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10 Things You Should Know About the IUCN

August, 2016

For the first time in history, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) will be held in the United States. The event will be hosted in Honolulu, Hawaii from September 1-10, bringing in an estimated 6,000-10,000 participants from all over the world. The IUCN was created in 1948 and is the largest and most multifaceted environmental group in the world. The IUCN World Conservation Congress meets every four years, inviting businesses, indigenous people, scholars, civil societies and government groups to attend. Here is our insight into what you should know about the world’s biggest conservation event.

  1. Being Green. The IUCN strives to reduce the environmental harm that comes with the World Conservation Congress. The venue will limit the use of electricity by allowing natural air to flow throughout the building to minimize dependence on A/C and will only use electronic equipment that have ENERGY STAR® certification. In addition to these clean energy initiatives, the Congress will encourage sustainable transportation methods to reduce carbon emission.
  2. Repurposing Food Scraps. This year, the IUCN Congress will have the first-ever compostable food project. The idea is to gather all the food waste and kitchen leftovers dumped at the Hawaii Convention Center and repurpose it into soil-enhancing compost on local farms.
  3. Serving Local. Hawaii currently imports about 85 percent of its food, leaving little room to buy local. The IUCN Congress and Hawaii’s local producers are working hard to coordinate locally sourced food at an affordable cost. Although it is challenging to get local producers to supply all the food, having some there will help small producers and farmers boost their business
  1. Business Conservation. There will be more than 100 business sessions that will showcase examples of business involvement, featuring the latest knowledge, tools and policies being applied by public and private industries to improve business models.
  1. Leadership In Sustainability. The IUCN chose Hawaii to host the event because Hawaii is considered a global example for conservation efforts with its Aloha+Challenge. Hawaii hopes to achieve its goal of doubling local food resources by 2030 and hopes to convert to 100 percent sustainable energy by 2045.
  1. Gender Equality. The IUCN created the Global Gender Office (GGO) to show the importance of gender equality. The GGO is one of the largest and most well-rounded gender specialists of all environmental groups. This year, the Congress seeks to be the best gender-responsive Congress ever.
  1. Not the Usual. Businesses can’t get away with the usual anymore. There is urgency for companies to reduce their environmental harm. The IUCN hopes to inspire and better prepare businesses that want to become a forerunner in sustainability and conservation efforts.
  1. Investing in Natural Resources. Business’ role in environmental stewardship is one of the many issues that will be addressed at the IUCN. A big trend for businesses is investing in natural resources like marshes, coral reefs and other conventional areas. It is a cost-effective way to safeguard business assets from climate-change.
  1. Obama’s Plan. President Obama is on board with the proposed expansion. He will deliver a speech to leaders from the IUCN World Conservation Congress and the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders on Wednesday evening. The following day he will go to Midway Atoll within the monument and stamp the newly marked territory.
  2. Engaging the Community. The forum will be from September 2-5. This is open to the public, providing more than 600 sessions discussing many environmental issues. It is the biggest resource for sustainable innovative science where businesses can learn, network and inspire. 

Here is a list of the ICUN forums and their locations that relate to the business community:

Day 1 (9/1)

Opening Ceremony. Neal S. Blaisdell Center, 777 Ward Ave, Honolulu, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Opening Reception. Hawaii Convention Center, 1801 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Day 2 (9/2) at the Hawaii Convention Center

Forum of Choice: Natural Capital Protocol and Sector Guides Hawaii Launch

This session will showcase the collaboration that created the Protocol and sector guides. There will be a fun competition that will be based around the analogy of a cocktail and the ingredients that make it delicious. Like a cocktail and its ingredients, it’s all about collaboration to make it the magic happen! Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 7:30-8:30 p.m.


