July 15, 2024

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IUCN Announces Africa Conservation Forum 2024 to Convene in Nairobi: Uniting for Transformative Nature and Climate Solutions

June 19, 2024 – Nairobi, Kenya: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s largest global conservation organisation, is pleased to announce the IUCN Africa Conservation Forum (ACF) in partnership with the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife. Under the theme African solutions for nature and people – creating transformative responses to the biodiversity and climate crisis in Africa, this eventwill take place from 26 to 28 June 2024, in Nairobi, Kenya with an anticipated 500 delegates.

Held every four years, this Forum is one of the leading platforms for sharing knowledge, building partnerships, and connecting key stakeholders in nature and biodiversity conservation. In the past, the three IUCN sub-regions of Africa under the auspices of Eastern and Southern Africa (ESARO), West and Central Africa (PACO) and Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation (MED) has each successfully organised Regional Conservation Forums. This year, inspired by the power of the first-ever IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress held in July 2022, IUCN will host one Forum for the continent.

Africa is facing significant challenges due to the dual crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss. The continent is severely impacted, necessitating enhanced synergies and complementarities for nature-climate action at the regional level. With the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF) signed in 2022, several ambitious targets have been set. The Africa Conservation Forum aims to unpack these critical issues for discussion and action, demonstrating the Union’s critical role in providing a platform to articulate Africa’s priorities, while helping foster the partnerships and momentum needed to jointly tackle the nature-climate crises in Africa.

The event will feature engaging high-level panels comprising African government representatives, scientific experts, and Indigenous People and Local Communities representatives – in plenary and thematic side event sessions – to address critical conservation challenges and trends in Africa. Confirmed speakers include:

  • High level representatives and technical experts from the Government of Kenya and Environment Ministers from over 10 African countries
  • H.E. Razan al Mubarak, President of IUCN
  • Dr. Grethel Rojas Aguilar, Director General of IUCN
  • IUCN Regional Directors: Luther Anukur Bois (ESARO), Nana Toure (PACO) and Maher Mahjoub (MED)
  • Dr. David Obura, Founder of Coastal Oceans Research and Development in the Indian Ocean (CORDIO East Africa) and Chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
  • Representatives from the private sector and philanthropic foundations

Key topics to be discussed will cover the following: responding to the biodiversity and climate crisis; innovative finance, infrastructure development with nature-positive solutions; the effects of fragility and conflict on the environment and livelihoods; and inclusive conservation.

In addition, the ACF will be preceded by 9 Pre-Forum sessions between June 24 – 25 covering:

  1. Africa Ocean Forum
  2. Indigenous People and Local Communities Forum
  3. IUCN Youth Conservation Forum
  4. Sustainable Agriculture: Ecosystems Restoration and Nature-based Solutions Nexus in Africa
  5. Sustainable Finance Mechanisms for Conservation
  6. Leveraging the Wildlife Economy
  7. A Just Energy Transition: Sustainable Development Pathways for Africa
  8. Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs) Working Group in Africa
  9. Identifying Species Conservation Priorities in Africa: Improving IUCN’s Response to the Species Extinction Crisis

The Africa Conservation Forum is an expression of IUCN’s democratic and participatory decision-making process. Serving as a space for engagement and dialogue, Members will come together to inform and select priorities for the IUCN World Conservation Congress, to be held in the United Arab Emirates in 2025. The IUCN Congress in turn sets the global conservation agenda for the years ahead.

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