By Pierre Commenville, IUCN’s Global Policy Programme.

Heading towards congresses, seminars and meetings, all of us naturally wonder about their usefulness. Another congress, discussions, promises. But let’s not be mistaken: plans are there, the road is clear — for the protection of species, the sustainable use of natural resources and the development of protected areas.

In Jeju, IUCN reinforces its main added value: it tightens the links between the experts who provide the knowledge and data, and those involved in the practical implementation of conservation. This congress is also a great catalyst for partnerships: dozens of concrete projects will emerge, hundreds of links will be forged, and a vast amount of information will be shared.

So yes, this Congress is necessary to ensure that commitments are fulfilled, including the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya in 2010.

Yes, you must come to Jeju to hear the new ideas, to develop projects, to meet scientists, technicians and business people.

The opening of the Congress yesterday and the Forum opening this morning demonstrated this importance of this event with significant announcements from Korean leaders and the enthusiasm of IUCN Members for the upcoming debates.