  • Daily briefing on the business journey. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 8:00-8:30 a.m.
  • The power of collaboration: Business- NGO speed networking. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Applications of biodiversity data: a private sector approach. Room 318B, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • The realities of multi-stakeholder collaboration: lessons from conservation NGO-business partnerships. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion 12:00-1:00 p.m.
  • Providing Virtual Reality (VR) Service of Korea National Parks. Screen 10, 1:00-1:30 p.m.
  • Hawaii Ecotourism Association’s Sustainable Tour Certification Program: Promotion Best Practices and Conserving a Unique Place. Screen 11, 1:00-1:30 p.m.
  • An overview of issues related to impacts of fracking on biodiversity and the environment. Screen 18, 1:00-1:30 p.m.
  • Natural Capital Approaches for Conservation and Development Goals: Tradeoff! Interactive Game. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Waterevolution-Implementing Ocean Responsibility: an integrated approach to maritime cluster sustainability. Screen 6, 2:00-2:30 p.m.
  • BIOFIN-A Partnership for Meeting Aichi Target 20 and Transforming Biodiversity Finance. Screen 7, 2:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Sustainable Funding for Wetland Ecology- Social Impact Investing. Screen 17, 2:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Natural Capital Approaches for Conservation and Development Goals: Case Learning. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Towards strengthened biodiversity offsets policies and practices in the South. Room 315, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Multi-stakeholder dialogue on corporate biodiversity measurement and reporting. Room 317B 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Private Finance for Public Good. Ballroom B, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • National Geographic Storytelling Bootcamp- block 1. Room 308A, 2:30-7:00 p.m.
  • Marine Seismic Surveys: management guidelines. Oceans & Islands Pavilion, 5:00-5:30 p.m.
  • Rio Tinto: Implementing a Net positive strategy lessons learnt and challenges ahead. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
  • Incentive mechanisms to control invasive species. Room 311-7, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • The changing landscapes of corporate-NGO partnerships. Room 316B, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • The Road Ahead: Toyota & The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species-Driving Private Sector Engagement for Biodiversity Conservation. Room 310, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • KBA Consultative Forum: exchanging experience on application of the KBA Standard at the national level. Room 319B, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • What can Public Protected Areas learn from Private Protected Areas? Room 311-13, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Spiritual and Ethical reflections on mining, conservation and life. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
  • BLOOD LIONS Screening. Room 317A, 7:30-9:00 p.m.
  • Natural Capital Protocol and Sector Guides Hawaii Launch. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Day 3 (9/3) at the Hawaii Convention Center

Forum of Choice: Achieving Economic Growth while Supporting Environmental Stewardship in Hawaii

Hawaii has been nationally and globally recognized for its statewide conservation effort, the Aloha + Challenge. The forum will discuss Hawaii’s environmental and economic priorities. There will be an interactive leadership panel with speakers from government, civil society and the private sector, talking about the best business models. The discussion will emphasize successful strategies to develop economic prosperity in Hawaii while being mindful of environmental factors.  Room 319B, 5:00-7:00 p.m.


