About the World Conservation Congress

The IUCN World Conservation Congress is the world’s largest and most important conservation event. Held every four years, the Congress aims to improve how we manage our natural environment for human, social and economic development.

The next Congress will take place from 5 to 14 October, 2008, in the Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona (CCIB) at Barcelona, Spain. More than 8,000 leaders from government, the public sector, non-governmental organizations, business, UN agencies and social organizations will discuss, debate and decide solutions for the world’s most pressing environment and development issues.

The Congress starts with the four-day Forum run by IUCN members and partners discussing cutting edge ideas, thinking and practice. The Forum leads into the four-day IUCN Members’ Assembly, a unique global environmental parliament of governments and NGOs.

World Conservation Congress Programme Overview

World Conservation Congress Programme Overview

Photo: IUCN


According to IUCN’s statutes, the IUCN World Conservation Congress is the highest organ of IUCN that shall convene every fourth year in Switzerland or any other State that agrees to host a session of the Congress.

In the past Congresses were held every two years, then every three, and now every four years. Initially, the Congress only consisted of the Members’ Assembly of all IUCN member organizations. Since 1996, the Congress has grown to include the Forum, open to all, to debate major sustainable development issues, propose solutions and facilitate the sharing of information and experiences.

The IUCN World Conservation Congress has been held in all corners of the world.

60 years of Congresses

2008 Barcelona   1972 Banff
2004 Bangkok   1969 New Delhi
2000 Amman   1966 Lucerne
1996 Montreal   1963 Nairobi
1994 Buenos Aires   1960 Warsaw
1990 Perth   1958 Athens
1988 San José   1956 Edinburgh
1984 Madrid   1954 Copenhagen
1981 Christchurch   1952 Caracas
1978 Ashkhabad   1950 Brussels
1975 Kinshasa   1948 Fontainebleau

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Multimedia series
  • Healthy environments - healthy people: blood and potatoes
  • Safeguarding the diversity of life: life in the slipknot
  • Safeguarding the diversity of life: saving the roots of life
  • Climate Change: a burning issue
  • Climate Change: beyond mitigation