IUCN Congress Bulletin

 

PDF Format
Text Format


Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (iisd)

 

Vol. 39 No. 15
Sunday, 28 November 2004
 

SUMMARY OF THE 3RD IUCN WORLD CONSERVATION CONGRESS:

17-25 NOVEMBER 2004

Convening under the theme of “People and Nature – only one world,” the 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress met from 17-25 November 2004 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. More than 4,800 participants, including over 40 Ministers, 1,000 scientists, 200 business representatives and hundreds of representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were in attendance. The Congress comprised three principal elements: the Commissions at Work, which met from 15-17 November to assess the work of IUCN’s six Commissions; the World Conservation Forum, which convened from 18-20 November to take stock of biodiversity conservation; and the Members’ Business Assembly, which took place from 21-25 November to address governance, policy and programmatic issues of the Union.

Over the course of the Congress, High-Level Roundtables brought together ministers and senior representatives from the business and NGO sectors to discuss a range of conservation and sustainable development challenges. In addition, agreements seeking to address such challenges were signed between IUCN and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, IUCN and the Asian Development Bank, the business and conservation communities, and among countries in the region.

At the conclusion of the Congress, IUCN members approved 118 resolutions and recommendations aimed at improving the governance, programmes and policies of the Union. Members also elected their new Council, with Mohammed Valli Moosa as their new President.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE IUCN WORLD CONSERVATION CONGRESS

IUCN – The World Conservation Union was established in 1948 as an independent scientific organization devoted to “influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.” Today, IUCN members total 1063, including 82 State members, 112 government agencies, 33 affiliates and 836 NGOs, of which 79 are international organizations. The IUCN Secretariat consists of about 1,000 staff, with some 100 individuals at its headquarters in Gland, Switzerland, and approximately 900 staff working in offices located in 42 countries around the world. IUCN has six Commissions, constituting a network of some 10,000 volunteer experts on biodiversity conservation. The Commissions focus on: ecosystem management; education and communication; environmental, economic and social policy; environmental law; species survival; and protected areas.

IUCN is governed by its Council, whose members are elected by the World Conservation Congress. The Council typically meets at least once a year to set the annual budget, decide major policy issues, and review the IUCN Programme’s implementation. Also elected by the Congress is the IUCN President, who chairs the Council and guides IUCN’s work between Congresses. IUCN member organizations form national or regional committees that play an important role in priority setting, programming, membership coordination and programme implementation.

IUCN’s contributions to conservation are numerous, including assistance in the development of national environmental legislation and international environmental conventions such as the 1971 Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the 1972 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Convention, the 1975 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), the 1979 Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), the 1982 World Charter for Nature, and the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). IUCN was also the driving force behind the World Conservation Strategy, Caring for the Earth: A Strategy for Sustainable Living, and the Global Biodiversity Strategy, initiatives that introduced concepts such as sustainable development, biodiversity and ecosystem management.

IUCN has been instrumental in developing conservation programmes for major ecosystem types, including forests, wetlands and coastal areas. Drawing on its global network of experts, IUCN identifies categories of threatened species and produces species action plans, as well as publishes Red Lists and Red Data Books, which detail the status and conservation needs of threatened and endangered species. IUCN also plays a critical role in supporting protected areas worldwide, publishing the UN List of Protected Areas, convening the World Parks Congress (WPC), and disseminating guidelines on protected area management issues. The most recent World Parks Congress was held in September 2003 in Durban, South Africa, and produced among other things the Durban Accord, a high-level vision statement for protected areas.

IUCN’s general assembly of members takes place at the World Conservation Congress, which meets every four years. The main functions of the Congress are, inter alia, to: define the general policy of IUCN; make recommendations to governments and to national and international organizations on matters related to IUCN’s objectives; receive and consider the reports of the Director General, Treasurer, Chairs of Commissions and Regional Committees; receive the auditors report and approve the audited accounts; determine member dues; consider and approve the IUCN Programme and financial plan for the intersessional period; determine the number of Commissions and their mandates; and elect the President, Treasurer, Regional Councillors and Chairs of Commissions. The Congress also offers a forum for debate on how best to conserve nature and ensure that natural resources are used equitably and sustainably.

The 1st IUCN World Conservation Congress was held from 12-23 October 1996 in Montreal, Canada, and evolved from the 19 General Assemblies that preceded it, the first of which saw the founding of the organization. Over 2,000 participants from 130 countries attended the first Congress, whose theme was “Caring for the Earth.” The 2nd IUCN World Conservation Congress met from 4-11 October 2000 in Amman, Jordan, where some 2,000 delegates from 140 countries representing governments, government agencies, UN bodies, NGOs and the private sector were in attendance. The Congress’ theme was “Ecospace” – a concept that conveys the message that transboundary management of ecosystems is vital for the environmental agenda.

REPORT OF THE CONGRESS

COMMISSIONS AT WORK

COMMISSION ON EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION (CEC): Chaired by Denise Hamú, the CEC Steering Committee met on Monday, 15 November. The CEC’s Members’ Meeting was held on 16-17 November. Members developed strategies for the CEC’s three priority areas of work: education and communication, the Decade on Education for Sustainable Development, and the World Conservation Learning Network, and discussed ways to implement the Commission’s 2005-2008 mandate.

COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL POLICY (CEESP): Chaired by Taghi Farvar, the CEESP Steering Committee met on 15 November. Two meetings were held on 16 November: a joint meeting of the Collaborative Management of Natural Resources Working Group (CMWG) and the Sustainable Livelihoods Working Group (SLWG); and a meeting of the Theme on Indigenous and Local Communities, Equity and Protected Areas (TILCEPA). The Members’ Meeting took place on 17 November, focusing on poverty and on the social impacts of conservation.

COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL LAW (CEL): Chaired by Nicholas Robinson, the CEL Steering Committee met on 15 November. On 16-17 November, the Members’ Meeting and the CEL’s Judiciary Day were held. The Judiciary Day, chaired by Justice Paul Stein, attracted judges, practitioners and representatives of NGOs and intergovernmental organizations, who analyzed, among other things, judiciary ethics, public interest litigation, “judicial activism,” and the role of judges concerning the links between environmental, human rights and poverty issues.

COMMISSION ON ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT (CEM): Chaired by Hillary Masundire, the CEM Steering Committee met on 16 November and the CEM Members’ Meeting took place on 16-17 November, during which delegates identified ecosystem management beyond protected areas as a key priority for biodiversity conservation. Members also identified as key to the Commission’s core task identifying, testing and disseminating tools for managing and restoring ecosystems, including seascapes.

SPECIES SURVIVAL COMMISSION (SSC): Chaired by David Brackett, the SCC Executive and Steering Committees met on 15 November. The Members’ Meeting was held on 16-17 November. Members discussed ways to improve the usability of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and the Species Information Service (SIS), underscoring the need for: compatibility of SIS and the Conservation and Management Planning (CAMP) database; improving information flows from SSC specialists to the Red List; enhancing training; and improving communication of the Red List Criteria. Members also addressed the status of the Red List Index (RLI) and its relevance to the 2010 biodiversity target, and highlighted the influence of SSC tools and products on world decision makers.

WORLD COMMISSION ON PROTECTED AREAS (WCPA): Chaired by Kenton Miller, the WCPA Steering Committee met on 15 November. The Members’ Meeting took place on 16-17 November. Members identified priority areas, including: improving management and financing of protected areas; involving youth and local communities; establishing a global representative system of protected areas; and managing protected areas against the impacts of global change and invasive species.

OPENING OF THE CONGRESS

On Wednesday, 17 November, participants convened for the opening of the 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress. Thaksin Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand, expressed appreciation for the presence of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit Kitiyakara of Thailand. Highlighting Her Majesty’s Royal Projects, he announced that IUCN was to award Queen Sirikit the IUCN Gold Medal in recognition of her contribution toward biodiversity conservation.

Welcoming participants to the Congress, Yolanda Kakabadse, IUCN President, emphasized the importance of engaging indigenous and local communities in conservation initiatives, and stressed the role of biodiversity conservation in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). She drew attention to IUCN’s achievements since the 2nd IUCN World Conservation Congress, including its role in supporting the international community to adopt agreements such as those emanating from the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), the CBD, and the Vth IUCN World Parks Congress.

Kakabadse identified four challenges for the Congress: information and technology; loss of biodiversity; the role of the private sector; and the connection between biodiversity conservation and human well-being. On information and technology, she called for more equitable access to scientific knowledge and information, enhanced information sharing and technology transfer, and recognition of indigenous and traditional knowledge. On biodiversity loss, she called attention to the effects of unsustainable development and stressed that cities must not “turn their backs” on rural communities. Kakabadse acknowledged Thailand for recognizing the importance of biological and cultural diversity, highlighted Queen Sirikit’s commitment to the environment, and praised Thailand for carrying out conservation projects and integrating rural and urban communities. On the role of the private sector, she emphasized the need for corporate responsibility in relation to sustainable development and biodiversity conservation. She noted that corporations are increasingly aware of the interdependence of biodiversity and their own long-term growth, and recognized that some conservationists are not comfortable with working with profit-making organizations. She highlighted IUCN’s role in fostering dialogue between these stakeholders, and in providing advice and support to companies interested in conservation. On biodiversity conservation and human well-being, Kakabadse invited participants to develop ways that promote biodiversity conservation and embrace the interest of human well-being as another challenge to overcome.

Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado of Japan highlighted the contribution of Queen Sirikit’s Royal Projects to the conservation of Thailand’s environment and the sustainability of its rural communities. On behalf of IUCN, she presented Queen Sirikit the IUCN Gold Medal, recognizing her continued commitment and dedication to conservation.

Queen Sirikit welcomed all participants to the Congress, stating that she was honored for having been presented with the Medal. She expressed her appreciation for the dedication of Thailand’s scientists toward a sustainable future, and said their efforts have contributed to the country’s conservation successes. She underscored the need for the global community to increase efforts in conservation and said that her dream was for all people around the world to become stewards of the environment. She stressed her hope that the Congress would be a great success not only for those attending, but for the entire global community.

Participants viewed a video presentation on various Royal Projects initiated by Queen Sirikit, which, inter alia, rehabilitated mangroves, improved rural livelihoods, managed forests for water conservation, and conducted research on wild flora.

On Thursday, 18 November, Yolanda Kakabadse, IUCN President, introduced, and members approved, the draft terms of reference and proposed membership of the Credentials Committee (CGR/3/2004/3). Following the opening session of the World Conservation Forum, members heard a preliminary report from the Credentials Committee on the status of credentials received to date and the proposed new electronic voting system. Members considered and approved: the revised provisional agenda (CGR/3/2004/1.Rev.1); and amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Congress regarding the Credentials Committee and Electronic Voting proposed by Council (CGR/3/2004/2), which was further amended by the International Council of Environmental Law. Members also considered and approved the draft Terms of Reference and proposed membership of the Resolutions, Finance and Audit, Programme and Governance Committees (CGR/3/2004/3, 4, 5, 6 and 24).

WORLD CONSERVATION FORUM

The World Conservation Forum took place from Thursday to Saturday, 18-20 November. Over 350 sessions, including Global Synthesis Workshops, Sponsored Workshops, Futures Dialogues, Conservation Platforms, Training Workshops, Knowledge Marketplace Roundtables and Cultural Events, were held to take stock of biodiversity conservation. The Global Synthesis Workshops and Sponsored Workshops focused on the four Forum themes of: Ecosystem Management; Health, Poverty and Conservation; Biodiversity Loss and Species Extinction; and Markets, Business and the Environment. The Futures Dialogues featured high-level discussions on the future of energy systems, information technology and biotechnology, international environmental governance, and conservation, while the Conservation Platforms presented regional programmes and initiatives, book launches and alliance announcements.

Editor’s note: IISD Reporting Services’ coverage of the Forum focused on the opening and closing sessions and the Global Synthesis Workshops.

OPENING OF THE FORUM: Achim Steiner served as Master of Ceremony for the Forum’s opening plenary, which was held on Thursday, 18 November, and comprised several speeches, a keynote address, a video presentation, a theater performance and a panel discussion.

Suwit Khunkitti, Thailand’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, welcomed participants to the Forum. Highlighting Thailand’s commitment to the sustainable and equitable use of natural resources, Minister Suwit said conservation and protection of natural resources are development priorities for his country. He also stressed the Forum’s role in information exchange, as well as the importance of the inter-relationship between the four Themes of the Forum.

Princess Takamado, Honorary President of BirdLife International, outlined the efforts of Birdlife International and Japan in the conservation of threatened birds.