  • Daily briefing on the business journey. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 8:00-8:30 a.m.
  • IUCN Biodiversity Offsets Policy-Key issues and discussion. Room 311-312, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Extractives and protected conserved areas: impact and alternatives. Room 318A, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  • The SDGs Journey: Achieving the conservation imperative for sustainable development. Room 313A, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Business and Biodiversity: Business Engagement under the Convention on Biological Diversity. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  • “Tackling land degradation on-the-ground”- a capacity building platform for land and soil conservation. Room 301A, 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Natural Capital in Practice: Approaches, Tools, and the Natural Capitol Protocol. Room 307 AB, 8:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • Access and benefit sharing the practical world of research for conservation and sustainable use of Species. Species Conservation Pavilion, 11:00-11:30 a.m.
  • Providing Cross-Sector Leadership for Conservation in Developing and Financing Oil, Gas and Mining: Best Practice Development, Collaboration, Consultation. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Integrating Biodiversity into Commodity Supply Chains: A Message to the Conservation Community. Room 311-5, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Alternative Futures for Ecological Civilizations. Room 311-3, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • What’s in your chocolate bar? Fair trade, conservation and sustainable livelihoods: lessons and opportunities from the Lachuá Community in Guatemala. Room 311-2, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Taking net positive impact (NPI) to the agriculture and forestry frontier: landscape stories from the Cerrado Biome in Brazil and more. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
  • Improving Impact Assessment for the natural world: An introduction to IAIA. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Exploring the potential for private sector managed protected areas. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Breaking the chain of destruction: stopping the illegal supply, transport and demand of our iconic and endangered species! Room 313C, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Business and migratory birds: creating strategic partnerships for flyways conservation. Room 311-6, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Managing land, water and living resources- an ecosystem approach to managing impacts and dependencies in the extractive sector. Room 311-8, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Managing impacts of the oil & gas sector on the marine environment. Room 311-9, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Best Practices in Sustainable Tourism: Guidelines, Solutions and Examples. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Achieving Economic Growth while Supporting Environmental Stewardship in Hawaii. Room 319B, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Guiding Responsible Business Operations in Key Biodiversity Areas. Room 311-7, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Improving the business relevance of IPBES- the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services. Room 311-2, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Bonn Challenge Pau Hana: Celebrating the 100 million hectares milestone. Forests Pavilion, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Exploring a new niche: taking private sector good practice to the landscape level. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Day 4 (9/4) at the Hawaii Convention Center

Forum of Choice: Conserving Nature through Energy Conservation: Renewable Energy Concepts for Island Communities

Delve more into Hawaii’s transition to a greener future using 100 percent sustainable energy. Participants will explore hydrogen application for personal uses, be able to experience fuel cell technology in use and learn more about Hawaii’s dedication to reduce gas emissions. Get ideas on how you might be able to incorporate these practices into your business! Hawaii-Pacific Pavilion A, 6:00-7:00 p.m.


  • Daily briefing on the business journey. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 8:00-8:30 a.m.
  • Nature at a Scale that Matters: Innovative Approaches for Long-Term Funding of Protected Areas. Room 310, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  • How evidence of Commodity Standards’ Effectiveness Can Drive Change. Room 311-14, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Independent Scientific Technical Advisory Panels (ISTAPs) what are they, and what are some of the benefits (and challenges) of using them? Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Governance of protected areas (in Africa)- take part in a MOOC! Room 305B, 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Accelerating change in business practices: a focus on natural infrastructure. Room 309, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Managing conflicts between businesses and civil society over the use of natural resources. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Matters of value: Natural capital, cultural diversity, governance and rights. Room 316B, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Reconciling development and nature: laying the foundations for collaborative action to scale up implementation of a net gain for biodiversity. Room 311-10, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Current availability and evolution of conservation decision-making tools: awareness-building and understand user-needs. Room 311-12, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Integrating Water Resource Management and Landscapes for SDG implantation. Water Pavilion, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
  • Sourcing concrete with confidence. A step towards a more sustainable future for concrete. Screen 5, 1:00-1:30 p.m.
  • Certification and Biodiversity- How Voluntary Certification Standards impact biodiversity and human livelihoods-CEESP Policy Matters Launch. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
  • The Land Use Dialogues: A multi-country platform to gather knowledge and enable responsible business, improved governance and inclusive development in landscapes at risk. Forests Pavilion, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Protection-Production Partnerships for Forests, Climate and Sustainable Development. Room 314-UNDP Kauhale, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Retrospective Review of “Caring for the Earth: A Strategy for Sustainable Living.” Screen 8, 2:00-2:30 p.m.
  • National Parks for the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People: Practice of China’s National Park System. Screen 18, 2:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Cross-sector partnerships: trying to get it right. Room 319B, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Delivering biodiversity gain through greater transparency of maps. Room 311-14, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Africa Transforming- part 1: the role of conservation in growth corridors, safeguards and Chinese investment. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Asia at the Crossroads-How tigers and people can prosper in the Asian Century. Species Conservation Pavilion, 3:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Africa Transforming- part 2: how will Chinese investments transform Africa’s development?Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Partnering to restore wild plains bison for culture and nature: the return of the Buffalo in National Parks and Tribal lands. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
  • Water Stewardship Report. Water Pavilion, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
  • Putting Inclusive Green Growth into Practice: Learning from Innovative Action on the Ground. Room 313C, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Zero Deforestation Supply Chains: Opportunities, Challenges and Lessons Learned. Room 315, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • New water Governance for people businesses and nature. Room 311-8, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Private sector and governance of natural resources: questions and opportunities. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Conserving Nature through Energy Conservation: Renewable Energy Concepts for Island Communities. Hawaii-Pacific Pavilion A, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
  • #NatureForAll Success Stories. #NatureForAll Pavilion, 6:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Carbon Free Island by 2030- Green Big bang from Climate Seed. Screen 25, 7:00-7:30 p.m.
  • Repaint the Stripes: A Guideline for Oilpalm and Pulp-and-Paper Industries to Support Tiger Conservation. Screen 6, 7:00-7:30 p.m.
  • Joint Pau Hana for SUSTAIN- Africa: an example of landscape partnerships for green growth. Water Pavilion, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Joint Pau Hana for SUSTAIN- Africa: Landscape partnership for green growth. Forests Pavilion, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Joint Pau Hana for SUSTAIN- Africa: Landscape partnership for green growth. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Day 5 (9/5) at the Hawaii Convention Center

