Invest in nature, improve our world

31 May 2012 | Media advisory

Background: In advance of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), or ‘Rio+20’ as it is commonly known, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) calls upon policy-makers to rethink economic growth, promote social equity and ensure environmental protection. Among the key issues at the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit are the green economy and an institutional framework in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

Key Issues:

• IUCN supports a green economy that places nature at its center and adopts measures that ensure equity. “The world has been slow to embrace and agree upon the concept of  ‘green economy’ due to a lack of clarity of what it really means,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. “It’s time governments included nature in development strategies, working to achieve internationally agreed goals, specifically those set out in the Aichi Targets adopted in 2010 in Nagoya to stop the loss of biodiversity.”

• IUCN urges governments to do more in terms of policy and institutional coherence. “Rio+20 is an opportunity to analyze together the challenges in achieving sustainable development and to give new impetus to international collaboration,” says Constanza Martinez, Senior Policy Officer, Global Policy Unit. “States, civil society organizations and the private sector are well aware of what needs to be done—there must be a commitment to working together towards the same goal: protecting nature so it can protect us. We must move towards a more resilient planet”

• Rio+20 is an important opportunity to promote investments in enhancing the natural assets on which poor communities depend. “Landscape restoration will help countries meet international commitments to slow, halt and reverse forest and carbon loss and to restore degraded ecosystems. By focusing on both forest and agricultural lands it will generate income worth billions of dollars each year to national and local economies and provide food security to millions of forest-dependent people,” says Stewart Maginnis, Global Director, Nature Based Solutions Group. “This should include concerted efforts to invest in the Bonn Challenge to restore 150 million hectares of lost forests and degraded lands by 2020.”

Press Material and Events:
Please note press briefings will take place at: Rio Centro, Pavilion 3, Media Centre, Press Briefing Room P3- 6

- Corporate Action on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services session: Saturday, June 16, 16:00, Windsor Barra Hotel
- Forest landscape restoration international news release and press briefing: 11H00 Monday, June 18
- IUCN Red List  of Threatened Species Update international news release and press briefing: 11H00 Tuesday, June 19
- IUCN Side Event—Nature Based Solutions For A Sustainable Future: Tuesday, June 19, 17h30, RioCentro
- Rio+20 Opening Statement: Wednesday, June 20
- Rio+20 Closing Statement: Friday, June 22

The IUCN World Conservation Congress to be held in Jeju in September 2012 is the first event of the implementation phase of the outcomes from the Rio conference. 

Spokespersons:
Julia Marton-Lefèvre
, Director General IUCN
Cyrie Sendashonga, Global Director, Programme & Policy Group

About IUCN
IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. IUCN works on biodiversity, ecosystem services, climate change, energy, human livelihoods and greening the world economy by supporting scientific research, managing field projects all over the world, and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice. www.iucn.org