Friday, September 7, 2012

The Pew Environment Group at the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2012

The Pew Environment Group is attending the IUCN World Congress to advance work on pressing global conservation priorities and has a small team covering a range of ocean issues (tuna, sharks, marine reserves as priorities) and the Boreal forest in Canada. 

Global tuna conservation

Many tuna stocks are approaching – or have already reached - the limits of sustainable fishing, without adequate regulation and conservation measures in place. Pew will be at the IUCN Congress to discuss the importance of establishing target and limit reference points for tuna and improving management of fish aggregating devices (FADs).

In addition to sponsoring a motion on tuna conservation and management, Pew will be hosting a workshop from 1430-1630, 8th September titled, "Beyond the tuna trap: coastal States and the possibility for a new future for tuna”, with experts from Pew, IUCN, Japan, and the Pacific. Pew will also host a media briefing on tuna from 1200-1230, 8th September.

Contact: Amanda Nickson, Director, Global Tuna Conservation Campaign,,

+1 202-674-9829

High hopes for the high seas

There were high expectations at the recent Rio+20 conference for the high seas, the portion of the ocean that lies beyond any national jurisdiction and  which covers nearly 50 percent of the planet's surface (and makes up some 64 percent of the world's ocean).

Pew will be at IUCN to press governments and NGOs to redouble their efforts towards ensuring that our international waters are sustainably managed and the mass of biodiversity that it holds are properly conserved for future generations. Pew is co-hosting a workshop and a press conference with the Natural Resources Defense Council and IUCN on 10th September, and has also co-sponsored a motion on high seas biodiversity conservation.

Contact: Susan Lieberman, Director, International Policy,, +1 202-725-7014

Global Ocean Legacy: protecting special places in the sea

Since 2005, Pew's Global Ocean Legacy project aims to establish a number of very large, highly protected marine reserves where fishing and other extractive activities are prohibited.

On the agenda at IUCN is a motion 'Accelerating the Global Pace of establishing marine protected areas and the certification of their effective management', which Pew has co-sponsored. Pew will be at the meeting to ensure that governments and NGOs acknowledge the role of large scale no-take marine reserves through this motion. A 'meet the press' event will take place on September 11th.

Contact: Alistair Gammell, UK Director, Global Ocean Legacy,, +44 (0)7973 664985

Global shark conservation

Pew is extremely concerned that 30 percent of assessed shark and ray species around the world are classified as Vulnerable or Near Threatened with extinction by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

At the Congress, Pew is working with partners on a motion to urge all shark range and fishing States to prohibit fishing vessels retaining any sharks listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable or Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List, unless a science-based management plan is in place for the species.

Contact: Susan Lieberman, Director, International Policy,, +1 202-725-7014

Boreal forest conservation

The circumpolar boreal forest, one of Earth's largest and arguably least known ecosystems, plays a crucial role in the health of the planet. Rivaling the Amazon in size and ecological importance, Canada's boreal forest supports the world's most extensive network of pure lakes, rivers and wetlands and captures and stores twice as much carbon as tropical forests.

The Pew Environment Group and the Quebec government are introducing a motion at the IUCN recognizing Quebec for adopting the world's most ambitious commitments to sustainable development. Pew will also host a 'meet the press' event on boreal forest conservation on 9th September.

Contact: Mathew Jacobson, Manager, International Boreal Conservation Campaign; Quebec, +1 202-277-8463

Photo courtesy of the Pew Environment Group