In a video message, Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, conveyed three requests to the Congress, appealing that participants not “turn their backs” on rural economies, balance development and environment needs, and “uphold the power and majesty of nature.”

In his keynote address, Anand Panyarachun, former Prime Minister of Thailand, underscored the need to demonstrate that development can be achieved without damaging nature. He noted that while environmental issues have increasingly become more mainstream, they remain less influential in political decision making processes. He drew attention to how: government decisions have been mainstreamed at the international level; decision-making authority has been decentralized; and public resources and responsibilities have shifted to civil society, in particular to the private sector. Noting IUCN’s role in providing a global forum for the conservation sector, he emphasized the need for the organization to engage the private sector.

Participants saw a theater performance by actors from various African and Asian countries that portrayed the importance of natural resource conservation to the well-being of local communities, and highlighted the potentially negative effects that protected areas impose on local communities and their livelihoods.

Minu Hemmati, Seed Initiative, moderated a panel discussion that exchanged ideas on conservation challenges. Following the discussion, participants saw a video presentation narrated by a puppet chameleon calling on human beings to communicate and disseminate information on the importance of biodiversity.

Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, Kenya’s Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, shared Kenya’s conservation experience, noting national and regional environmental legislation, action plans and initiatives. Highlighting the awarding of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize to Kenya’s Wangari Maathai, he underscored the inter-relationship between environment, peace and good governance. He urged conservationists to address equity issues regarding the way the international community uses Africa’s resources. Minister Musyoka called on the Congress to produce a simple message that can be translated into policy action, and expressed Kenya’s intention to host the 4th IUCN World Conservation Congress.

Achim Steiner concluded the opening session of the Forum with a call for participants to “reflect, rethink, refocus and reposition” the conservation agenda.

GLOBAL SYNTHESIS WORKSHOPS: Ecosystem management - bridging sustainability and productivity: This Global Synthesis Workshop, which considered lessons learned on the management of land and seascapes, comprised an opening plenary, nine breakout sessions on four subthemes, and a closing plenary. The opening plenary, which took place on Thursday, 18 November, included three main speakers and a video presentation. IISD Reporting Services’ coverage of the opening session can be found at:
http://www.iisd.ca/sd/iucn/wcc3/sdvol39num9e.html

The subtheme entitled “Marine challenges and opportunities” focused on biodiversity loss in marine ecosystems and human overexploitation of the seas and oceans. Two breakout sessions addressed the following topics: the High Seas Planning Board – addressing by-catch and deep sea trawling impact; and aquaculture and environment – bringing together new partners to move towards sustainability.

The subtheme entitled “Terrestrial challenges and opportunities” addressed the building of new partnerships to harness positive synergies between man-made environments, such as cities and coastal settlements, and the ecosystems’ services, upon which human well-being depends. Three breakout sessions discussed: links between coastal cities and larger ecosystems; ecoagriculture; and river basin management.

The subtheme entitled “Ecological networks - from vision to action” addressed strategies for safeguarding biodiversity by means of conservation planning and establishment of ecological networks to link protected areas. Two breakout sessions explored conservation planning mechanisms and making ecological networks into a socioeconomic reality.

The subtheme “Ecosystem management – tools and approaches” focused on developing practical tools for managing ecosystems in a way that balances human livelihoods and biodiversity conservation objectives. Two breakout sessions addressed the topics “Ecosystem management – the tools of the trade” and “Putting people at the centre – the ecosystem approach.” IISD Reporting Services’ coverage of these breakout sessions can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/iucn/wcc3/sdvol39num10e.html

The closing plenary was held under the theme “Bridging sustainability and productivity” on Saturday, 20 November. This session comprised interactive sessions on implementing and operationalizing ecosystem management and a presentation on ecosystem-based management of large marine ecosystems. IISD Reporting Services’ coverage of this closing session can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/iucn/wcc3/sdvol39num11e.html

Health, poverty and conservation – responding to the challenge of human well-being: This Global Synthesis Workshop, which sought to underline the linkages between environmental sustainability and human well-being through addressing issues of governance and rights, comprised an opening plenary, ten breakout sessions on four subthemes, and a closing plenary. The opening plenary, which took place on Thursday, 18 November, included two panels, one on the rights perspective to health, poverty and conservation, and another on key issues relating to health, poverty and conservation. Participants also saw a film on the interdependence between biodiversity protection and health issues. IISD Reporting Services’ coverage of the opening plenary can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/iucn/wcc3/sdvol39num9e.html

The subtheme entitled “Making the case for poverty-focused conservation?” addressed the means by which biodiversity conservation can enhance human well-being and reduce poverty. Three breakout sessions addressed the following topics: making the case for poverty-focused conservation; mobilizing conservation to end hunger – the implications of food sovereignty, food security, and the right to food for biodiversity conservation; and gender makes a difference for conservation health and livelihoods.

The subtheme entitled “Institutional and policy arrangements to achieve the MDGs and the 2010 targets” addressed the added value that conservation brings to poverty reduction strategies. Two breakout sessions discussed: aspects of linking conservation to poverty; and ways to improve integration of environmental considerations in poverty reduction strategy papers and development frameworks.

The subtheme entitled “Life’s Essentials” addressed the role of water management in human and environmental health, food security and nutrition. Three breakout sessions discussed: the links between water, wetlands and livelihoods; health and environment interlinkages; and emerging diseases and ecosystems.

The subtheme entitled “Governance, Security and Livelihoods” focused on how poor governance contributes to poverty and environmental degradation. Two breakout sessions addressed the following topics: law enforcement and government of natural resources – implications for livelihoods; and environmental security – risks, natural resources and livelihoods.

IISD Reporting Services’ coverage of these breakout sessions can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/iucn/wcc3/sdvol39num10e.html

The closing plenary took place on Saturday morning, 20 November, and comprised an overview of the workshop’s objectives, a summary of the issues emerging from the workshop’s four subthemes, a stakeholder panel that discussed the question “What can the conservation community do?” small group discussions, a film, and a cultural event, highlighting the issue of development in rural areas. IISD Reporting Services’ coverage of the closing plenary can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/iucn/wcc3/sdvol39num11e.html

Biodiversity loss and species extinction - managing risk in a changing world: This Global Synthesis Workshop addressed vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, meeting the 2010 biodiversity target, and capacity and technology transfer required for species conservation. The Workshop comprised an opening plenary, six breakout sessions on three subthemes, and a closing plenary. The opening plenary, which took place on Thursday, 18 November, included five presentations and a brief overview of the subthemes. IISD Reporting Services’ coverage of the opening plenary can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/iucn/wcc3/sdvol39num9e.html

The subtheme entitled “Invasive species and biodiversity - Coping with aliens” focused on the impacts of invasive alien species on species diversity and marine, terrestrial and freshwater systems, as well as on human livelihoods and development. Two breakout sessions addressed: the impacts of invasive alien species on livelihoods; and the options for conservation of species and ecosystems affected by invasives.

The subtheme entitled “Conservation of medicinal plants - securing a healthy future” focused on wild species that provide human medicines and made explicit links between biodiversity conservation, human health and livelihoods. Two breakout sessions examined: the risks posed by medicinal species loss and threats to their conservation; and options for their conservation and sustainable use.

The subtheme entitled “Climate change - turning down the heat” focused on the impacts of climate change on nature and society and identified vulnerable areas where adaptation is a priority. Two breakout sessions focused on: what the conservation community can do to help ecosystems adapt to climate change; and management of risk and uncertainties of climate change.

IISD Reporting Services’ coverage of these breakout sessions can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/iucn/wcc3/sdvol39num10e.html

The closing session took place on Saturday morning, 20 November. It consisted of a presentation, an open-floor discussion on key lessons learned and messages arising from the Workshop, recommendations for the next World Conservation Congress, a quiz and reports from the breakout sessions. IISD Reporting Services’ coverage of this closing session can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/iucn/wcc3/sdvol39num11e.html

Markets, business and the environment - Strengthening corporate social responsibility, law and policy: This Global Synthesis Workshop considered how: markets can function more sustainably; companies can manage biodiversity in their operations; and new business based on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity can be developed. The Workshop comprised an opening plenary, nine breakout sessions on three subthemes, and a closing plenary. The opening plenary, which took place on Thursday, 18 November, included two main presentations, and brief introductions to the subthemes. IISD Reporting Services coverage of the opening plenary can be found at:
http://www.iisd.ca/sd/iucn/wcc3/sdvol39num9e.html

The subtheme entitled “Will capitalism conserve or consume the planet?” focused on different aspects of voluntary initiatives aimed at improving the social and environmental performance of companies. Five breakout sessions addressed the following topics: corporate social responsibility; business and biodiversity partnerships; certification for sustainability; investing in sustainability; and business and biodiversity partnerships.

The subtheme entitled “International trade: friend or foe of biodiversity?” addressed aspects of the debate on trade and environment. Two breakout sessions discussed: balancing the benefits of trade with the risks posed to conservation; and reconciling the shift towards the liberalization of trade in public services with the sustainable use of natural resources.

The subtheme entitled “Ecosystem for sale in an unequal world” addressed the use of ecosystem services for poverty reduction and conservation. Two breakout sessions explored: the potential of emerging markets for carbon sequestration and payments for habitat restoration and offsets; and synergies between incentives for watershed protection and biodiversity conservation, as well as market limits for ecosystem services and poverty reduction.

IISD Reporting Services’ coverage of these breakout sessions can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/iucn/wcc3/sdvol39num10e.html

The closing plenary took place on Saturday morning, 20 November, and comprised a presentation on ethics, summaries of the breakout sessions, and an open-floor discussion that addressed ways to build partnerships between the conservation and the business communities, and considered the limits to such relationships. IISD Reporting Services’ coverage of this closing session can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/iucn/wcc3/sdvol39num11e.html

CLOSING OF THE FORUM: Chaired by Yolanda Kakabadse, the closing plenary of the World Conservation Forum took place on Saturday afternoon, 20 November, and included three keynote addresses, summary reports of the Forum and two video messages. Participants also heard two panel debates. The first panel entitled “Changing world: new strategies” addressed: the role of the private sector, rights-based approaches to biodiversity conservation, environment and international financial institutions, and payment for environmental services. The second panel entitled “Historical milestones and future directions” sought to find common viewpoints across different generations on the future direction for global environmental challenges.

Kim Hak-Su, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific delivered a message on behalf of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He said the meeting comes at a “crucial time in our work for peace and sustainable development,” underscored that unsustainable practices are deeply interwoven with the fabric of human life, and stressed the need to move from an era of exploitation to an era of stewardship.

Tadao Chino, President of the Asian Development Bank, underscored the need for a shift in political will to address the environmental consequences of economic growth. He praised IUCN for keeping the world focused on the vital links between people and nature and on how to address the adverse impacts of development on biodiversity.

Jeffrey Sachs, Millennium Project, identified 2005 as a critical year, describing it as a “make or break” year for the MDGs. He stressed the need for peace, debt cancellation and a significant increase in official development assistance to meet poverty reduction and environment goals.

In her report on the Forum, Huguette Labelle, Chair of the Preparatory Committee of the 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress, welcomed the emergence of new issues, including the 40 workshops that addressed health and biodiversity, the 50 events on the role of business, and the 60 sessions on the links between biodiversity conservation and poverty eradication. She urged the conservation movement to find additional and better ways to link conservation and sustainable livelihoods, ensure greater inclusiveness, and foster cooperation between the private sector and civil society.

In their joint report on the Forum, Hillary Masundire, CEM Chair, and Bill Jackson, IUCN, highlighted the: rights-based approach to biodiversity conservation; links between poverty eradication and biodiversity; need to protect biodiversity for medical purposes; and importance of economic incentives to protect ecosystem services.

In a video message, Sting said the Congress theme of “People and Nature – only one world” resonated with him as an artist, and underscored the responsibility of humans towards all species and to future generations.

In the second video message, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Wangari Maathai called on the Congress to celebrate the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s recognition of the link between environment and peace. She invited Congress participants to share in the glory and spread the message of the importance of sustainable environmental management, good governance and equity for peace.

HIGH-LEVEL ROUNDTABLES

Sponsored by Minister Suwit and Achim Steiner, five informal High-Level Roundtables took place between 18-20 November to discuss ecosystem services, business and conservation, development cooperation and conservation finance, the Mekong River, and international environmental governance.

