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Representatives of the PWHF Attend IUCN World Conservation Congress
Representatives of the PWHF Attend IUCN World Conservation Congress

IUCN World Conservation Congress was held in the USA from September 1 to 10, 2016. Delegates from the Persian Wildlife Heritage Foundation were among participants in this world event. This Congress is considered to be one of the most important decision-making events in the field of nature conservation, as 6000 people representing various NGOs, specialized institutions, universities, as well as independent experts from 170 countries attended various forums and sessions and discussed issues and strategies for conservation of biodiversity and decided for the Union’s future actions. The IUCN World Conservation Congresses have been held every 2-4 years since 1940 in different countries. This year, the US was hosting the Congress in Hawai’i.
Along with 3 independent experts who had attended from Iran, the PWHF was the only Iranian member NGO sending a delegation to this Congress.
Members’ Assembly was an important decision-making part of the Congress. A total of 85 motions were put to the electronic vote by the IUCN Membership. IUCN’s Members adopted all 85 motions, some with amendments.
Several specialized sessions were also held for participants in which a range of conservation issues as well as ways and means of enhancing more public engagement in conservation were discussed. Participants also benefited from various forums including workshops, knowledge café, posters, pavilions, and various social events. As a member organization, the PWHF could vote in a number of elections and motions held at different levels and on different issues.
Elections for choosing members of the West Asia Regional Council of the IUCN was rather important for our delegation, as an Iranian, Dr. Asghar Mohammadi Fazel, a former natural environment deputy of Iran’s Department of Environment, was a candidate. Other candidates came from Lebanon, Jordan, the Emirates, and Palestine. Based on the results of the elections, representatives of Jordan, the Emirates and Palestine succeeded in being elected to this council. The council is in charge of supervising regional bureaus and committees of the IUCN in West Asia.
Another important objective of this Congress, aside from deciding about future programs, was to provide an opportunity for specialists and activists in the field of biodiversity conservation from all over the world to exchange ideas and experiences in various forums and sessions addressing a range of issues, including planning, research, and communications for conservation of biodiversity and habitats.
In the pavilion area of the Congress, the PWHF had set up a booth bearing the slogan “Iran: Crossroad of Wildlife,” in which Iran’s natural environment, endangered species, and conservation strategies were presented. We received very good feedback to the booth and witnessed some interesting reactions. Overall, visitors were surprised to find out about Iran’s amazing environmental and biological diversity. PWHF delegation also presented a poster on biodiversity of Iran in the fourth day of the Congress.
Attending the Congress not only provided an opportunity to present Iran’s biodiversity and conservation activities currently undertaken in the country, but also enabled our delegates to exchange experiences in conservation and discuss possibilities for future scientific cooperation with other conservation entities. Support from Espinas Hotel, Ronas paint company and Sam Café in sponsoring our delegation provided most of the funds for attending this major world conservation event.