There is a lot to talk about at the IUCN South Korea Congress

The delegates to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s quadrennial summit meeting should have plenty to talk about over the next 10 days as I am sure everyone who attends will have an opinion on the current global environment.

The congress began on the 6th September, after 8,000 people from more than 170 countries flew into the Island of Jeju, South Korea. Specialists from a range of fields including government and non-governmental organizations, business and community leaders and scientists, have joint forces to try and tackle some of the most pressing environmental issues facing the planet.  You can follow the proceedings at the IUCN’s twitter hub.

Over the next 10 days the congress will discuss global matters such as the growing threats to tuna populations, and the urgent need to stop countries making false claims on ocean protection, along with updates to the IUCN Red List of endangered species.  There will also be local issues presented; these will include a predicted colorful debate between Korean and German experts on how to use the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, which could potentially produce a surprisingly intact nature reserve. The aim is to create an area which will promote peace referencing experiences from the former iron curtain. Additionally, across the border, replanting and rehabilitating the destroyed forests of North Korea will also be addressed.

The main topics which have been suggested for discussion are how to improve global conservation work and the believed fact that nature will provide solutions and adapt to climate changes.  Nature is innately strong, but it is up to people to advance how rapidly nature and communities are able to acclimatize to these changes.  If we strengthen nature’s foundations we could see a natural ecosystem resistance making people, communities and economies more resilient to change.

By Eleanor Smith

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