On Thursday, 18 November, ministers from the Asia-Pacific region met in the morning to discuss the role of ecosystem services in addressing poverty eradication and biodiversity conservation. In the afternoon, ministers, Senior Executives and CEOs from the private sector and conservation NGOs explored the business case for biodiversity conservation. IISD Reporting Services’ coverage of these two Roundtables can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/iucn/wcc3/sdvol39num9e.html

On Friday, 19 November, ministers, heads of bilateral and multilateral donor agencies, and senior executives from conservation NGOs met in the morning to explore innovative and strategic directions for the financing of conservation from development cooperation sources. In the afternoon, ministers and high-level representatives from regional organizations and UN programmes as well as NGOs discussed water use and transboundary water management in the Mekong Region. IISD Reporting Services’ coverage of these two Roundtables can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/iucn/wcc3/sdvol39num10e.html

On Saturday, 20 November, ministers and high-level representatives from conservation NGOs and the private sector discussed the future of international environmental governance, focusing on trade and environment and identifying ways to make both systems mutually supportive. IISD Reporting Services’ coverage of this Roundtable can be found at:
http://www.iisd.ca/sd/iucn/wcc3/sdvol39num11e.html

MEMBERS’ BUSINESS ASSEMBLY

During the Members’ Business Assembly from 21-25 November, the Congress convened in nine plenary sittings to hear reports from the President, Director General and Commission Chairs, as well as to elect the new Council and approve the new Commission mandates, the Programme, the budget, membership-related matters, and amendments to the Statutes and Rules of Procedure. The Congress also voted on motions for resolutions and recommendations. The following is a summary of Congress debates and outcomes by agenda item.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT: On Sunday, 21 November, Yolanda Kakabadse reported on her activities over the past eight years, highlighting the success of the 2nd World Conservation Congress, the Vth World Parks Congress and the WSSD. She described activities aimed at increasing the profile of management and the Secretariat, including visits to governments, country and regional offices, and participation at international meetings. She outlined a number of priority initiatives, such as promotion of environmental education, work on the Earth Charter, participation in various multilateral environment agreements, and engagement with extractive industries and the World Bank.

DIRECTOR GENERAL’S REPORT: On Sunday, 21 November, Achim Steiner reported on: work of the Union since the 2nd World Conservation Congress (CGR/3/2004/7); membership development from 2001 to March 2004 (CGR/3/2004/8); follow-up to the resolutions and recommendations of the 2nd World Conservation Congress (CGR/3/2004/9); financial affairs; and knowledge management. He noted that the world has changed since the previous Congress, highlighting the 11 September 2001 attacks, global economic downturn, increased corporate influence and shifts in international funding priorities, among others. He underlined that the Union currently has over 1,000 members, and stressed its continued process of regionalization and decentralization. Steiner applauded the Commissions’ achievements since the previous Congress, praised them for their dedication and tireless work, and extended his gratitude to the entire IUCN staff. In the plenary discussion on the Director General’s report, members addressed issues relating to: governance; progress on resolutions and recommendations from the 2nd World Conservation Congress; the need to reflect the criteria for assessing implementation in the report; and involvement of co-sponsors in follow-up work on the resolutions and recommendations. Members also discussed IUCN’s objectives and challenges, with one member identifying cooperation with the private sector as the Union’s greatest challenge.

EXTERNAL REVIEW OF IUCN: On Sunday, 21 November, Achim Steiner presented the findings and recommendations of the 2003 external review of IUCN, and the responses from the Secretariat and Council (CGR/3/2004/10). He said the review focused on: programme strategy and implementation; IUCN’s strategic positioning; management and operational systems; assessment of the governance reform process; and financial viability. Gabor Bruszt, Review Team Leader, called attention to the highlights and challenges identified by the review. He said the programme framework signifies a milestone for the way in which IUCN conceptualizes and structures its efforts, but noted some weaknesses in relation to priority setting, resourcing and management. On the governance recommendations, he said it remains to be seen if they will be implemented by the Council and Congress. Bruszt also identified future challenges, including how to shift from a market-driven to a mission-driven vision.

EXTERNAL REVIEW OF THE COMMISSIONS: On Sunday, 21 November, Achim Steiner noted that the objectives of the external review were to ensure: relevance of the Commissions to the IUCN constituency, policy and programmes; and their effectiveness and efficiency in fulfilling the programme.

Anne Whyte, Review Committee Leader, presented the summary report of the 2003 External Review of IUCN (CGR/3/2004/11) and briefed members on the outcomes of the review, emphasizing the need for IUCN to: strengthen planning and accountability; consider new requirements for the commission mandates; develop new reporting guidelines; and implement gender policies.

David Brackett, Chair of the Commissions, stressed the importance of having volunteer networks, strong and clear Commission mandates, and linkages with the Secretariat. He recommended: a policy of voluntarism from the Council, action on knowledge management, and a more open budget process.

REPORTS OF THE CHAIRS OF THE COMMISSIONS: On Sunday, 21 November, the Congress received and considered the reports of the Chairs of the Commissions (CGR/3/2004/12).

WCPA: Kenton Miller, WCPA Chair, highlighted the Vth WPC’s outputs, the upcoming International Marine Protected Areas Congress, and WCPA’s partnership with the CBD. Mohamed Bakkar, WCPA Vice-Chair, highlighted the importance of NGO partnerships at the Vth WPC and called for closer collaboration with other Commissions.

CEL: Michael Jeffery, CEL Deputy Chair, outlined the achievements of the Commission and highlighted its recent activities, which focused on: promoting new ethical and legal concepts to enhance sustainability; building capacity in all regions; and promoting the role of the judiciary in the implementation of environmental law and policy.

SSC: David Brackett, SSC Chair, emphasized the importance of voluntarism in supporting the IUCN Programme. He presented an overview of the accomplishments of the SSC, including the 2004 Red List of Threatened Species and the Wildlife Trade Programme.

CEC: Denise Hamú, CEC Chair, briefed members on the main achievements of the Commission, highlighting their efforts to: enhance capacity of IUCN members in education and communication; support environmental conventions; reach out to new stakeholders; and advance the development of education programmes.

CEESP: Taghi Farvar, CEESP Chair, described the Commission’s programmes and presented examples of field-based initiatives with IUCN members. He highlighted that CEESP is the only Commission without support from IUCN’s core budget.

CEM: Hillary Masundire, CEM Chair, summarized the Commission’s activities and noted major accomplishments in the areas of: advancing application of the ecosystem approach; developing indicators of ecosystem status; promoting cost-effective ecosystem restoration methods; and disseminating ecosystem management tools.

REPORTS OF THE RECOGNIZED REGIONAL COMMITTEES AND FORUMS: Chaired by Alistair Gammel, Council Membership Committee Chair, this session took place on Monday, 22 November.

Marco Cerezo, Mesoamerica Committee, stressed the importance of active participation in programme formulation. He focused on the environmental impacts of the Puebla-Panama Plan and stressed the need to support regional capacity building.

Wren Green, Oceania Committee, urged a greater focus on the Pacific Islands, drawing attention to their unique biodiversity, vulnerability to global environmental changes, and under-representation at IUCN. He called for the establishment of a Pacific Island office in Fiji.

Lovemore Simwanda, Southern Africa Committee, stressed the need to address human security, intellectual property rights, and impacts of genetically modified organisms on local food production. He called for the establishment of a Zimbabwe office.

Mamadou Dialo, West Africa Committee, emphasized the need for linkages with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), as well as greater capacity building and information exchange between regional and national committees.

ELECTIONS: On Monday, 22 November, Antonio Machado, Elections Officer, introduced the candidates for President (CGR/3/2004/13), Treasurer (CGR/3/2004/14), Regional Councillors (CGR/3/2004/15) and Commission Chairs (CGR/3/2004/16), and announced that George Rabb (US) and Hermelindo Castro Nogueira (Spain) had withdrawn their candidature for Regional Councillor for the North America and Caribbean Region and WCPA Chair, respectively. The polls officially open on Monday afternoon and election results were announced on Wednesday, 23 November, as follows. President: Mohammed Valli Moosa (South Africa). Treasurer: Sven Sandström (Sweden). Commission Chairs: Hillary Masundire (Zimbabwe), CEM; Denise Hamú de la Penha (Brazil), CEC; Taghi Farvar (Iran), CEESP; Sheila Abed (Paraguay), CEL; Nikita Lapoukhine (Canada), WCPA; and Holly Dublin (US), SSC. Regional Councillors for Africa: Zohir Sekkal (Algeria), Amina Abdalla (Kenya) and Amadou Ba (Senegal). Regional Councillors for Meso and South America: Cláudio Carrera Maretti (Brazil), Juan Marco Alvarez (El Salvador) and Silvia Sánchez Huamán (Peru). Regional Councillors for North America and the Caribbean: Lynn Holowesko (Bahamas), Huguette Labelle (Canada) and Russell Mittermeier (US). Regional Councillors for South and East Asia: Monthip Tabucanon (Thailand), Nobutoshi Akao (Japan) and Han Xingguo (China). Regional Councillors for West Asia: Javed Jabbar (Pakistan), Ali Darwish (Lebanon) and Talal Al-Azimi (Kuwait). Regional Councillors for Oceania: Christine Milne (Australia), Diana Rosemary Shand (New Zealand) and Lionel Gibson (Fiji). Regional Councillors for East Europe, North and Central Asia: Kalev Sepp (Estonia), Alexey Yablokov (Russian Federation) and Marija Zupancic-Vicar (Slovenia). Regional Councillors for West Europe: Manfred Niekisch (Germany), Alistair Gammell (UK) and Maria Purificació Canals (Spain).

ADOPTION OF MEMBERSHIP DUES: On Wednesday, 24 November, Kakabadse presented and the Congress approved the membership dues for 2006 to 2008 (CGR/3/2004/17).

IUCN PROGRAMME 2005-2008, COMMISSION MANDATES, AND THE FINANCIAL PLAN FOR 2005-2008: Presentation on the Programme development process, including resolutions related to the Programme: On Sunday, 21 November, Angela Cropper, Programme Committee Chair, briefed members on the process of developing the 2005-2008 Programme, noting that this draft Programme is the first that brings the work of the Secretariat and the Commissions together, providing an overarching framework for IUCN’s activities. She said the draft programme was based on: decisions taken at the 2nd World Conservation Congress; a situation analysis; and a review of lessons learned, following which an extensive global consultation process was undertaken. She highlighted that 67 motions tabled at this Congress were programme-related, some of which had financial implications.

Presentation on IUCN Programme 2005-2008: On Monday, 22 November, Wren Green, Congress Programme Committee Deputy Chair, presented the IUCN Programme 2005-2008 (CGR/3/2004/18). He underscored the need to strengthen the environmental pillar of sustainable development, and called for a new paradigm for sustainability that recognizes the dependence of economy and society on the environment. He discussed IUCN’s response to the external reviews, described the structure of the Programme and outlined its six key result areas. Responding to the presentation, members addressed a range of issues, including: financial implications of the Programme; the capacity of the Secretariat to deal with the increased focus on social aspects; and strengthening of regional presence.

Report on the finances of IUCN in the intersessional period 2000-2003: On Wednesday, 24 November, Claes de Dardel, IUCN Treasurer, presented the report on IUCN’s finances in the intersessional period 2000-2003 (CGR/3/2004/20). He underlined IUCN’s managerial and administrative achievements in accounting, budgeting and forecasting; the creation of an internal audit system; liquidity and investment management; risk management; and the creation of a position of in-house legal counsel. He highlighted an increase in the Secretariat Contingency Fund for 2003 and in closing said he has left IUCN a financially-sound organization. The Congress approved the audited Financial Statement for the years 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 (CGR/3/2004/20 Annex 1-4).

Presentation on the Financial Plan for the new intersessional period 2005-2008: On Wednesday, 24 November, Achim Steiner presented the financial plan for the new intersessional period (CGR/3/2004/21), highlighting forecasts of a 5% annual increase in net income. He informed members that expenditure is estimated to grow from CHF103 million in 2004 to CHF126 million in 2008. He said investment in IUCN’s 2005-2008 Programme will focus on strengthening the programme framework of knowledge management, capacity building, and effective environmental governance, which provides the basis for the Programme’s six “Key Result Areas” of: understanding biodiversity; social equity; conservation incentives and finance; international agreements, processes and institutions for conservation; ecosystems and sustainable livelihoods; and programme delivery. He also emphasized investment in innovation and integration.

