US host­ing world’s largest con­ser­va­tion meet

The Myanmar Times - - World -

SOME 8000 heads of state, pol­i­cy­mak­ers and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists from 184 coun­tries con­vene in Hawaii this week for the world’s largest gath­er­ing aimed at forg­ing a path for­ward on the planet’s tough­est con­ser­va­tion prob­lems.

US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama is ex­pected to be among the world lead­ers in Honolulu as the In­ter­na­tional Union for the Con­ser­va­tion of Na­ture (IUCN) opens its World Con­ser­va­tion Con­gress, held ev­ery four years in a dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tion around the globe.

This year, the con­fer­ence theme of “Planet at the Cross­roads” is aimed at ex­pos­ing the plight of is­land na­tions that are at risk of dis­ap­pear­ing in the com­ing decades due to ris­ing seas.

It is the first ma­jor en­vi­ron­men­tal meet­ing of global lead­ers since the Paris cli­mate talks last year.

The Septem­ber 1 to 10 con­fer­ence also marks the first time the IUCN World Con­gress has been held in the United States since the meet­ing was first con­vened in 1948.

Ar­gu­ments are ex­pected on hotly de­bated is­sues such as what to do about do­mes­tic ivory mar­kets which lead to the killing of ele­phants for their tusks, and how to feed the world’s grow­ing pop­u­la­tion with­out ex­haust­ing its nat­u­ral re­sources.

“There should be a fair amount of fire­works,” John Robin­son, the head of the Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety’s global con­ser­va­tion pro­gram told AFP.

A key piece of news at the event will be the up­date of the IUCN’s Red List of en­dan­gered and threat­ened species on Septem­ber 4.

Other re­ports on ef­forts to bal­ance oil and gas ex­plo­ration with whale con­ser­va­tion, and the es­tab­lish­ment of im­por­tant bio­di­ver­sity ar­eas will also be an­nounced in the first five days.

Dur­ing the sec­ond part of the con­fer­ence, from Septem­ber 6 to 10, mem­bers will hold de­bates on wildlife traf­fick­ing, palm oil, in­come in­equal­ity in con­ser­va­tion, foresty prac­tices, and more.

The meet­ing is seen as an op­por­tu­nity to find com­mon ground on tough de­ci­sions and lay the ground­work for fu­ture talks, in­clud­ing the Con­ven­tion on In­ter­na­tional Trade in En­dan­gered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) con­fer­ence which kicks off in late Septem­ber in Jo­han­nes­burg.

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