Climate change under spotlight at IUCN debate

01 July 2009 | News story

With 2009 a critical year for the environment, both in dealing with climate change and biodiversity loss, IUCN is taking the lead by organizing a top-level environmental debate today.

Jonathan Lash, President of the World Resources Institute in Washington DC, is examining the position of the United States and Johan Schaar from Sweden is speaking on behalf of the European Presidency.

The debate, which brings together senior government representatives, UN decision-makers, NGO leaders, scientists and business people, focuses on key issues which must be addressed at the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen in December.

It also celebrates the work of environmental trailblazer Maurice Strong, who turns 80. As the Secretary General of both the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, which launched the world environment movement, and the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and first Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Maurice Strong has played a critical role in globalizing the environmental movement.

“IUCN is one of the few organizations that can bring all these people togther to discuss key environmental issues,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. “This debate will help to frame the questions and answers for the climate change discussions later this year in Copenhagen and beyond.”

For more information, please contact Dr Hans Friederich, Head of IUCN’s Strategic Partnerships, on hans.friederich@iucn.org