Adoption of Programme, Commission Mandates and Financial Plan: On Thursday, 25 November, Wren Green presented the report of the Programme Committee (CGR/3/2004/CRP08), informing members of a number of Committee recommendations. On adjustment of procedures for formulating the Programme and Commission mandates, he said motions should focus on setting general policy and strategic directions rather than providing a prescriptive set of actions, and noted that the Congress duration will have to be lengthened if the number of motions increases. On activities to be undertaken, he suggested that the Council undertake an assessment of priorities concerning the adopted programme-related resolutions. On adjustments to the process of reviewing and adopting the Programme and motions at the next Congress, he recommended combining the Resolutions and Programme Committees in order to streamline the motions process. He further underscored the need for members to make more effective use of the consultation process.

Sweden’s Ministry of the Environment, supported by Norway’s Ministry of Environment, suggested that the Council consider, in consultation with the Secretariat, ways to streamline the motions process, particularly concerning motions that relate solely to local or regional measures, noting that it had abstained from voting on all such motions where it lacked information and knowledge to assess the proposed motion.

On the Commission mandates, IISD noted the need to ensure that the mandates are open for comment by IUCN members, and urged that members be engaged in a full and open review and debate of the Commission mandates during the development of the next quadrennial Programme and at the next Congress. Noting that the economic and social aspects of conservation are broad and complex, IISD also underscored the need for IUCN to be receptive to a range of mechanisms to mobilize knowledge. He said this would require a “particular effort and spirit of innovation” on the part of the Secretariat and the employment of knowledge networks that will open channels through which economic and social perspectives can be integrated into all components of the Union.

On the increase in the number of motions to be considered, the Royal Geographical Society said this has been a recurring issue. He noted that the motions process is an opportunity for members to interact, and that adoption indicates achievement for the sponsors. He underscored the need to provide members with opportunities for greater involvement in Programme development to reduce the number of motions. Finland’s Ministry of the Environment stressed the need for coherence and prioritization and supported the decision to confer to the Council the responsibility of prioritizing the programme-related resolutions. Concerning the number of motions tabled, she urged a new mechanism for the motions process or criteria for the selection of motions prior to the next Congress.

The Congress considered and approved the IUCN Programme 2005-2008 (CGR/3/2004/18); the Commission mandates (CGR/3/2004/19); and the Financial Plan for 2005-2008 (CGR/3/2004/21).

APPOINTMENT OF EXTERNAL AUDITORS: On Wednesday, 24 November, the Congress considered the appointment of external auditors (CGR/3/2004/22). Yolanda Kakabadse noted that the Council had extended the contract of Deloitte and Touche to cover the audit of the 2003-2004 accounts. The Congress approved the appointment of Deloitte and Touche as external auditors for the 2005-2008 quadrennium.

CONSIDERATION OF AMENDMENTS TO THE STATUTES AND RULES OF PROCEDURE: On Sunday, 21 November, Lynn Holowesko, Chair of the Council’s Task Force on Governance, provided an overview of the Council’s recommendations on governance reform, focusing on core recommendations concerning the: World Conservation Congress’ cycle, themes, format and resolutions process; Council’s structure, size, functioning and accountability; Commissions’ positions within the IUCN programme, reporting and accountability; and regional governance mechanisms, roles and functions.

On Wednesday, 23 November, Juan Mayr, Governance Committee Chair, presented the Report of the Governance Committee (CGR/3/2004/CRP07). He informed members that the Committee had focused its work on two fronts during this Congress: consulting members and the Congress on the content and purpose of the governance reforms as contained in the annexes to the Report of the IUCN Council on Governance Reforms and Proposed Amendments to the Statutes and Rules of Procedure (CGR/3/2004/23); and providing advice to the Resolutions Committee on the governance-related motions. He also reported on the public consultation held with members during the Congress concerning the proposed governance reforms and said that, based on the outcomes of the consultation, the Committee had revised the annexes (CGR/3/2004/23-REV1).

Kakabadse requested Congress to take note of the Council Report, and to vote on the proposed amendments outlined in the revised annexes (CGR/3/2004/23-REV1), which were approved.

CONSIDERATION OF DRAFT RESOLUTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: On Monday, 22 November, Pierre Hunkeler, Resolutions Working Group Chair, presented the 114 draft resolutions and recommendations to the Congress. Consideration of motions, which took place in plenary and contact groups, began on Monday, 22 November, and concluded on Thursday, 25 November. The following section summarizes the outcome and key decisions of the motions. Motions for both resolutions and recommendations are approved by a simple majority of votes cast in each of the two categories of members: Category A comprising state members and government agencies; and Category B comprising international and national NGOs.

Approved governance-related resolutions: The following governance-related resolutions were voted on and approved by the Congress:

Precedence clause - establishing precedence in regard to IUCN general policy (RES001): In the resolution, the Congress agrees that in those cases where resolutions or recommendations are clearly inconsistent on an issue, the most recent resolution or recommendation be accepted as providing the basis for interpretation of IUCN policy on the matter.

Improving the transparency of the IUCN Council (RES002-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress recognizes the importance of transparency of the Council’s deliberations and decisions, and calls upon the Council to establish firm procedures to improve transparency. The Congress also requests the Council to consider the possibility of practical and equitable access to Council meetings by IUCN members.

Endorsement of the Earth Charter (RES003-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress endorses the Earth Charter as an inspirational expression of civil society’s vision for building a just, sustainable and peaceful world. The Congress also recommends that the Earth Charter be used by IUCN to help advance education and dialogue on global interdependence, shared values, and ethical principles for sustainable ways of living.

The engagement of IUCN with local and regional government authorities (RES004-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress calls upon the Council to examine and report to members on methods of engagement by IUCN with local and regional government authorities.

Fulfilling the right to optional use of the official languages in the internal and external communication documents of IUCN and its members (RES006-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress recommends that IUCN members ensure the fulfillment of the right to optional use of any of the official languages at international meetings of IUCN, and urges members to issue their documentation, in so far as is possible, in the three official languages of IUCN - French, English and Spanish.

Implementation of an IUCN programme for the Insular Caribbean (RES007-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to promote a greater strengthening of IUCN’s presence in the Insular Caribbean, through regional implementation of relevant components of the IUCN Programme 2005-2008, and to assist in the formation of an IUCN subregional Committee.

Approved policy-related resolutions: The following policy-related resolutions were voted on and approved by the Congress:

The Mediterranean Mountain Partnership (RES008-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress calls on national, regional and local institutions to promote national, and where appropriate, transnational plans of action, for each of the major mountain ranges of the Mediterranean for the conservation and valorization of their richness in biological, landscape and cultural diversity. The Congress requests that the action plans provide for an important role for protected areas institutions in enacting actions and policies toward the sustainable development of the environmental and territorial systems in which they are located.

Ratification and implementation of the revised African Convention (RES009-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress urges African States, as far as they have not yet done so, to sign and ratify the revised African Convention in order to bring it into force as early as possible. The Congress also requests the Director General to assist the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union to take all necessary measures to raise awareness and understanding of the revised Convention to facilitate its implementation.

Protecting the earth’s waters for public and ecological benefit (RES010-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress calls on the Director General and the government and NGO members of IUCN to promote actions consistent with the following principles: all water resources, including the oceans, must be protected as a public trust so that commercial use of water does not diminish their public or ecological benefits; access to clean, sufficient and affordable drinking water is necessary for human health and survival; all members of society should be afforded the opportunity for meaningful participation in decisions about the conservation, protection, distribution, use and management of water in their communities, localities and regions; an ecosystem approach to water resources management must be central to national and transboundary governance structures related to water resource management; and governments should ensure that multilateral, regional or bilateral trade and investment agreements preserve the ability of governments to protect water for people and nature.

A moratorium on the further release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) (RES011-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress calls for a moratorium on further releases of GMOs until it can be demonstrated to be safe for biodiversity, human and animal health beyond reasonable doubt. The Congress requests IUCN to promote information and communication on GMOs, especially in developing countries and to support initiatives to ratify and implement the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. The Congress also urges the Director General to compile and disseminate a report on the current knowledge of the dispersal and impacts of GMOs on biodiversity and human health.

Management of large terrestrial herbivores in Southern Africa (RES012-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress recommends that agencies in Southern Africa responsible for managing ecosystems, particularly protected areas managed for biodiversity, should consider ecological solutions, and where necessary determine whether population control of large terrestrial herbivores may be warranted. The Congress also recommends that agencies responsible for managing ecosystems take steps to increase public awareness of the potential adverse impacts of certain populations of large herbivores, and urges all involved in population control, where population control is deemed necessary, to take precautions to minimize stress and suffering to animals.

HIV/AIDS pandemic and conservation (RES013-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress recommends that the conservation community in collaboration with other sectors take actions that promote HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, and develop HIV/AIDS policies and procedures. The Congress also requests the Director General to work with IUCN members to, inter alia, play a leadership role in highlighting the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on biodiversity and natural resources.

The Harold Jefferson Coolidge Medal (RES014): In the resolution, the Congress decides to establish the Harold Jefferson Coolidge Medal to be conferred upon individuals for outstanding contributions to conservation of nature and natural resources, and requests the Council to establish the criteria for nomination and selection of individuals to be awarded this medal. The Congress further decides that the first Harold Jefferson Coolidge Medal should be conferred at the 4th IUCN World Conservation Congress.

Approved programme-related resolutions: The following programme-related resolutions were voted on and approved by the Congress:

Providing support for IUCN’s Status in the United Nations (RES015-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress, inter alia, calls upon the Director General to further identify external funding sources to run the IUCN Observer Mission in New York.

Horizontal evaluation of international conventions, treaties and agreements on the environment (RES016-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to: suggest to the UN Secretary-General that a horizontal, objective evaluation be launched into the application of international conventions, treaties and agreements on the environment; and launch, in conjunction with the UN, a study on the general state of progress made in the transposition of international environmental conventions.

Drafting a charter of ethics for biodiversity conservation (RES017-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress calls on the Director General to instruct the CEL’s ethics specialist group to hold discussions to draft a code of ethics for the conservation of biodiversity. The Congress also recommends that IUCN consider reinforcing its activities with States in order to promote the adoption of national codes of ethics offering each and every person rights and duties for the respect of the diversity of life on earth.

International Covenant on Environment and Development (RES018-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to use the principles contained within the Draft Covenant as a source of guidance for the legal and policy advice of IUCN and its components. The Congress also calls on the Director General to ensure that the CEL continues to serve as a custodian of the Draft Covenant and ensure that its text will be revised at necessary intervals to reflect important developments in international law pertaining to sustainable development and environmental conservation. The Congress strongly recommends that the Draft Covenant be used as guidance for negotiations on multilateral treaties, as well as for the drafting of national legislation and policy directives.

Education and communication in the IUCN programme (RES019): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to launch regional programmes to support the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development, and to incorporate specific activities and goals on education and communication in the IUCN Programme 2005-2008.

Policy on capacity building and technology transfer (RES020-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress recognizes that an action plan for capacity development must be based on further development and/or improvement of existing structures and mechanisms, and calls upon the agencies, institutions and countries with the greatest financial capacity to provide funding where it is required to ensure delivery. The Congress also calls upon the Director General to develop a strategic action plan to provide a more coherent and coordinated approach to capacity development.

Capacity building of Young Professionals (RES021): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to establish a Young Professional Programme within IUCN and a coordinating mechanism to assist member organizations in developing programmes for Young Professionals.

Capacity building in applied and demand-driven taxonomy (RES022): In the resolution, the Congress endorses IUCN’s contributions to taxonomic capacity building, including its involvement since 2002 in member and partner-driven initiatives in support of the Global Taxonomy Initiative, and requests the Director General to continue supporting IUCN’s involvement in promoting and delivering taxonomic capacity building, especially where this supports the implementation of MEAs.

Cherishing volunteers (RES023): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General, in consultation with Commission Chairs, to design and implement a “Volunteer Initiative” that will, inter alia, add value to IUCN’s mission and intersessional programme, and integrate the expertise and commitment of volunteers more effectively into its operational structures.

Volunteer translators and interpreters to serve IUCN (RES024): In the resolution, the Congress, inter alia, requests the Director General to conduct a survey of IUCN members, affiliates, Commissions, other organs and supporters to identify individuals and organizations prepared to provide voluntary translation or interpretation services and to identify areas of need for such services.

Establishment of the World Conservation Learning Network (RES026-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General and the CEC to facilitate the establishment of a network of universities and training institutes with the aim of working with IUCN to expand access to programmes for professional development that integrate the problems of conservation and sustainable development. The Congress also requests the Director General and the CEC Chair to develop the goals, functions, structure and legal form of the World Conservation Learning Network for consideration by the Council.

