Urgent call for transformational change

Today’s society is facing biodiversity and climate crisis. To address it, IUCN needs to step up its efforts and initiate the transformational change we need, called participants of the IUCN Regional Conservation Forum for Europe, North and Central Asia earlier this year in Rotterdam.

IUCN RCF Rotterdam participants

“We should focus on production, and address consumption patterns and their volume if we want to see transformative change,” said Luc Bas, Director of IUCN Regional Office for Europe. “What is politically feasible is environmentally irrelevant and in consequence, beyond bold actions have to take place. The sub-national governments have a very strong role to play in this change and engaging with them directly is urgent,” he stressed.

More than 320 participants of the Forum agreed that the key challenge is actually to secure the political will and support for the change. They singled out intersectoral cooperation as a preferred way forward and set their expectations in IUCN, as best positioned to gather relevant actors and offer them a platform to negotiate joint solutions.

“We can provide credible and trusted knowledge through our six expert commissions, and as IUCN we are able to convene parties from all levels, assuring the global to local reach - let us use our position and knowledge to set the course of conservation action for the next decade and beyond,” said Boris Erg, Director of IUCN’s Regional Office for East Europe, North and Central Asia.

Read the detailed overview of the discussions and opinions shared during the IUCN Regional Conservation Forum (RCF) in Rotterdam, as well as key recommendations to the IUCN Programme. Participants expect the next IUCN Programme to:

  • be inclusive and ensure the involvement of younger generations;
  • apply new technologies and innovations; and
  • have a strong emphasis on communication, education and gender equality.

Held every four years, the IUCN RCF is a key opportunity for the IUCN Constituency to prepare for the next IUCN Congress and to ensure that regional matters are embedded in the IUCN key decision-making. Conclusions from RCF Rotterdam will be communicated further at the IUCN Congress in Marseille, France, the world’s leading biodiversity event, and the CoP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China, in 2020, to help governments shape a new plan – the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework, known as the ‘New Deal for Nature’.

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