The IUCN World Conservation Congress will take place in a hybrid format from September 03-11 in Marseille, France. The event will bring together several thousand leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous peoples, business and academia to discuss major issues that will drive conservation and sustainable development actions for the next decades.

During the Congress, IUCN members will vote and adopt several motions, including the IUCN Principles on Synthetic Biology and Biodiversity Conservation. Outcomes will ultimately influence the global conservation agenda and guide the policy and Programme for IUCN. Throughout the congress, there will also be several onsite and online events structured around seven main themes: landscapes, freshwater, oceans, climate change, rights and governance, economic and financial systems, knowledge, innovation & technology. The official programme is available here.

According to a recent report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the sixth mass extinction is accelerating, with more than one million species of plants and animals at risk of being lost forever. Transformative change is needed if we are to reverse this trend and successfully protect and restore damaged ecosystems.

Emerging technologies, such as gene drive, could complement current efforts to halt biodiversity loss and enhance biodiversity conservation by providing more precise, cost-effective, and humane ways to protect endangered species. Without sustained support for research and innovation, the international community will not be able to deliver the speed, scale and affordability needed to meet conservation challenges.