Strengthening the action of the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (RES027-Rev2): In the resolution, the Congress, inter alia, reaffirms that the primary function of the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation remains the support and promotion of activities of the Mediterranean members of IUCN, including cooperation with other organizations. The Congress also recommends that the Centre devote attention to: transboundary protected areas; global climate change effects in the Mediterranean and its water resource management implications; and marine governance issues, both in territorial and extra-territorial waters.

Aral Sea Basin as the hotspot for biodiversity conservation (RES028): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General, members and Commissions to launch a campaign to save the biodiversity of this threatened region. The Congress also urges Central Asian States to conserve the biodiversity of the region by: ensuring the limitation of intensive agriculture and irrigation; preserving all remaining natural wild ecosystems along the two main Central Asian rivers - Amu Darya and Syr Darya; preparing independent environmental impact assessments of the economic and ecological consequences of irrigation; and continuing programmes on biodiversity rehabilitation and restoration in the Aral Sea Basin.

Antarctica and the Southern Ocean (RES029-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress urges all Parties to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty and the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) to: develop a comprehensive network of protected areas; and provide comprehensive protection of the whole of the Ross Sea using a combination of Antarctic Specially Managed Areas and Antarctic Specially Protected Areas. The Congress also encourages all Parties to the Antarctic Treaty to develop and establish a comprehensive Antarctic tourism management regime. The Congress further encourages Parties to the Antarctic Treaty and CCAMLR to examine and resolve the legal and environmental issues surrounding bioprospecting.

Arctic legal regime for environmental protection (RES030-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to continue to cooperate with various groups and programmes under the Arctic Council.

Conservation and sustainable development of mountain regions (RES031): In the resolution, the Congress urges the Director General to recognize the importance of IUCN’s activities in mountain regions in contributing to the IUCN Programme by considering, inter alia, the expansion of the Mountain Initiative Task Force and ensuring that IUCN engages in the International Partnership for Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions and the CBD’s Work Programme on Mountain Biological Diversity.

Protection of the Macal River Valley in Belize (RES032-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress calls on the Government of Belize to create an independent commission of national and international experts, including ones identified by local communities to, inter alia: report on the potential benefits of the project as well as the impacts on public safety, water quality, wildlife populations, and on the Meso-American Biological Corridor. The Congress also requests the Director General to provide technical and scientific support for the proposed commission to assist in determining the project’s impacts.

Biodiversity in Southern Sudan (RES033): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to assess the impacts of the war on the natural resources of Southern Sudan with an emphasis on special habitats and protected areas, and develop a conservation strategy for Southern Sudan.

Resource-based conflicts in Darfur, Sudan (RES034-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to: develop a conservation strategy for the Darfur region; contribute to the design of a land use plan for Darfur; and assist in the development of management plans for the Jebel Mara, Radom National Park and Wadi Howar National Park that will incorporate sustainable development as well as biodiversity conservation.

Durban Action Plan and CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas (RES035-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to ensure that IUCN-led actions in the Durban Action Plan incorporated into relevant components of the IUCN Programme 2005-2008 are undertaken in a timely and effective way. The Congress also decides that active support for the CBD Work Programme on Protected Areas be made a programmatic priority for all relevant IUCN component programmes, including at the national and regional levels.

IUCN Guidelines for protected areas management categories (RES036-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General, the WCPA and other Commissions to, inter alia: undertake a review and update of the 1994 IUCN Guidelines on protected area management categories, including how they can be used in marine areas; and work with governments in the application and use of the IUCN protected area management category system.

Community Conserved Areas (RES037-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress recognizes and affirms the conservation significance of Community Conserved Areas (CCAs) and the role of indigenous peoples and local communities in managing such sites. The Congress urges IUCN to provide leadership and supportive roles in the local, national, and international recognition of CCAs through, inter alia: providing guidance and case materials to members, countries and communities; and facilitating self-monitoring and evaluation of CCAs by relevant communities and participatory monitoring and evaluation by outside agencies.

Integrating protected area systems into the wider landscape (RES038): In the resolution, the Congress urges IUCN, in accordance with the CBD Programme of Work on Protected Areas, to actively support the development of appropriate measures to integrate regional, national and subnational systems of protected areas into broader land- and seascapes. The Congress also encourages IUCN to promote the application of the ecosystem approach and support involvement of all relevant sectors and local and indigenous communities, NGOs and private enterprises in the management of protected areas, ecological networks, buffer zones, corridors and areas that are the focus of ecological restoration.

Freshwater protected areas (RES039-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress recommends that all States establish protected areas representative of all freshwater ecosystems in cooperation with local communities and resource users to safeguard biodiversity of these ecosystems, and to set targets for their protection. The Congress also recommends that the WCPA develop guidance on the application of the IUCN Guidelines for Protected Area Management Categories in freshwater environment.

Threats from Olympic Games and other major sporting events to protected areas and biodiversity (RES040-Rev2): In the resolution, the Congress calls on the Director General to offer IUCN’s assistance to help identify information and sources of expertise that could be used by international sports organizations to ensure the integrity of protected areas. The Congress also recommends that the International Olympic Committee and other relevant international sport federations, inter alia: respect the integrity of protected areas and other areas of recognized natural or cultural importance as a requirement when selecting the location for sporting events; and ensure that host and proposing nations do not offer Red List Threatened Species for sale, consumption or as gifts at events or functions.

Adapting to climate change: a framework for conservation action (RES042-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to establish a working group that, inter alia, develops guidance on conservation practice in relation to climate change and gathers information on existing adaptation strategies; and calls upon IUCN members to adjust their conservation programmes in light of observed and projected impacts of climate change.

Military activities and the production, stockpiling and use of weapons that are of detriment to the environment (RES043-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to ensure that higher priority is given within the IUCN Programme to developing practical proposals for introducing appropriate legal measures regarding environment and warfare, particularly proposing negotiations on the basis of the IUCN Draft Convention on the Prohibition of Hostile Military Activities in Protected Areas.

IUCN’s energy-related work related to biodiversity conservation (RES044-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress calls on IUCN to provide leadership in advancing ecologically-sound energy systems for sustainable development; and requests the Director General to, inter alia, develop a plan of action on ecologically-sound energy systems.

Influencing private sector actions in favor of biodiversity (RES046-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress asks the Director General to submit to the Council a workplan for a limited number of pilot initiatives with the private sector before the end of 2005, and urges the Council to explore and adopt principles, guidelines and mechanisms for engaging with the private sector.

IUCN’s interaction with the private sector (RES047-Rev3): In the resolution, the Congress calls on the Director General to initiate an open and participatory process to strengthen the principles of engagement and develop guidelines to guide further dialogues, partnership agreements and other interactions with the private sector; and requests the Director General to prepare an annual report on the implementation of the Strategy for Enhancing IUCN’s Interaction with the Private Sector.

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (RES048): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to proactively disseminate the findings of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment to the members when they are released. The Congress also requests IUCN to take an active role, in cooperation with other international organizations, to promote the emergence of stable mechanisms at multiple scales to carry out ongoing assessments of ecosystems and their links with human well-being.

Cities and conservation (RES049): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General, in consultation with the Commissions and IUCN members to, inter alia: systematically review the 2005-2008 Programme to identify opportunities for strengthening existing and planned themes, component programmes, and projects by incorporating an urban component in them; and consider how the urban dimension of conservation can best be represented within IUCN’s structure.

A landscape/seascape approach to conservation (RES050): In the resolution, the Congress calls upon IUCN members, national and regional governments and civil society to develop innovative governance systems and strategic programmes fostering the integration of protected areas in their landscapes/seascapes, and to promote the conservation of both biological and cultural diversity. The Congress also urges IUCN to play a much more active role in assisting members to draw the full benefits of the landscape/seascape approach by: clarifying and articulating what the landscape/seascape approach entails; adopting a formal statement about the landscape/seascape approach; and advocating the approach in national and international policies.

The protection of seamounts, deep sea corals and other vulnerable deep sea habitats from destructive fishing practices, including bottom trawling, on the high seas (RES51-Rev2): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to call upon: the UN General Assembly at its 60th session to urgently adopt a resolution calling for an interim prohibition on high seas bottom trawling in areas not covered by regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) and other management arrangements; and the UN General Assembly at its 61st session to adopt a resolution calling for the elimination of destructive fishing practices and for an interim prohibition on high seas bottom trawling in areas covered by RFMOs and other management arrangements. The Congress also calls on the Director General to assist in the organization of an oceans summit at an appropriate time.

Status of floating atomic stations in the world’s oceans (RES052-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress urges the Russian Federation to renounce all plans to construct floating atomic stations, and all States to refrain from considering the use of floating atomic stations from any country, including the purchase of power. The Congress also requests the Director General to draw this resolution to the attention of the Russian Federation and relevant intergovernmental organizations.

Undersea noise pollution (RES053-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress, inter alia: requests the Director General, with the assistance of IUCN members, Commissions and Council, to identify and implement measures to promote among governments the reduction of anthropogenic ocean noise, and to support and conduct further research into the effects and mitigation of anthropogenic ocean noise. The Congress also urges member governments that are members of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and Parties to MARPOL and other relevant instruments and bodies, to develop mechanisms for the control of undersea noise.

Environmental protection of the Mediterranean Sea from the risk of maritime traffic (RES054-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to, inter alia, assess threats to Mediterranean biodiversity from maritime traffic and to raise issues related to the environmental protection of the Mediterranean Sea from maritime traffic in relevant international fora, including the IMO and the UN General Assembly.

International cooperation on forest management (RES055-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to, inter alia, ensure IUCN’s continued participation and active role at regular meetings of the UN Forum on Forests and the International Tropical Timber Organization.

Transboundary cooperation in mountain areas (RES056): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to apply for observer status with the Carpathian Convention and to assist its Secretariat and Parties in the further development and successful implementation of this Framework Convention, and to initiate a study to identify legal frameworks for transboundary cooperation on sustainable development in mountain areas.

Conservation and sustainable management of high seas biodiversity (RES057-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress calls upon the Director General and IUCN members to facilitate States and relevant international organizations to, inter alia: become Parties to international conventions and organizations related to oceans and/or fisheries; consider the development and adoption of new international instruments within the framework of UNCLOS for the effective governance, protection, restoration and sustainable management of marine biological diversity and productivity in the high seas; and take immediate action to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Legal aspects of the sustainable use of soils (RES058-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to, inter alia: work with members to prepare outlines on the various options for a global legal instrument for the sustainable use of soils; and prepare further legal guidelines and explanatory material on the ecological needs of soil.

Conservation of medicinal plants (RES059-annotated): In the resolution, the Congress supports the revision of the 1993 Guidelines on the Conservation of Medicinal Plants, and requests the Director General and SSC to provide technical and scientific assistance to this process.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and biodiversity (RES061-Rev1-annotated): In the resolution, the Congress calls upon the Director General to undertake substantive work to develop credible knowledge and information concerning biodiversity, nature conservation and other areas in relation to GMOs and risks associated with GMOs based on the existing IUCN background paper. The Congress also calls upon the Council to develop a plan of action to guide members on biodiversity and nature conservation in relation to GMOs.

Governance of natural resources for conservation and sustainable development (RES063-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress urges IUCN to serve in a leadership role through: clarifying the nature of governance at different levels and contexts; formulating principles for and approaches to good governance; and adopting a policy statement on and advocating for good governance as a major element in national and international policies.

Poverty relief, food security and conservation (RES064-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress decides that IUCN should put into practice within its Programme and within the framework of its mission and vision, actions that contribute to combating poverty through nature conservation. The Congress also calls upon the Commissions to promote poverty reduction activities that foster sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity conservation.

Conserving nature and reducing poverty by linking human rights and the environment (RES065-Rev2): In the resolution, the Congress decides that IUCN, under the leadership of the Director General, should consider the human rights aspects of poverty and environment in the context of the Union’s overall mission. The Congress also decides to assess the implications of the use of human rights-related legal resources and actions to protect the environment and the rights of those who defend it.

On the role of conservation organizations in poverty alleviation and development (RES066-Rev3): In the resolution, the Congress urges IUCN members to understand that the poorest populations on earth depend on continued natural resource conservation, and that the failure of conservation will burden the poorest irremediably. The Congress also urges the Secretariat, in its work to build partnerships with development agencies and other key actors, to reaffirm IUCN’s core conservation mission and values, recognizing that poverty reduction is often closely linked to this goal.

