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The World Conservation Congress in Marseille, France (3-11 September 2021) came to a close. It was of high importance as it set the nature & conservation agenda for the next decade. In the lights of the Covid19 Pandemic, this was more than important now.

The IUCN World Conservation Congress was postponed twice due to covid19. The original date of the event was June 2020. The number of people attending the conference.

Physical Attendance
9,200 participants in Marseille and online
25,000 visits by the general public to the Exhibition and Nature Generation Areas.

Virtual participation
50,000+ views of online sessions
4,730 individual connections
19,000+ hours viewed

10,000 news stories
140 countries covered the Congress
Social media
54 million people reached per day with #IUCNcongress
567% increase in engagement over August 2021

The Summary

The IUCN Congress urged governments to implement a nature-based recovery from the pandemic, investing at least 10% of global recovery funds in nature, and adopted a series of resolutions and commitments to urgently address the interlinked climate and biodiversity crises.

The IUCN Congress focused on three main themes

  • The post-2020 biodiversity conservation framework, to be adopted by the parties to the UN Biodiversity Convention;
  • The role of nature in the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • The need to transform the global financial system and direct investments into projects that benefit nature.

Director General Message

“The IUCN Congress acts as a unique, inclusive global environmental parliament, where governments, NGOs, and Indigenous Peoples all have a voice. The decisions taken here in Marseille will drive action to tackle the biodiversity and climate crises in the crucial decade to come. Collectively, IUCN’s Members are sending a powerful message to Glasgow and Kunming: the time for fundamental change is now,” said Dr. Bruno Oberle, IUCN Director-General

The New Resolutions

In total, IUCN’s more than 1,500 Members adopted 148 resolutions and recommendations, 39 through a vote at the IUCN Congress in Marseille, and 109 through online voting prior to the event.

New Climate Crisis Commission to be Raised

Among the decisions taken in Marseille was a resolution for IUCN to create a Climate Crisis Commission, to complement the Union’s existing six Commissions.

Protection of Amazon by 2025 – Resolution

IUCN Members include a call to protect 80% of the Amazon by 2025, to halt deep-sea mining across the oceans, and for the global community to adopt an ambitious One Health approach. The active participation of Indigenous Peoples’ Organisation Members in IUCN’s democratic process led to a focus on indigenous peoples’ rights and role in conservation in many resolutions.

More than 1,500 Members adopted 148 resolutions and recommendations, 39 through a vote at the IUCN Congress in Marseille, and 109 through online voting prior to the event. Among the decisions taken in Marseille was a resolution for IUCN to create a Climate Crisis Commission, to complement the Union’s existing six Commissions.

What is Marseille Manifesto

The Marseille Manifesto aims to capture a limited number of key messages that are globally and currently relevant and which relate to the Congress proceedings, including any notable and important commitments and announcements that emerged from Congress events. The focus is on the post-Covid recovery, the biodiversity crisis, and climate emergency.

An IUCN Members-based process of review and advice finalized the statement, which was presented and welcomed by acclamation during the 8th sitting of the Members’ Assembly on 10 September 2021. Download the Manifesto here

The New IUCN Commitments Announced at The Congress

  • France’s commitment to achieving 30% of protected areas nationally by 2022, and 5% of its Mediterranean maritime area under strong protection by 2027;
  • Over 30 subnational governments, cities, partner organizations, and IUCN agreed to expand universal access to high-quality green spaces and to enhance urban biodiversity in 100 cities, representing around 100 million citizens by 2025, and assessing their impact according to the Urban Biodiversity Index;
  • Under the leadership of Western Indian Ocean states, IUCN and partners committed to supporting the Great Blue Wall Initiative, the first regionally connected network to develop a regenerative blue economy to the benefit of 70 million people, while conserving and restoring marine and coastal biodiversity

The New IUCN President Elected – Razan Al Mubarak

On 8 September 2021, Members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) elected Razan Al Mubarak as the new President at the ongoing IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille. IUCN Members also elected the Treasurer, Commission Chairs, and Regional Councillors across eight global regions. READ MORE ABOUT RAZAN AL MUBARAK

Members elected the Chairs of IUCN’s Commissions, which bring together 18,000 volunteer experts from around the world in a range of disciplines from species conservation to environmental law and protected area management. The Commission assesses the state of the world’s natural resources and provides the Union with expert knowledge and policy advice on conservation issues.

With nearly 6,000 registered participants on-site and more than 3,500 online participants, this hybrid event brought together leaders from government, civil society, indigenous, faith and spiritual communities, the private sector, and academia, to collectively decide on actions to address the most pressing conservation and sustainable development challenges. Over 25,000 members of the general public also visited the Exhibition and the Espaces Generations Nature


This is the start of the need decade with a fresh leadership with more focus on indigenous communities and active ground-based conservation. Curbing carbon emissions, mobilizing the scientific Committee to move and act fast as we are up against the time, is the only liberty that we do not have. This will surely bring much more positive results as the amount of emphasis on indigenous peoples and to protect rainforest-like amazon by 2025. A new commission is being raised to tackle climate change and The governments commitment are likely to pace the effort for sustainable development and the Adaptation of nature-based solutions.

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