Held every four years, IUCN convened its Regional Conservation Forum for the Oceania region in Suva, Fiji from 29th July to 3rd August as a lead up to the 2020 IUCN World Conservation Congress.
In welcoming the regional participants, the Acting Director General of IUCN Dr Grethel Aguilar reiterated the importance of working together to restore the planet.
“Humanity must combine economic and social development with the conservation of nature. This is why we must reverse current trends and work hard to restore the planet” , Dr. Aguilar mentioned.
With over 100 regional participants attending, the Oceania Regional Conservation Forum gave an opportunity for IUCN Members and Commission members in Oceania to report on the work they have been doing and importantly, provide initial feedback to the regional plan 2021-2024 that would ultimately feed into the 2021-2024 global programme.
There were a number of interesting events organised at the Oceania Regional Conservation Forum that opened constructive dialogue amongst the Union. Aimed to influence the global agenda and inspire transformational change, the programme was structured around the four themes, Healthy Lands and Waters, Healthy Oceans, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation, and Equitable Governance of Natural Resources.
A number of inspirational speakers were also invited to the Forum and among them was young Eco-champion AnnMary Raduva whose statement touched many hearts on the day and ending it with a standing ovation.
“Protecting the environment, lowering the carbon footprint, saving our heritage which is our future is everyone’s concern. We, young activists and those hundreds of keen volunteers are ready to re-nurture the environment and maintain its serenity. We are ever ready to re-generate, maintain and sustain our forests and marine life – IUCN delegates, regional leaders, ladies and gentleman: what about you?”, AnnMary stressed.
In closing the Forum, Sandeep Singh, Director of the Department of Environment was happy to learn the event had brought about fruitful discussions and later encouraged everyone to work together.
“At times; with the workloads we have, it is easy to lose sight of why we are here and this forum is to bring us back to our calling. Let us be more bold and ambitious in our fight. Let us together work more efficiently, smarter and more perseveringly to save our Moana: Our Heritage and Our Future”, Singh stressed.
The IUCN World Conservation Congress, the world’s leading biodiversity event, will take place 11–19 June 2020 in Marseille, France, under the theme ‘One nature, one future’. With this theme, the Congress will highlight the need for a healthy natural world as a prerequisite for assuring the sustainable future of our planet. The outcomes of the IUCN Congress will inform new global targets to address the escalating biodiversity crisis under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), set at the CBD Conference of Parties to be held in Kunming, China, during October 2020.