Promoting food sovereignty to conserve biodiversity and end hunger (RES067-Rev1-annotated): In the resolution, the Congress urges the Director General, the Commissions and all members to give due consideration to policies in support of food sovereignty, as they relate to achieving IUCN’s mission and vision, and to their application in all stages of biodiversity conservation, natural resource management and poverty eradication. The Congress also calls upon CEESP to spearhead initiates on food sovereignty by, inter alia, enhancing and articulating the understanding of the relationship between food sovereignty and the IUCN vision.

Mobile indigenous peoples and conservation (RES068-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress, inter alia, requests the Director General and the Commissions to incorporate in the implementation of the IUCN Programme and relevant Commission mandates due recognition of mobile and uncontacted peoples and their needs and capacity to conserve biodiversity.

Conservation in war-torn regions of West Asia - strengthening IUCN’s presence to protect the natural and human environment (RES069-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to strengthen the influence and activities of the Union in war-torn West Asia, through, inter alia, arranging a comprehensive and participatory assessment of the environmental impacts of violent conflicts in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.

Establishing gender equity as a mandate in the strategic activities and themes of IUCN (RES071): In the resolution, the Congress requests, inter alia, the Director General and the various Commissions to promote actions to ensure that gender equity is explicitly included as an imperative in the programmes, initiatives and projects carried out by IUCN.

Illegal and unsustainable international trade in wildlife in the ASEAN and Mekong River riparian States (RES072): In the resolution, the Congress advocates an immediate and collective international effort to identify and implement the most appropriate solutions to control the illegal international trade in wildlife and wildlife products throughout ASEAN and the Mekong River riparian states. The Congress also urges governments of all affected nations to recognize the increasing and devastating impact of the illegal international wildlife trade on critical biodiversity, natural patrimony and natural resources.

Implementing the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines for the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity (RES073): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General to: ensure that the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines, as well as the Amman Policy Statement, are appropriately reflected in all IUCN policies and programmes; and promote initiatives that enable relevant components of the Union to work together to develop tools for the implementation of sustainable use principles in practice.

The uses of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (RES074): In the resolution, the Congress addresses the use of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in relation to supporting national legislation, international conventions, conservation planning and priority setting, and scientific research. On national legislation, the Congress, inter alia, calls on governments to make use of the IUCN Red List when considering species to be afforded special conservation measures. On international conventions, the Congress emphasizes that the IUCN Red List forms a useful basis for identifying species for consideration to be listed in the CITES and CMS Appendices. On conservation planning and priority setting, the Congress encourages IUCN members and others to make use of the IUCN Red List to assist in conservation planning, especially site-based approaches implemented at the national level. The Congress also requests the SSC to convene a worldwide consultative process to agree on a methodology to enable countries to identify Key Biodiversity Areas. On scientific research, the Congress requests the SSC to develop technical guidance for IUCN members and others on precautions to be taken for species listed in particular Categories.

Urgent measures to secure the survival of the critically endangered Western Gray Whales (Eschrichtius robustus) (RES076-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General, with the assistance of IUCN members, Commissions and the Council to promote the protection of the Western Gray Whales throughout their range, particularly on their feeding ground off Sakhalin Island. The Congress also expresses caution that any additional negative impact on the Whales could lead to their extinction, and urges all range state governments to immediately develop and implement their own national action plans for the conservation of the Whales and their habitat.

Sturgeon (Acipenseriformes) conservation within the Caspian, and Azov and Black Sea Basins (RES077-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress requests the Director General, the Commissions and the Council to promote the conservation and sustainable use of Sturgeon throughout its range. The Congress also calls on the littoral State governments surrounding the Caspian and Azov and Black Sea Basins to prioritize the recovery of natural Sturgeon populations.

Conservation of Gyps species of Vultures in South and Southeast Asia (RES078): In the resolution, the Congress calls on Gyps Vulture range states to begin action immediately to prevent all uses of Diclofenac in veterinary applications that allow Diclofenac to be present in carcasses of domestic livestock available as food for Vultures. The Congress calls for the establishment of an IUCN South Asian Vulture Task Force to review, update and facilitate implementation of the recommendations of the South Asian Vulture Recovery Plan. The Congress also requests Gyps Vulture range states to develop and implement national Vulture recovery plans, including conservation breeding and release.

Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna Rivers Commission (RES079): In the resolution, the Congress urges the Director General, in consultation with the Commissions and members, to promote basin-wide river management and regional cooperation in all international river basins, and to help the process of setting up a Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna Rivers Commission.

The Haitian environmental crisis (RES080): In the resolution, the Congress proposes that the Director General, Members, Commissions and partners promote greater understanding of the environmental condition in Haiti in order to undertake immediate and substantial efforts at environmental remediation.

Indigenous Peoples, Protected Areas and the CBD Programme of Work (RES081): In the resolution, the Congress, inter alia, calls upon the Director General, the Secretariat, the WCPA and members to take urgent and substantive actions at the international, national and local levels to promote the effective implementation of Output 5 of the Durban Action Plan and Durban Recommendations 5.13, 5.24, and 5.26.

Indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation and conservation of nature in the Amazon and Chaco regions (RES082-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress, inter alia, requests the Director General, Secretariat, technical programme, Commissions and Members to promote the necessary coordination with governments of the Amazon and Chaco regions, in order to develop and implement proposals aimed at protecting the lands and territories of indigenous groups living in voluntary isolation.

Protection of the first Ramsar Site of Chile threatened by a cellulose factory (RES083-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress requests CEL, WCAP and CEM to lend support to the steps being taken by the IUCN Committee for Chile to preserve and conserve the endangered wetland. The Congress also petitions the Director General to express his concerns about the situation to the Chilean authorities and recommends strengthening necessary measures for protecting these wetlands.

Vote of thanks to the host country (RES084): In the resolution, the Congress expresses thanks to Queen Sirikit, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Minister Suwit, and the Royal Thai Government Organizing Committee for their generous support, hospitality and participation in the Congress. The Congress also declared the 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress to have been a successful and memorable event.

Approved policy-related recommendations: The following policy-related recommendations were voted on and approved by the Congress:

Implementation of Principle 10 by building comprehensive good governance systems (REC001): In the recommendation, the Congress, inter alia, calls upon civil society organizations to assess the status of implementation of Principle 10 at the national and subnational levels, determining the gaps in access to information, public participation and access to justice. The Congress also encourages national governments to join the Partnership for Principle 10, and make concrete, time-bound, measurable and additional commitments to close the gaps in access rights, and asks national governments to build public participation systems that integrate social and environmental concerns into economic decisions, preventing environmental degradation.

The Extractive Industries Review (REC002): In the recommendation, the Congress calls on the World Bank to implement several recommendations from the World Bank’s Extractive Industries Review, including: establish IUCN I-IV protected areas as “no go” zones for extractive industry development; revise the International Finance Corporation’s Critical Natural Habitats Safeguard Policy to include IUCN I-IV protected areas as part of a minimum set of “no go” zones; pay special attention to ensure that the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands, territories and resources are respected when choosing and designing an off-set area; and agree to respect the right of free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples and local communities affected by extractive industry development. The Congress also calls on other international financial institutions, including Export Credit Agencies, to support and implement the Extractive Industries Review through adoption of these recommendations; and requests the Director General to show support for these recommendations in a letter to the President of the World Bank.

Improving capacity to achieve sustainable development and address consequences of globalization (REC004-Rev1): In the recommendation, the Congress calls on all States and appropriate international organizations to, inter alia, assist developing countries in analyzing and articulating their needs for assistance and capacity building to address the challenges of sustainable development.

Humane trapping standards (REC005): In the recommendation, the Congress urges IUCN members, particularly governments, to study the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards, especially its annex on humane trapping standards, as well as the International Organization for Standardization’s trap testing standards, with a view to using them as models for the development of standards appropriate for the trapping system and practices used in their countries.

Conservation and sustainable use of seals (REC006-Rev1): In this recommendation, the Congress urges IUCN members who are Parties to the CBD to honor the commitments made at SBSTTA and COP-7 to apply the Addis Ababa Principles and Guidelines on Sustainable Use of Biodiversity. The Congress also urges IUCN members to put their sustainable use principles into action by not introducing new legislation that bans the importation and commercialization of seal products from abundant seal populations.

Application of the IUCN Sustainable Use Policy to sustainable consumptive utilization of wildlife and recreational hunting in Southern Africa (REC007-Rev1): In the recommendation, the Congress supports the philosophy and practice that on state, communal and privately-owned land in Southern Africa, the sustainable and well-managed consumptive use of wildlife makes a contribution to biodiversity conservation. The Congress accepts that well-managed recreational hunting has a role in the managed sustainable consumptive use of wildlife populations and condemns the killing of enclosed or free-ranging animals.

Applying the Precautionary Principle in environmental decision making and management (REC008-Rev1): In the recommendation, the Congress calls on IUCN members, their representative bodies, Commissions and the Secretariat to promote and develop tools for the appropriate and effective application of the Precautionary Principle in all areas and at all levels of environmental decision-making for conservation and sustainable development. The Congress also calls on IUCN to establish an Inter-Commissional Working Group on the Precautionary Principle.

Education for sustainable development (REC009): In the recommendation, the Congress declares its support for the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development 2005-2014. The Congress, inter alia: invites all members to consider how to integrate and resource education for sustainable development in their work and to contribute to the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development; encourages members to support the integration of sustainable development education in basic education in pursuit of the MDGs; and requests the CEC and Director General to present to the Council a draft policy on Education for Sustainable Development before the 4th World Conservation Congress.

Coordination of sustainable development programmes for energy (REC010): In the recommendation, the Congress recommends that its government members take action to implement the recommendations of the ninth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development by authorizing the UN Secretary-General to designate a senior coordinator for energy to, inter alia, promote the integration of the diverse energy programmes of the UN system. The Congress also requests the Director General to convey this resolution to IUCN State members and the President of the UN General Assembly with the request that they consider including an item on coordinating energy for sustainable development in the General Assembly’s 2005 agenda.

Support for amendment to Basel Convention restricting transboundary shipment of hazardous waste (REC011): In the recommendation, the Congress calls upon: all States that have not yet ratified the Basel Ban Amendment to take immediate steps to ratify the amendment; and all IUCN members to approach appropriate parliamentarians and officials to have the matter of this ratification placed upon the political agenda of their respective countries with urgency.

Protected areas in the Mediterranean (REC012): In the recommendation, the Congress requests all Mediterranean countries and IUCN to: coordinate their actions aiming at promoting strategic plans for conservation of the most significant environmental systems in the Mediterranean; and increase cooperation among States and organizations for establishing a protected area system representative of marine and terrestrial ecosystems in the Mediterranean.

Nomination of large-scale multi-state serial World Heritage Routes (REC013-Rev1): In the recommendation, the Congress invites UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to, inter alia, encourage the concept of the World Heritage large scale multi-state serial nominations as a means for implementing the World Heritage Convention and consider providing assistance to relevant State Parties in order for them to prepare World Heritage Site tentative lists and subsequent nominations. The Congress also calls on State Parties along these routes to promote the identification and establishment of protected areas and submit appropriate areas for nomination as World Heritage Sites.

Inclusion of Mont Blanc massif in UNESCO’s World Heritage List (REC014-Rev1): In the recommendation, the Congress invites France, Italy and Switzerland to, inter alia, give favorable consideration to the process leading to the submission of an application for the inclusion of the Mont Blanc Massif in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Consideration of the wetlands corridor in the fluvial littoral, Argentina (REC015): In the recommendation, the Congress, inter alia: recommends to IUCN members that they recognize and support the Initiative of the Wetlands Corridor of the Argentinean Fluvial Littoral; and urges Argentina to give the highest priority to the implementation of conservation, wise use and sustainable management measures related to maintenance of socio-environmental conditions, allowing for the complete functioning of the ecological cycles in the entire Corridor.

European policy and biodiversity in overseas territories (REC016-Rev2): In the recommendation, the Congress invites European Union institutions, France, the Netherlands, the UK and local authorities of the Ultra-Peripheral Regions (UPRs) and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) to, inter alia: recognize and integrate in their policies the global importance of biodiversity in the French UPRs and the OCTs of the three countries concerned; adopt a regime or scheme for the protection and management of important biodiversity areas in UPRs not covered by the European Birds and Habitats directives; and encourage regional cooperation on biodiversity between UPRs and OCTs, including neighboring African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The Congress also calls on the Director General to support the work of relevant IUCN National Committees to promote these proposals with relevant States and EU institutions.

