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Biodiversity & Environment

IUCN World Conservation Congress

  • 07 Sep 2021
  • 5 min read

Why in News

The world’s largest and most inclusive environmental decision-making forum ‘IUCN World Conservation Congress 2020’ (postponed from June 2020 to September 2021) is being held in Marseille, France.

  • It took critical policy decisions to address conservation priorities including the ongoing biodiversity crisis.
  • The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) conducts the World Conservation Congress which is held every four years in a different location around the globe. The first was conducted in the United States in 1948.

International Union for Conservation of Nature

  • It is a membership union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations.
  • Created in 1948, it is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.
  • It is headquartered in Switzerland.
  • The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species.

Key Points

  • Global Indigenous Agenda:
    • It calls for the secure recognition and respect for collective indigenous rights and governance of lands, territories, waters, coastal seas and natural resources.
    • It was developed by IUCN’s Indigenous Peoples Organisation Members.
    • It lays out 10 high-level proposals and outcomes relating to five themes: Indigenous governance; biodiversity conservation; climate action; post-Covid-19 recovery efforts and food security; and global policy setting.
  • IUCN Red List Update:
    • No. of Species on Nine Categories: The updated Red List says that despite global improvement at the species level, the number of species that are at high risk continues to grow.
      • Some 902 species are officially extinct. 30% of the species that it assessed (138,374) face the threat of extinction.
      • Some 80 species are extinct in the wild, 8,404 are critically endangered, 14,647 are endangered, 15,492 are vulnerable and 8,127 are near threatened.
      • Some 71,148 species are of least concern, while 19,404 are data deficient.
      • The ninth category is ‘Not Evaluated’ - species not assessed by the IUCN.
    • Komodo Dragons: Indonesia’s Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is the world’s largest living lizard and it has been moved from vulnerable to endangered.
      • The species is increasingly threatened by the impacts of climate change, with rising sea levels expected to shrink its tiny habitat by at least 30% over the next 45 years.
    • Tuna Species: Four of the seven most commercially fished tuna species have shown signs of recovery.
      • Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) moved from endangered to least concern.
      • Southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) moved from critically endangered to endangered.
      • Albacore (Thunnus alalunga) and yellowfin tunas (Thunnus albacares), both moved from near threatened to least concern.
      • Other tuna species like the bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) remain vulnerable while the skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) remains least concerned.
      • The Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) moved from vulnerable to near threatened due to the availability of newer stock assessment data and models.
  • Sustainable Tourism Initiative:
    • The programme, which is funded by Germany and includes implementing partners such as United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).
      • It will use tourism as an instrument to contribute to sustainable development in developing and emerging countries.
    • To pilot the initiative, IUCN will work with two World Heritage sites and five other protected areas in Peru and Vietnam to increase the resilience of the community-based tourism sector to future disruptions.
  • Other Recent Updates:
    • Raptor Species under Threat: According to an analysis by the IUCN and BirdLife International, around 30% of the 557 raptor species around the world are threatened by extinction to some degree.
    • Behler Turtle Conservation Award: Recently, Indian biologist Shailendra Singh has been awarded the Behler Turtle Conservation Award for bringing three critically endangered turtle conservation species back from the brink of extinction.
      • Co-presented by Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, Turtle Conservancy, and Turtle Conservation Fund.

Source: DTE

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