The IUCN World Conservation Congress (WCC) in Marseille, France was concluded today with the adoption of the Marseille Manifesto. The core demand of the manifesto is to equally consider the two key global challenges climate change and biodiversity loss in the economic recovery after the pandemic and interconnect the topics to a greater degree. During this hybrid event, more than 5000 representatives of government and civil society got together from 3 to 10 September, with more than 3000 additional participants following the programme online. The links between biodiversity and climate were a prominent topic in all parts of the programme, supplemented by aspects of global health. Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary at the Federal Environment Ministry, represented Germany at the WCC high-level segment during the first few days.
State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth commented: "The IUCN Congress was an important milestone on the path to the upcoming two major conferences of the parties: the Climate Change Conference in Glasgow and the Biodiversity Conference in Kunming. We actively participated in the voting on decisions in order to reaffirm the high level of ambition, in particular with a view to the new global biodiversity framework. The Marseille Manifesto underlines the importance of biodiversity conservation and climate action."
During the congress, representatives of governments, scientists, indigenous groups and a range of NGOs came together for different events: a forum to exchange experiences on various nature conservation topics, a public exhibition and the IUCN members’ assembly. The Federal Environment Ministry, representing Germany, is a State member of the IUCN. In addition to the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) and the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), around 20 German NGOs are members of the IUCN as well. The members’ assembly adopted more than 130 resolutions and recommendations, some of them beforehand and online, and elected Ms Razan Al Mubarak from the United Arab Emirates as the new IUCN President. At 42, she is the youngest ever IUCN President. Towards the end of the assembly, the members adopted the Marseille Manifesto, which backs the key messages of the congress in favour of a green recovery after the coronavirus pandemic, the new post-2020 global biodiversity framework and the Climate Change Conference COP26.
State Secretary Flasbarth emphasised: "The international community must address the global challenges of pandemics, biodiversity loss and climate change more resolutely than ever before. Climate change and biodiversity loss are intrinsically connected, and this crisis on two fronts affects us all. The congress also showed that we were able to get new important actors on board for this Herculean task such as the private sector and major financial institutions. The issue of finance is an important lever to be able to swiftly start with urgently needed measures."