walton, International Marine Protected Area Management Capacity Building Program

Kenneth Makuakāne, Musician, during his presentation at the event on Listen to Young Voices: Engaging Pacific Youth as Future Environmental and Cultural Leaders and Communicators through Creative Expression


Leah Silverman graphically records the discussions of the event on The SDGs Journey: Achieving the Conservation Imperative for Sustainable Development


Highlights for Friday, 2 September 2016

On Friday, the second day of the IUCN WCC, participants attended the first day of the Forum, during which they focused on exploring solutions to some of the planet’s most pressing conservation and sustainability challenges.

During the opening ceremony, Prince Charles, via video, shared a Hawaiian proverb, “Pupukahi i holomua – we must unite to move forward.” Inger Andersen, IUCN Director General, said the IUCN’s role is to raise awareness about the planet being at a crossroads. Tom Friedman, the New York Times, highlighted that “later is officially over, we can remove it from the dictionary as later will now be too late.” Brooke Runnette, National Geographic Society, shared efforts to empower people and create a community of change. Hong Youngpyo, Republic of Korea, reviewed progress since the 2012 WCC, saying that “we can choose a path of co-existence or no existence at all.”

In a high-level event on championing nature-based solutions, panelists discussed economic and security risks posed by climate change, the valuable role of ecosystems and biodiversity to combat climate change, and other co-benefits of protecting nature and empowering women.

In another high-level event on leveraging private sector finance for public good, Naoko Ishii, the GEF CEO and Chairperson, said “the way to transform the economic system is to change the way the private sector sees the value of nature.”

Events continued into the evening, when IUCN and the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) launched “Protected Planet Report 2016.”

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A Hawai‘ian Blessing Ceremony during the opening of the Forum


Edward Osborne Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University


Panel speakers during the session on Climate Change: Championing Nature-Based Solutions


Members of the Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation, which was launched during the event on Private Finance for Public Good


Highlights for Thursday, 1 September 2016

On Friday, the second day of the IUCN WCC, participants attended the first day of the Forum, during which they focused on exploring solutions to some of the planet’s most pressing conservation and sustainability challenges.

During the opening ceremony, Prince Charles, via video, shared a Hawaiian proverb, “Pupukahi i holomua – we must unite to move forward.” Inger Andersen, IUCN Director General, said the IUCN’s role is to raise awareness about the planet being at a crossroads. Tom Friedman, the New York Times, highlighted that “later is officially over, we can remove it from the dictionary as later will now be too late.” Brooke Runnette, National Geographic Society, shared efforts to empower people and create a community of change. Hong Youngpyo, Republic of Korea, reviewed progress since the 2012 WCC, saying that “we can choose a path of co-existence or no existence at all.”

In a high-level event on championing nature-based solutions, panelists discussed economic and security risks posed by climate change, the valuable role of ecosystems and biodiversity to combat climate change, and other co-benefits of protecting nature and empowering women.

In another high-level event on leveraging private sector finance for public good, Naoko Ishii, the GEF CEO and Chairperson, said “the way to transform the economic system is to change the way the private sector sees the value of nature.”

Events continued into the evening, when IUCN and the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) launched “Protected Planet Report 2016.”

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Traditional Hawai‘ian dancers at the opening ceremony



Zhang Xinsheng, President, IUCN


Participants gather for the Pacific Ocean Summit


Delegates during the evening reception


Daily Web CoverageAbout | 1 Sep | 2 Sep | 3 Sep | 4 Sep | 5 Sep | 6 Sep | 7 Sep | 9 Sep | 10 Sep | Summary
Specific funding for coverage of the IUCN Congress 2016, has been provided by
IUCN and the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea
IUCN Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea