The official opening ceremony of IUCN’s Congress was witnessed by an audience of 4,000 people representing 175 countries. They were treated to a dynamic spectacle of music and dance and addressed by President of the Republic of Korea, Mr Lee Myung-Bak.
To a backdrop of stunning images of Jeju island, IUCN President Ashok Khosla declared the Congress officially open, and in an inspiring speech outlined the achievements of IUCN since the last Congress and his vision for the future of nature conservation.
“For conservation to be successful, we must address not just the imperatives of the natural environment, but also of the economic, social and political environments,” he said.
“Conservation policies and action cannot succeed for long unless nations and communities use their resources efficiently, distribute the benefits equitably and empower their citizens actively and inclusively. This requires high levels of responsibility in governance.”
President Lee then addressed the gathering which included the Governor of Jeju, cabinet members, heads of international organizations, ambassadors to Korea, law makers and CEOs.