Climb aboard for Sailing to Barcelona

Background: In October 2008, several dozen boats will set sail for the Spanish port of Barcelona in the name of marine conservation. Their destination is IUCN’s World Conservation Congress (5-14 October 2008). Their message is one: we can and must protect our seas, oceans and coasts. The boats are not just ordinary sailing vessels. Each boat is living proof that something can be done to protect the extraordinary blue world that covers more than two thirds of our planet.

Sailing to Barcelona Photo: Sophie Neboux

What’s happening: Journalists can join one of eight boats for between half a day and 10 days as they sail to Barcelona. This is the chance to get the inside loop on research vessels and find out how these boats contribute to marine conservation. You can choose from eight boats, including:
• The Jadran, a stunning 75-year-old three-master, which will sail from the Adriatic coast representing the conservation efforts of South Eastern Europe, a region with over 6,000km of coastline.
• The Tara, which is a polar research vessel that has recently returned from a 16-month drift in the Arctic and is a living reminder of the dramatic effects of climate change and of the ocean’s essential role in the earth's climatic future.
• The Largyalo,a unique catamaran made almost entirely of wood and whose design was inspired by the Polynesian tribal ships. 100% self-sufficient and independent of fossil fuels, powered by sun, wind and water, the Largyalo will sail around the world to raise awareness about climate change. 

For a full list of all the boats available for press please download the PDF files. Journalists will travel to the departure port at their own expenses and will pay a fix price of €25 per sailing day for food. Once in Barcelona, boats will not provide accommodation.

Limited invitations are also available for media representatives to attend the Sailing to Barcelona Welcome Ceremony on the evening of the 4th October and to come onboard during the boat parade on the 5th. Please contact sailingtobarcelona@iu... if you are interested.

Why it’s happening: Sailing to Barcelona is an action-oriented initiative linking the worlds of sailing and conservation. Its sole goal is to help advance the protection of coastal and marine biodiversity from the local to the global level. Never has the need to protect our oceans in a holistic and coordinated manner been so urgent. Sailing to Barcelona will give a voice to creative marine conservation efforts from various corners of the world, while helping to build new and innovative partnerships for future action, and raise awareness beyond the conservation community.

Materials for the Media:

Photos available at

All related press materials at

Spokespeople: Sarah Gindre, Sailing to Barcelona Project Manager, email

Media team:
Sarah Horsley, IUCN Media Relations Officer, t +41 22 999 0127, e
Carolin Wahnbaeck, IUCN Media Relations Officer, t +41 22 99 0313, e

About IUCN

IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges by supporting scientific research; managing field projects all over the world; and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN, international conventions and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

The world's oldest and largest global environmental network, IUCN is a democratic membership union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists and experts in some 160 countries. IUCN's work is supported by over 1,000 professional staff in 60 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. IUCN's headquarters are located in Gland, near Geneva, in Switzerland.

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