Conservation and sustainable management of high seas biodiversity (REC017-Rev1): In the recommendation, the Congress, inter alia: urges States and relevant organizations to take immediate action to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and ensure that fishing activities are conducted in a manner consistent with State responsibilities for the conservation of living marine resources and the protection of biodiversity under international law, including implementing the FAO International Plan of Action to prevent, deter and eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing. The Congress also urges States to urgently upgrade the mandates of RFMOs and other fisheries management arrangements to conform to the principles set forth in the UN Fish Stocks Agreement, the FAO Code of Conduct and the CBD.

The protection of seamounts, deep sea corals and other vulnerable deep sea habitats from destructive fishing practices, including bottom trawling, on the high seas (REC018-Rev1): In the recommendation, the Congress, inter alia: calls upon the UN General Assembly at its 60th Session, for areas not covered by RFMOs and/or other management arrangements with the legal competence to manage bottom fisheries, to urgently adopt a resolution calling for an interim prohibition on high seas bottom trawling, until such time as a legally binding regime is developed and adopted to conserve and protect high seas biodiversity from the impacts of destructive fishing practices, including bottom trawling. The Congress also calls on the UN General Assembly at its 61st Session to adopt a resolution calling for the elimination of destructive fishing practices, and for an interim prohibition on high seas bottom trawling in areas covered by RFMOs and other management arrangements, until such time as effective conservation and management measures to protect the deep sea environment have been adopted in accordance with international law.

Reef fish spawning aggregations (REC019): In the recommendation, the Congress urges governments to establish sustainable management programmes for sustaining and protecting reef fish and their spawning aggregations, including a range of spatial and seasonal measures that can be adapted to local needs and circumstances. The Congress also requests international and regional fisheries management organizations, as well as NGOs, to take action to promote and facilitate the conservation and management of fish spawning aggregations, including by raising awareness of the long-term ecological, economical and societal values of spawning aggregations.

Strengthening stakeholder participation in fisheries management (REC020-Rev1): In the recommendation, the Congress requests: the various components of IUCN to work more closely with fisheries authorities to ensure that all stakeholders, including fishers, are involved in initiatives and/or actions related to fisheries and oceans management; and IUCN to encourage the involvement of all stakeholders, including fishers, in research to improve the protection of the marine environment. The Congress also calls on IUCN to promote transparency in fisheries management by requesting all fisheries management authorities to engage in full stakeholder consultation and participation.

Advancing boreal forest conservation (REC0021-Rev1): In the recommendation, the Congress urges Canada and the Russian Federation to, inter alia: recognize, preserve and protect ecological processes through which the overall health of boreal forest regions have been sustained, using community-based and ecosystem-based land use planning; create and strengthen partnerships integrating indigenous and non-indigenous ecological knowledge for land management and protection; and ensure future conservation options, by having community and ecosystem land use planning precede the allocation of forestry, oil and gas development, mineral development, hydroelectric development licenses or other industry uses, and new roads.

Conservation of Mediterranean-type ecosystems (REC022): In the recommendation, the Congress calls on political leaders, governments at all levels, citizens and the private sector to, inter alia: expand and improve systems of protected areas to safeguard and restore natural areas in Mediterranean-type regions in the face of urban sprawl and development. The Congress endorses increased international cooperation on conservation in Mediterranean-type ecosystems, including exchange of information and experience, training, and development of improved policies and tools for management and public education. The Congress also urges governments and appropriate intergovernmental organizations to proclaim a Decade of Action to focus attention on and protect these ecosystems.

Implementation of the European Strategy on Invasive Alien Species (REC023): In the recommendation, the Congress, inter alia, calls on European countries to develop and implement national strategies or action plans based on the European Strategy on Invasive Alien Species, and to increase cooperation in addressing the threats posed by Invasive Alien Species (IAS). The Congress urges governments to foster increased cooperation on IAS issues between environmental and agricultural government agencies at the national and regional levels, as well as foster increased cooperation and consultation between government agencies and all other relevant stakeholders on these matters.

Financial institutions and the World Commission on Dams recommendations (REC024-Rev1): In the resolution, the Congress urges all financial institutions and other developers of dam projects to comprehensively assess all proposed major dam projects, including, but not limited to, in the context of the seven strategic priorities of the World Commission on Dams (WCD). The Congress also urges all financial institutions and other developers not to fund any major dams without first making comprehensive assessments balancing environmental, social and economic needs and confirming that the project respects the WCD strategic priorities.

Addressing the linkages between conservation, human and animal health, and security (REC025-Rev1): In the recommendation, the Congress recommends that world leaders, civil society, and national and global health-related and other scientific institutions, inter alia: support action to better regulate and monitor wildlife trade that threatens not only biodiversity but also animal and human health worldwide; and build capacity within national and global institutions responsible for public and animal health to analyze and address issues at the nexus between human, domestic animal and wildlife health. The Congress also requests that the Director General, in consultation with the Commissions and members, systematically review the IUCN Programme 2005-2008 to identify areas where human health, animal health and biodiversity well-being linkages can be incorporated into IUCN activities to improve conservation outcomes.

Transboundary protected areas in Southeast Asia (REC041-Rev2): In the recommendation, the Congress urges governments in Southeast Asia to recognize the importance of transboundary forest and marine areas for conservation of national ecosystems. The Congress recommends that Southeast Asian governments formulate transboundary conservation strategies in collaboration with the international community for all important shared ecosystems.

Promoting responsible management of water resources in the Greater Mekong Region (REC042-Rev1): In the recommendation, the Congress, recommends that Mekong River States, inter alia: take appropriate action to protect and conserve water for future generations; enhance dialogue and cooperation to adopt an ecosystem approach to the management of water resources; and establish a system of freshwater protected areas within the framework of integrated river basin management. The Congress also recommends that all construction on the mainstream of the Mekong River, such as hydro-electric and irrigation dams, should be based on adequate environmental impact assessments and full sharing of relevant information and understanding among related countries.

Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (REC045-Rev1): In the recommendation, the Congress congratulates the Russian Federation on its ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. The Congress calls upon States that have not yet ratified the Kyoto Protocol to do so as soon as possible. The Congress also appeals to States to develop national action plans on the implementation of the Convention and Protocol taking fully into account biodiversity conservation.

Approved site-related recommendations: The following site-related recommendations were voted on and approved by the Congress:

The Biosphere Reserve of the Chaco and indigenous peoples (REC026): In the recommendation, the Congress, inter alia, expresses its support to the initiative of Paraguay, UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Committee and environmental organizations, in their declaration of part of the Northern Paraguayan Chaco as a Biosphere Reserve, and calls for the relevant actors in Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil to cooperate in the establishment of a Trans Border Biosphere Reserve in the region. The Congress also requests the government and stakeholders involved in the Chaco to assure the effective and complete participation of indigenous peoples in the process of establishing the Biosphere Reserve in the Gran Chaco.

Consolidation of a national system of protected areas in the Dominican Republic (REC027): In the recommendation, the Congress urges pertinent authorities in the Dominican Republic to: ensure the protection and conservation of terrestrial and coastal and marine ecosystems of national, regional and international importance, within the framework of a consolidated national system of protected areas; develop and strengthen a national system of protected areas with the integration of local communities, as a strategy for combating poverty; and ensure that the environmental, economic and cultural services provided by the protected areas are accessible and available for the good of humanity.

Conservation of the Cantabrico-Burgalesa mountain range (REC028): In the recommendation, the Congress urges the governments of the autonomous regions of Castilla-Leon and Cantabria, belonging to the Kingdom of Spain, to declare the whole of the Cantabrico-Burgalesa mountain range a Joint Protected Space to ensure maximum conservation of its biodiversity and ethnographic heritage.

Establishing a marine protected area for Blue Whales (Balaenoptera Musulus) in the Gulf of Corcovado, Chile (REC029): In the recommendation, the Congress encourages the relevant authorities of the Republic of Chile to: ensure the protection of the Blue Whale habitat recently discovered in the Gulf of Corcovado, through the establishment of a marine protected area; and develop and implement a management plan for this marine protected area with the active participation of local communities.

Mitigation of the environmental impacts of the “Plan Puebla Panama” and strengthening of protected areas adjacent to new road sections and other infrastructure works (REC038): In the recommendation, the Congress asks the governments of the Mesoamerican Region, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, and the Central American Commission for Environment and Development to, inter alia, take urgent steps to guarantee that the construction of new roads and large-scale infrastructure works within the framework of the “Plan Puebla Panama” fully include environmental, social and cultural impact mitigation and compensation.

Threats to the Danube Biosphere Reserve (REC039): In the recommendation, the Congress, inter alia, urges the Ukraine to respect and guarantee human rights of Reserve officials and individuals who advocate for the protection of the Reserve.

Great Barrier Reef (REC040): In the recommendation, the Congress congratulates Australia on its recent achievement of significantly increasing protection for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area, and commends it for its global leadership in the protection of this site of universal value.

Impact of roads and other infrastructure through the ecosystems of Darién (REC043): In the recommendation, the Congress urges Panama and Colombia to, inter alia, consider and evaluate the greatest possible number of alternative proposals to achieve the proposed interconnections of power supplies and transportation, including alternatives to the immediate construction of a highway.

Creation and development of conservation corridors in the Gran Chaco Americano (Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay) (REC044): In the recommendation, the Congress acknowledges and supports the initiative of the Corridors of Gran Chaco Americano that promote land-use legislation in the region.

Approved species-related recommendations: The following species-related recommendations were voted on and approved by the Congress:

Conservation of Saiga Antelope (Saiga Tatarica Tatarica) (REC031-Rev1): In the recommendation, the Congress, inter alia, urges all States to strengthen and enforce legislation to conserve the Saiga Antelope, and encourages States, within their respective laws and regulations, to make inventories of existing commercial stocks of Saiga Antelope products and to apply a registration system to these stocks.

Conservation of Dugong (Dugong Dugon), Okinawa Woodpecker (Sapheopipo Noguchii), and Okinawa Rail (Gallirallus Okinawae) in Japan (REC032): In the recommendation, the Congress urges Japan to, inter alia, undertake an environmental impact assessment that considers several alternatives including a zero option for the construction of United States military helipads and roads in the habitat of the Okinawa Woodpecker and Okinawa Rail.

Protection of the Great Indian Bustard (REC033): In the recommendation, the Congress calls on India and Pakistan to take all measures necessary to protect the Great Indian Bustard, including establishment of large sanctuaries/community conservation areas at the landscape level and effectively curtailing poaching.

Shark finning (REC034-Rev1): In the recommendation, the Congress, inter alia, urges States to support the development and the adoption of a new UN General Assembly resolution to ban all shark finning in international waters.

Conservation of the Bandula Barb (Puntius Bandula) in Sri Lanka (REC035): In the recommendation, the Congress invites all IUCN members to promote the conservation of the endemic and critically endangered Bandula Barb (Puntius Bandula) beyond park boundaries in Sri Lanka.

Continued prohibition of Shahtoosh production and trade (REC036-Rev1): In the recommendation, the Congress urges the maintenance of a strict ban on hunting of Pantholops hadgsoni, the sale of its fur, and production of shahtoosh or other products made from the animal. The Congress also calls upon consumer countries to ensure effective enforcement to stop the shahtoosh trade.

Withdrawn or rejected resolutions and recommendations: The following resolutions were withdrawn: Broadening the criteria for membership admission in the NGO category (RES003); Including local IUCN members in the Union delegation at multilateral agreement meetings (RES005); Establishment of the World Conservation Learning Network (RES025); Policy on climate change and adaptation: adapting biodiversity conservation approaches (RES041); Safeguarding the protected areas of the Andean zones against open-pit mining (RES045); Promoting the use of Artemia Persimilis (RES070); and Inclusion of two new categories within the classification of wild flora and fauna species: protected species of commercial value and circumstantially harmful species (RES075).

The recommendation on Conservation needs of the Tiger (Panthera tigris/ Panthera pantheris) (REC030) was withdrawn.

The resolution on the Application of an ecosystem approach to agriculture and biodiversity conservation (RES060-Rev1) was rejected by Congress.

The recommendation on the Endorsement of the Earth Charter (REC03-Rev1) was reformulated as resolution RES003, and the recommendation on Governance of natural resources (RES062) was merged with the resolution on Governance of natural resources for conservation and sustainable development (RES063-Rev1).

