About IUCN World Conservation Congress

Convened every four years, the World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) brings together governments, civil society, indigenous peoples, scientists and business to drive action on today’s most pressing environmental and sustainability challenges, including the biodiversity and climate crises and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a key milestone before pivotal UN conferences on biodiversity and climate in Kunming and Glasgow, the IUCN Congress will inform new global targets and action towards a sustainable, healthy future for people and nature.

The IUCN CEO Summit will be hosted on 3 September from 13:00-14:30 CEST and will focus on commitments and actions to move towards a nature-positive future. WBCSD’s President and CEO Peter Bakker is confirmed to attend the CEO Summit. All CEOs are invited to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Congress, hosted by the French government in the presence of President Macron.

The Congress has three main elements: the Forum, the Members Assembly and the Exhibition, which will be held under a hybrid format.

On 3 September, ahead of the official Congress opening, a number of independent summits will take place in connection with the event:

  • CEO Summit
  • Indigenous Peoples’ Summit
  • Local Action Summit
  • Global Youth Summit: outcomes and looking to the future

Business contribution to the Congress

WBCSD is the only international business association member of IUCN and as such will provide a strong voice on the contributions business can make to a nature-positive, net-zero equitable world. WBCSD will co-host seven sessions during the Forum, from natural capital policies to nature-positive value-chains, soil health, circular economy and true values of food (see below). A number of WBCSD members and partners will also be present at the exhibition, through a Business & Nature Hub. In addition, more than 20 motions will be debated in person at the Congress, addressing a number of themes that are relevant to business, including natural capital policy principles, addressing impacts of the extractives sector and on nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation. WBCSD will represent the voice of its members.

Business expectations from the Congress

The IUCN Congress is an important milestone to maintain momentum and drive action on nature-based recovery, climate change and biodiversity post-2020. In addition, the Congress will showcase the latest conservation initiatives, policies and tools that can help business achieve their biodiversity and climate targets. More than 120 events relate to business, 24 of which will be held in person, providing an opportunity for learning and exchange between business, civil society and government representatives. The Congress will help advance the role of business, including through the CEO Summit which will issue a statement from to be included in the final declaration.

WBCSD events at the Congress

Useful external links

The IUCN World Conservation Congress is where the world comes together to set priorities and drive conservation and sustainable development action. The event has three main components: The Members’ Assembly, where IUCN Members vote on priority actions; the Forum, a global marketplace of conservation science and innovation; and the Exhibition, where exhibitors can showcase their work to Congress participants and the public.


For any questions regarding business engagement on IUCN Congress, please contact

Nadine McCormick

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