Forum of Choice: Meaningful Engagement of Businesses in Conservation: Call of The Tiger

Biodiversity conservation is an issue that requires heavy involvement from both conservation organizations and businesses. Collaboration is the key for biodiversity conservation. Learn how your business and potential conservation organizations you team up with can have more effective partnerships. Room 311-10, 2:30-4:30 p.m.


  • Daily briefing on the business journey. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 8:00-8:30 a.m.
  • Making Natural Capital Approaches work for conservation: creating the enabling environment to up-scale the use of the Natural Capital Protocol. Room 316C, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Towards greener taxes and subsidies in Pacific Island Countries and Territories and beyond. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  • How to sell a conservation project. Room 307AB, 8:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • Good Practice for Marine Oil & Gas Operations: Mitigation of impacts to biodiversity and ecosystem services. Room 316B, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • B Corporations that regenerate nature. Room 311-1, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Better Deals for Nature and People: Collaborations for Responsible Sourcing of Wild Plant Ingredients. Room 317B, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • The Role of Civil Societies in China’s Protected Areas Governance and Nature Conservation: Approaches, Innovations and Future Directions. Room 311-9, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Balancing the relationship between government civil society and business: creating an effective enabling environment. Room 311-13, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • Natural Capital Approaches: Identifying Common Grounds and Fracture Points. Room 313A, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • The role of business in developing resilient, green and inclusive agricultural growth corridors in Africa. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
  • The business case of sustainable land management. Launching the Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Initiative toolbox for the Private Sector. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Securing the future: Building partnerships for managing risk and resilience of locally controlled forest business. Forests Pavilion, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Meaningful Engagement of Businesses in Conservation: Call of The Tiger. Room 311-10, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • How can stakeholder engagement processes lead to more sustainable landscapes? Room 311-12, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Biodiversity Offsets: What are they and what do they mean to different stakeholders? Room 313A, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • A Partnerships for Real Change: Two “landscape approaches” from APRIL Group and the Zoological Society of London in Indonesia. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
  • A primer for IUCN species specialists on IFC Performance Standards. Room 318A, 2:30-7:00 p.m.
  • Greening Infrastructure: Landscapes planning to address cumulative impacts from large infrastructure projects. Room 313A, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Conservation finance: lessons from the field. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Unlocking the billion-dollar business case for landscape scale restoration. Business and Biodiversity Pavilion, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

For more information about the events and activities going on during the days of September 6-10 click here.

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