Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, September 3, 2021


Tanya Sanerib, +1 (206) 379-7363,

IUCN World Conservation Congress Convenes to Tackle Global Priorities

Members Push for Urgent Action on Biodiversity Threats

MARSEILLE, France— Members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) will gather this week for the quadrennial World Conservation Congress to make critical policy decisions to address conservation priorities including the ongoing biodiversity crisis.

IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. The organization’s World Conservation Congress convenes more than 1,400 IUCN members, including governmental, nonprofit, Indigenous and civil society members from more than 170 nations, to set the direction of IUCN’s work and global conservation efforts.

“We’re delighted to be participating virtually in our first Congress as a member of IUCN,” said Tanya Sanerib, international legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “There’s urgent work to be done to address the biodiversity crisis internationally and halt human-induced species extinctions. We look forward to working with conservation experts from around the world to save life on Earth.”

The Center is cosponsoring several urgent motions to help address the extinction crisis, including recognizing the rights of rivers and acknowledging ecocide as a crime. Other emergency motions request urgent action from IUCN and its members to recognize that the current era of pandemics is a direct result of human exploitation of nature, which is also driving the extinction crisis.

IUCN and its members can take immediate action to stem biodiversity loss and future pandemics by curtailing the exploitation of nature, reviewing supply chains and adopting holistic approaches to disease response.

“We face the devasting loss of up to a million species, and the IUCN Congress is a chance for conservation experts to offer the solutions and hope the world so desperately needs right now,” said Sanerib.

The congress will take place September 3-11 in southern France. With the COVID-19 pandemic still gripping the world, many IUCN members will participate virtually.

“It’s tragic that leading conservation minds from around the world can’t gather in person,” said Sanerib. “We only hope the proceedings will be equitable and inclusive while making strides to combat the biodiversity crisis.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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