A seven member Bhutanese officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation and Royal Society for Protection of Nature participated in the IUCN’s 6th World Conservation Congress held in Honolulu from 1-10 September 2016. The congress is organized every four years with the last one held in October 2012 at Jeju. The 10 days congress with the central theme “Planet at the Crossroads” brought together world’s greatest minds and environmental leaders from the government, civil society, indigenous communities, private sectors, and academia.
The congress outlined opportunities to address some of the greatest challenges facing nature conservation and the urgent action needed to ensure long term survival of life on Earth and the planet’s ability to sustain them. Key decisions included closure of domestic markets for elephant ivory, the urgency of protecting the high seas, the need to protect primary forests, no-go areas for industrial activities within protected areas and an official IUCN policy on biodiversity offsets.
At the closing session on September 10, Hon’ble Sanam Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji who led the Bhutanese delegation, while applauding and pledging Bhutan’s support to the Hawai’i commitments also emphasized the urgency for global leaders and partner agencies to revamp collectively the Paris Agreement and Hawai’i commitment to address the emerging challenges of climate change, UN’s sustainable development goals and immediate steps needed to stop wildlife trafficking, among others. His Excellency also shared Bhutan’s commitment since 2009 to remain carbon neutral and the recent initiative of Bhutan Government by partnering with WWF to develop Bhutan Life for ensuring financial sustainability of protected area system in Bhutan for perpetuity. The Bhutanese delegation participated in several technical sessions as speakers and presenters in sharing the best practices as well as challenges encountered in managing Bhutan’s Protected Area system totaling 51.44%.
Submitted by Chief of PPD, MoAF
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