By Brad Baker, at the 2012 IUCN World Conservation Congress.
Even in the Congress’ early stages, every corner of the conference centre is filled with leaders from around the world, preparing to discuss some of the world’s most important environmental issues over the next 10 days.
Walking through the pavilions this afternoon, I had a chance to chat with Professor Jonathan Baillie, Conservation Programmes Director for the Zoological Society of London and co-chair of IUCN’s recently launched Pangolin Specialist Group. For Jonathan, the Congress is a critical gathering of the conservation community for a number of reasons. While there are several events that assemble a similar group of experts and leaders, the Congress is unique in that it is trade-specific: “at the Congress, biodiversity is the base of everything and the lens through which all other issues are viewed.”
Jonathan sees the Congress as an opportunity to share experiences with the conservation community and find out “what’s working, what’s scalable and what new ideas from around the world should be implemented.” He believes that by communicating new ideas at the Congress, where a broad group consisting of leaders from government, business, the public sector, NGOs and social organizations, you are able to inform the right people to spread the word about the issues that matter most.
That’s why Jonathan will be launching two books at the Congress – Spineless: Status and Trends of the World’s Invertebrates and another that will be released on Sunday about threatened species. He hopes that by sharing his ideas here in Jeju, the Congress participants will leave aware and ready to act.