Terralingua actively participated in IUCN’s 5th World Conservation Congress (WCC 5), which took place on 6-15 September,2012 on the Island of Jeju, South Korea. We organized or participated in a number of events during the WCC Forum. The Forum is a week-long portion of the Congress that brings together NGOs, researchers, indigenous peoples, policy makers, funders, media, and others from all over the world to discuss, share and learn about the world’s most pressing sustainable development issues.
The highlight of our participation in the Forum was the “Conservation Campus” session we gave on our Vitality Index of Traditional Environmental Knowledge . In addition, we were involved in various activities organized by our partners of the Sacred Natural Sites Initiative . As well, we participated in events related to the development of an Island Biocultural Diversity Initiative promoted by researchers from Mokpo National University in South Korea, and in others devoted to the implementation of a Biosphere Ethics Initiative within IUCN.
In addition, Terralingua co-sponsored four motions for the approval of the IUCN Members’ Assembly: on Sacred Natural Sites, the Island Biocultural Diversity Initiative, Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Areas, and the implementation of the Biosphere Ethics Initiative. All four motions were passed by the Assembly.
It was very encouraging to see biocultural diversity, biocultural heritage, and biocultural conservation come up as recurrent themes during WCC 5. Clearly, the biocultural paradigm is taking hold and making its way into on-the-ground conservation and international policy. Yet, much more needs to be done to counter the continued, rapid loss of the diversity of life in nature and culture and set our planet on a more sustainable course.