These links are increasingly recognized within the conservation community and around the world; conservation is important for realizing rights, but history also shows that certain approaches to conservation can undermine rights. Further, rights and responsibilities cannot be divided. Policy makers must understand that granting rights entails the responsibility to secure them. In addition, rights cannot be unlimited; rights-holders have responsibilities, including not harming other people’s rights.

Despite rapidly growing attention, the practical implications of rights issues for conservation policy and programming remain relatively unexplored and often contested. IUCN Members, Secretariat, Commissions, and partners have planned a series of diverse Congress Forum events that address issues of rights in conservation from a number of perspectives and in a range of challenging and complex scenarios. This Journey will help participants take full advantage of the opportunity to engage in these events, so that together we can share experiences and generate future action around rights issues within conservation. Among the many questions grappled with in this Journey are:

  • Is consideration of rights useful and appropriate for conservation work? How does it add to the broader trend towards inclusion of social considerations in conservation?
  • What are the key relationships between conservation, rights, and responsibilities?
  • How can we help ensure that conservation respects rights in all cases, and that wherever possible positive synergies are realized?
  • Do rights issues provide only social benefits/safeguards? For whom?
  • Can addressing rights issues also enhance conservation outcomes?
  • Are there potential costs in considering rights? For whom?
  • What are the rights implications of climate change and other global environmental challenges, and how can conservation help respond to these challenges?
  • What is a rights-based approach to conservation, and what tools and methods can support it?
  • How can rights issues be effectively and practically integrated in the work of field practitioners?

This Journey will link about 20 events that, together, run from the afternoon of 6 October to the afternoon of 9 October, across all three Forum Thematic Streams, and a broad range of event types. For details on these exciting opportunities, please see our Journey Map and please come at meet us at the Futures Pavilion.

We hope to see you there!