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Birmanie, UICN, dauphins menacés
France and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are organizing the World Conservation Congress from 3 to 11 September in Marseille. It’s a key event for biodiversity specialists and major date in the development calendar in the run up to COP15 in Kunming.


The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is organizing its World Conservation Congress from 3 to 11 September 2021 in Marseille. Established in 1948, IUCN publishes the Red List of Threatened Species and includes some 1,400 members – including NGOs, scientific and academic institutions – from around the world.

This congress, which is generally held every four years, will gather representatives of governments, companies, development banks, universities, civil society and indigenous peoples. The objective will be to define priorities and guide actions to ensure that nature is better taken into account at the global level.

Further reading: 6 Good Reasons to Preserve Forests 

The Forum, the congress’s space for debate, will be organizing over 500 events, including panel discussions, training and Conservation Action Cafés, from 4 to 7 September. The General Assembly will be held from 8 to 10 September to elect the new IUCN Council, approve its program and adopt new motions.

At the same time, other spaces are planned for a broader public: the Exhibition, where a number of organizations will present their actions, from 4 to 9 September, as well as Nature Generation Areas for the general public from 4 to 11 September, which will highlight the actions and commitments for biodiversity of non-State actors and citizens.


The World Conservation Congress in Marseille follows on from the edition organized in Hawaii in 2016 and will be held in a hybrid form, both onsite at the Parc Chanot and online. It will be of particular importance given that biodiversity is increasingly being recognized as a major global issue. The summit takes place in the run up to two crucial events for environmental conservation. The COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China in October should define an International Framework for Conservation up to 2030. And the COP26 on Climate Change in Glasgow in November, will highlight the convergence of the climate and biodiversity and possible solutions for both. 

By hosting the IUCN Congress, France hopes to rally the international community around biodiversity-related issues and pave the way to ambitious agreements. The ground to be covered will range from addressing the biodiversity crisis to post-Covid recovery plans that take better account of biodiversity. 

Further reading: The Little Book of Investing in Nature

The Covid-19 crisis will also contribute to making this summit a key milestone, because it has brought to the fore the links between the health of the planet and the health of humanity, and the resulting desire for a greener and more resilient recovery.


Agence Française de Développement aims to deliver a strong message in Marseille for the alignment of actors in international finance with the ambitions and actions for biodiversity conservation and the fight against climate change. 

Alongside its partners, including the International Development Finance Club (IDFC), AFD will highlight the leading role of Public Development Banks in green finance through several events at the Forum. This follows on from the first Finance in Common Summit organized in Paris in November 2020, whose second edition will be held in Rome on 19 and 20 October 2021.

The general public will also have access to an AFD stand at the congress’s Nature Generation Areas. From Saturday 4 to Wednesday 8 September, a walk through three spaces (discovery, threats, solutions) will be proposed to raise awareness of the need to protect living beings.

Further reading: AFD’s events at the IUCN World Conservation Congress  

The protection of biodiversity is a priority field of action for AFD Group. It is included in all its activities with the objective of reconciling nature and development. In 2020, AFD committed €565 million for biodiversity, with an objective of €1 billion by 2025.