A major component of the gathering of the leading experts in conservation at the IUCN World Conservation Congress every four years is the approval or rejection of motions for resolutions. At the WCC this year, prior to the event, there were 99 non-governance related motions up for debate. After an intensive discussion of each motion online, 85 were put up for an electronic vote and 14 were tabled for further discussion at the Congress.
There were four motions in which the CIC was particularly interested and involved in which were 003 – Preventing electrocution and collision impacts of power infrastructure on birds; 007 – Closure of domestic markets for elephant ivory; 009 – Terminating the hunting of captive-bred lions (Panthera leo) and other predators and captive breeding for commercial, non-conservation purposes; and 090 – A path forward to address concerns over the use of lead ammunition in hunting. The motion on the prevention of electrocution and collision impacts of power infrastructure on birds and the one on captive-breeding and shooting of lion were successfully adopted by an electronic vote. We would like to extend our appreciation to voters for supporting these important motions!
The remaining two motions were delayed for discussion at the Congress. These discussions took place in what are called “Contact Groups”. These groups are moderated by a neutral party and allow for paragraph by paragraph, word by word, debate between all interested stakeholders to come to a consensus. These discussions can end in one sitting, or it can take as many as three or more separate sessions (of varying length) to develop a document that can be put to the plenary for further comment and ultimately a vote. The CIC was actively involved in the coordination of and contributing to the careful development of motion 090 on lead ammunition used in hunting and motion 007 on the closure of domestic markets for ivory. Compromises had to be made in both cases, and the CIC was not supportive of either of the final outcomes.
Unfortunately, the atmosphere of IUCN underwent a very sad change in climate which manifests itself with a polarization of opinions to the detriment of sustainable use. Wildlife Range States in Africa are divided and it seems that international protectionist organizations from the north have taken over the agenda of wildlife conservation.
The preliminary texts of the adopted motions mentioned in this article can be found here:
003 – Preventing electrocution and collision impacts of power infrastructure on birds
007 – Closure of domestic markets for elephant ivory
009 – Terminating the hunting of captive-bred lions
090 – A path forward to address concerns over the use of lead ammunition in hunting