Every four years, IUCN holds the World Conservation Congress (WCC) to bring together thousands of stakeholders from government, civil society, indigenous people, business, and academia under a key goal to conserve our nature.
Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, IUCN held the first hybrid IUCN WCC to overcome the barriers that have pushed back key agendas on nature conservation. The 8-day event held from 3rd to 11th September 2021, Marseille France successfully set a milestone in the dialogue of Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and adopted 148 resolutions and recommendations.
EAAFP Partners engaged in the Congress covering relevant themes under ‘freshwater’, ‘oceans’ ‘climate change’, and ‘rights and governance.’ (https://www.eaaflyway.net/eaafp-partners-engagement-at-iucn-wcc-2020/) On 7th Sept (Tues), IUCN in collaboration with Birdlife International and EAAFP Secretariat held ‘the Yellow Sea-A Global Heritage: Towards Transboundary Governance and Management’ side event. Following the 2016 Resolution 26 on “Conservation of intertidal habitats and migratory waterbirds of the EAAF, especially the Yellow Sea, in a global context” the side event focused on strengthening transboundary conservation in the Yellow Sea region, shared by People’s Republic of China (PRC), Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and the Republic of Korea (RoK).
Three sessions were organized starting with updates on the Yellow Sea countries, a panel discussion to talk about the next steps on the conservation actions, including on-going Yellow Sea World Heritage nomination followed by the recent inscription news. The side event concluded with the announcement of updates on the 2012 IUCN situation analysis on East and Southeast Asian intertidal habitats, which will be released in early 2022.
Dr. Jae Young Lee, Director of Marine Ecology Division from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries gave an opening remark highlighting the support and efforts the Yellow Sea Working Group, Chinese government and EAAFP had contributed for the inscription of Korean getbol, tidal flats. Moreover, he secured Republic of Korea (ROK) commitment to continue its support to expand the roles and participation, and to enhance transboundary cooperation among other valuable stakeholders to conserve the Yellow Sea. The Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation, Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries, ROK highlighted the regional cooperation among the three countries under a vision of “One Yellow Sea.” The Common Wadden Sea Secretariat also extended an invitation to the Yellow Sea Working Group to visit the Wadden Sea to exchange experiences and knowledge, highlighting the strong similarities among the three countries transboundary cooperation. Birdlife International acknowledged the transformative, and catalytic impact IUCN resolutions should and can have. Moreover, as the 2020 Resolution 30 to enhance the resilience of coastal areas will offer coastal forums to scale up globally, Yancheng City in China inscribed as a World Nature Heritage in 2019 will be establishing the Global Coastal Forum by the end of 2021.
Yellow Sea – Side Event ©IUCN WCC
On the other hand, the EAAFP Secretariat interns have also been optimizing the benefits through the hybrid format of IUCN WCC. Throughout the Congress, interns sat in for topics of their interest stretching from biodiversity and sports, global youth summit, business and climate change, and gender and biodiversity. Despite the pandemic, the sessions covered throughout the Congress sent a strong message to our interns exposing a deeper understanding in connecting with our nature and biodiversity for future and socio-economic benefits. Hence to share this experience, a video will be made to capture their insights, and experience of IUCN WCC which would be expected to be released by late-October.
EAAFP Secretariat intern virtual participation ©Yunjoo Cho
Highlighting key resolutions relevant to EAA Flyway:
|WCC 2020 Res 005||Promoting harmony between cranes flagships for biodiversity and agriculture||https://portals.iucn.org/library/node/49144|
|WCC 2020 Res 017||Protection of natural flows of water for the conservation of wetlands||https://portals.iucn.org/library/node/49156|
|WCC 2020 Res 019||Stopping the global plastic pollution crisis in marine environments by 2030||https://portals.iucn.org/library/node/49158|
|WCC 2020 Res 030||Enhancing the resilience of coastal areas in the face of climate change, biodiversity crisis and rapid coastal development||https://portals.iucn.org/library/node/49169|
|WCC 2020 Res 034||Integrated solutions to the climate change and biodiversity crises||https://portals.iucn.org/library/node/49173|
|WCC 2020 Res 073||Ecological connectivity conservation in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework: from local to international levels||https://portals.iucn.org/library/node/49212|
For more information and summary on the IUCN WCC, you can refer to the links below.
EAAFP Partner IUCN WCC Flyer:
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD):
Summary report 3–11 September 2021 (iisd.org)