The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) started its World Conservation Congress on 6 September in Jeju Island, Republic of Korea. Minister Heidi Hautala will attend the congress from 8 to 9 September. The world’s largest conservation congress will bring together thousands of experts and influential people from all over the world.
On Sunday 9 September, the Minister will participate in a high-level panel with the theme "Green Growth: Myth or Reality?". Other participants in the panel include Lyonpo Dorji, Former Prime Minister of Bhutan; Achim Steiner, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); Naoko Ishii, CEO & Chairperson, Global Environment Facility (GEF); and Peter Bakker, President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
During the weekend, Hautala will also attend auxiliary events related to forest and river management, and discuss matters of current interest with the leaders of IUCN, UNEP and GEF. In the event organised by Finland, the topic of discussion will be the role of the civil society and the private sector in the management of frontier waters. The project implemented in the Mekong River region, creating constructive dialogue between citizens and NGOs as well as regional governments and official regional actors, will be used as an example. The project funded from Finnish development cooperation appropriations is implemented by IUCN which, thanks to its state and organisational members, has good capabilities for promoting dialogue.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature is a union formed by NGOs and state members with more than 1,200 member organisations in some 160 countries. IUCN promotes conservation of nature and ecologically sustainable use of natural resources. The Finnish Nature Conservation Society, the predecessor of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, was one of the establishing members of the World International Union for Conservation of Nature on 5 October 1948. The State of Finland has been a member of IUCN since 1968.
The IUCN World Conservation Congress is held every four years. The Nordic Countries have prepared an initiative for the congress by which they want to enhance Arctic cooperation and urge IUCN to draw up a comprehensive action plan for the Arctic region. The world congress will come to an end on 15 September.
Further information: Milma Kettunen, Press Attaché to Minister Hautala, tel. +358 40 522 9869 (In Korea from 7 to 9 September, time difference +6 hours), Matti Nummelin, adviser, Chairman of the Finnish IUCN Committee, tel. +358 40 503 8442 (in Korea, time difference +6 hours)