IUCN AND THE MEDIA SPECIAL EVENTS

The Reuters-IUCN Environmental Media Award was presented to Tom Knudson on Thursday, 18 November. The Sir Peter Scott Conservation Merit Award was presented to Georgina Mace on Sunday, 21 November, for her contributions to the IUCN Red List. On Thursday, 25 November, the John C. Philips Memorial Medal was bestowed upon Luc Hoffmann for excellence in conservation, the Wolfgang Burhenne Award was presented to Alexander Kiss for CEL service, and Honorary Membership of IUCN was awarded to Adrian Phillips, Marshall Murphree and Yolanda Kakabadse.

CLOSING CEREMONY

On Thursday afternoon, 25 November, President-elect Mohammed Valli Moosa paid tribute to outgoing President Yolanda Kakabadse, acknowledging her leadership and thanking her for leaving behind a “roadworthy” institution. He recognized fellow Presidential candidate Parvez Hassan for his dedication, ideas, professionalism and service to the Union, thanked the outgoing Council and Commission Chairs, and praised Achim Steiner and the Secretariat for their competence and work. Underscoring the importance of strengthening the Union, in particular its Commissions, he highlighted the need to ensure that experts from marginal communities or poorer institutions and countries are given opportunities to engage in the work of the Commissions. He further stressed the need to recruit new members and strengthen regional processes and national committees. Drawing attention to the role of the private sector in environmental degradation and the importance of mainstreaming conservation, he emphasized greater engagement with the private sector, as well as raising public awareness on the Union.

Noting the successful conclusion of the Congress, Minister Suwit said the Kingdom of Thailand has been pleased to host the meeting. He congratulated Mohammed Valli Moosa for his election to the IUCN Presidency and recognized Yolanda Kakabadse for her support and contribution to the conservation agenda. He noted the wide range of issues addressed in the Congress agenda and highlighted the opportunity provided by the High-Level Roundtables, particularly the session on the Mekong Region, in underscoring the benefits of ecosystem services and bringing together senior representatives from the region to address transboundary issues. He expressed his gratitude to the Congress for honoring Queen Sirikit and for providing the opportunity for Thailand’s academics and NGOs to interact with experts from around the world.

In her closing address, Yolanda Kakabadse told participants that she had set the task of creating a “world union for conservation with a human face” at the onset of her Presidency eight years ago, and expressed her satisfaction at having achieved this goal. She noted the institutional evolution that had taken place during her Presidency, highlighting the enhancement of the role of the Council. On areas for improvement, she stressed the importance for Councillors to be accountable to the members and to focus on creating networks to support the regionalization and decentralization process. She also highlighted the evolution of concepts and practices in the conservation movement, noting the need to engage the private sector and for inclusive approaches in the development and implementation of policies. She expressed her gratitude to Queen Sirikit for having honored the meeting, Minister Suwit for having hosted the meeting and thanked numerous people, including the Secretariat staff, Council, volunteers and IISD Reporting Services for their efforts.

In a moving show of appreciation, IUCN staff bid Yolanda Kakabadse farewell in a video presentation that included vignettes from her personal and professional life, and showcased interviews with her family and IUCN staff. Kakabadse closed the Congress at 3:58 pm.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

UNFCCC COP-10: The tenth Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP-10) is scheduled to take place from 6-17 December 2004, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. COP-10 will continue negotiations relating to the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. For more information, contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int; Internet: http://unfccc.int/meetings/cop_10/items/2944.php

SEMINAR ON THE ROLE OF ECOSYSTEMS AS WATER SUPPLIERS: This seminar is scheduled to convene from 13-14 December 2004, in Geneva, Switzerland. This seminar will develop recommendations to promote integrated policies and strategies to be presented at the thirteenth session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and submitted to the Parties to the UNECE Water Convention at their fourth meeting in 2006. For more information, contact: Water Convention Secretariat, UNECE; tel: +41-22-917-2373; fax: +41-22-917-0107; e-mail: water.convention@unece.org; Internet: http://www.unece.org/env/water/meetings/ecosystem/seminar.htm

MEETING OF THE AD HOC TECHNICAL EXPERT GROUP ON ISLAND BIODIVERSITY: This meeting will convene from 13-17 December 2004 in the Canary Islands, Spain. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@biodiv.org; Internet: http://www.biodiv.org/doc/meeting.aspx?mtg=TEGIB-01

CORAL REEF CONSERVATION SYMPOSIUM: This meeting is scheduled to take place from 16-17 December 2004, in London, UK. The aim of this meeting is to develop a broad multidisciplinary perspective on problems and solutions in coral reef conservation. For more information, contact: Deborah Body, Scientific Meetings Coordinator; tel: +44-207-449-6227; e-mail: deborah.body@zsl.org; Internet: http://www.zsl.org/press/pml_0000001642.html

INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR THE TEN-YEAR REVIEW OF THE BARBADOS PROGRAMME OF ACTION FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPING STATES: This meeting will take place from 10-14 January 2005 in Port Louis, Mauritius, preceded by informal consultations from 8-9 January 2005. For more information, contact: Diane Quarless, UN Division for Sustainable Development, SIDS Unit; tel: +1-212-963-4135; fax: +1-917-367-3391; e-mail: Mauritius2004@sidsnet.org; Internet:
http://www.un.org/smallislands2005/

WORLD CONFERENCE ON DISASTER REDUCTION: This Summit will convene from 18-22 January 2005 in Kobe-Hyogo, Japan. For more information, contact: Helena Molin Valdes, Senior Officer, International Strategy for Disaster Reduction; tel: +41-22-917-2776; fax: +41-22-917-0563; e-mail: molinvaldes@un.org; Internet: http://www.unisdr.org

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BIODIVERSITY: SCIENCE AND GOVERNANCE: This conference, sponsored by UNESCO and the French Ministry of Research and New Technologies, will take place from 24-28 January 2005 in Paris, France. For more information, contact: e-mail: biodiv2005paris@recherche.gouv.fr; Internet:
http://www.recherche.gouv.fr/biodiv2005paris/en/index.htm

12TH MEETING OF THE SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL REVIEW PANEL (STRP) OF THE RAMSAR CONVENTION: This meeting is scheduled to convene from 1-4 February 2005, in Gland, Switzerland. For more information, contact: Ramsar Convention Secretariat; tel: +41-22-999-0170; fax: +41-22-999-0169; e-mail: ramsar@ramsar.org; Internet:
http://ramsar.org/w.n.strp-datechange.htm

ASIAN WETLAND SYMPOSIUM 2005: This meeting is scheduled to take place from 6-9 February 2005, in Bhubaneswar, India. The symposium aims to synergize cooperation among all stakeholders to achieve the wise use of wetlands in Asia and the Pacific. For more information, contact: AWS Secretariat India; tel: +91-674-243-4044; fax: +91-674-243-4485; e-mail: ajit@chilika.com; Internet: http://www.aws2005.com/index.htm

CBD SBSTTA-10: The 10th meeting of the CBD’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-10) is tentatively scheduled to convene from 7-11 February 2005, in Bangkok, Thailand. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@biodiv.org; Internet:
http://www.biodiv.org/meetings/default.aspx

THIRD MEETING OF THE AD HOC OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP ON ACCESS AND BENEFIT-SHARING: This group is tentatively scheduled to convene from 14-18 February 2005, in Bangkok, Thailand. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@biodiv.org; Internet:
http://www.biodiv.org/doc/meeting.aspx?mtg=ABSWG-03

UNEP GC-23/GMEF: The 23rd session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum is scheduled to be held from 21-25 February 2005, in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information, contact: Beverly Miller, Secretary for UNEP Governing Council; tel: +254-2-623431; fax: +254-2-623929; e-mail: beverly.miller@unep.org; Internet: http://www.unep.org

MEETING OF THE AD HOC OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP ON PROTECTED AREAS: This meeting is tentatively scheduled to take place from 18-22 April 2005, in Italy. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@biodiv.org; Internet: http://www.biodiv.org/meetings/default.aspx

UNFFF-5: The fifth session of UN Forum on Forests (UNFF-5) is scheduled to be held from 16-27 May 2005, in New York. This meeting will represent the conclusion of the UNFF�s five-year mandate. For more information, contact: Elisabeth Barsk-Rundquist, UNFF Secretariat; tel: +1-212-963-3262; fax: +1-917-367-3186; e-mail: barsk-rundquist@un.org; Internet: http://www.un.org/esa/forests

MEETING OF CBD�S AD HOC TECHNICAL EXPERT GROUP ON GAPS AND INCONSISTENCIES IN THE INTERNATIONAL REGULATORY FRAMEWORKS ON IAS: This group is scheduled to meet from 16-20 May 2005, in Auckland, New Zealand. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@biodiv.org; Internet: http://www.biodiv.org/meetings/default.aspx

CARTAGENA PROTOCOL COP/MOP-2: The second meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP/MOP-2) is tentatively scheduled for 13-17 June 2005, in Montreal, Canada. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@biodiv.org; Internet: http://www.biodiv.org/meetings/default.aspx

COHAB 2005 - THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF BIODIVERSITY TO HUMAN HEALTH: This conference will be held from 23-25 August 2005, in Galway, Ireland. For more information, contact: Elizabeth Dippie; tel: +353-9176-5640; fax: +353-9176-5641; e-mail: info@cohab2005.com; Internet: http://www.cohab2005.com/summary.htm

CBD WORKING GROUP ON THE REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION: This working group meeting is tentatively scheduled for 5-9 September 2005, in Montreal, Canada. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@biodiv.org; Internet: http://www.biodiv.org/meetings/default.aspx

MILLENNIUM+5 SUMMIT: This high-level plenary meeting of the 60th session of the UN General Assembly on the follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit will convene from 14-16 September 2005, at UN Headquarters in New York, NY, US. The Summit will, inter alia, review the progress made toward the commitments of the UN Millennium Declaration. For more information, visit: http://www.un-ngls.org/MDG/unaction.htm#d

EIGHTH WORLD WILDERNESS CONGRESS: This congress will convene from 30 September to 6 October 2005, in Anchorage, Alaska, US, under the theme �Wilderness, Wildlands and People - A Partnership for the Planet.� For more information, contact: WWC Secretariat; e-mail: info@8wwc.org; Internet: http://www.8wwc.org/

CCD COP-7: The seventh Conference of the Parties to the CCD (COP-7) is scheduled to take place from 17-28 October 2005, in Bonn, Germany. Parties will consider, inter alia: the programme and budget for 2006-2007; the Regional Coordinating Units; and the CCD�s implementation in accordance with Article 27 on mechanisms and instruments for implementation. For more information, contact: UNCCD Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-2802; fax: +49-228-815-2898; e-mail: secretariat@unccd.int; Internet: http://www.unccd.int/main.php  

FIRST INTERNATIONAL MARINE PROTECTED AREAS CONGRESS: This Congress will be held from 23-27 October 2005, in Geelong, Australia. For more information, contact: Congress Organizers; tel: +61-3-5983-2400; fax: +61-3-5983-2223; e-mail: sm@asnevents.net.au; Internet: http://www.impacongress.org/

RAMSAR COP-9: The 9th Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands will convene from 7-15 November 2005, in Kampala, Uganda. For more information, contact: Dwight Peck, Communications Officer; tel: +41 22 999 0170; fax: +41 22 9990169; e-mail: peck@ramsar.org; Internet:
http://www.ugandawetlands.org/Cop9/index.htm

SECOND MEETING OF THE AD HOC OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP ON PROTECTED AREAS: This group is tentatively scheduled to meet from 28 November to 2 December 2005, in Montreal, Canada. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@biodiv.org; Internet:  http://www.biodiv.org/doc/meeting.aspx

CBD SBSTTA-11: This meeting will convene tentatively from 5-9 December 2005, in Montreal, Canada. For more information, contact: CBD Secretariat; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail: secretariat@biodiv.org; Internet: http://www.biodiv.org/meetings/default.aspx

4TH WORLD WATER FORUM: LOCAL ACTIONS FOR A GLOBAL CHALLENGE: This meeting is scheduled to take place 16-22 March 2006, in Mexico City, Mexico. For more information, visit: http://www.worldwaterforum4.org.mx


The IUCN Congress Bulletin is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin � <enb@iisd.org>. This issue is written and edited by Karen Alvarenga, Ph.D.; Robynne Boyd; Bo-Alex Fredvik; Miquel Mu�oz; Prisna Nuengsigkapian; Richard Sherman; and Sarantuyaa Zandaryaa, Ph.D. The digital editors are David Fernau and Diego Noguera. The editor is Lynn M. Wagner, Ph.D. <lynn@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James �Kimo� Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by IUCN with assistance from the World Bank. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists (ASCII and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <http://www.iisd.ca>. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 212 East 47th St. #21F, New York, NY 10017, USA.