IUCN Again Calls on Members to Base Policies on Science
Fur Institute of Canada, October 16, 2008 – Ottawa: World conservationists have sent a strong message to governments and policy makers, to put their sustainable use principles into practice.
The IUCN World Conservation Congress, held in Barcelona, Spain, Oct.. 5-14, overwhelmingly passed a motion led by the Fur Institute of Canada, re-affirming the responsible use of living resources as an important conservation tool and calling on government members to adhere to IUCN’s science-based policies for sustainable use.
The World Conservation Union (IUCN) is best known for maintaining the Red List of internationally threatened and endangered species. It has over 1,000 national government and NGO members and is the recognized authority on biodiversity and sustainable use of nature.
According to Fur Institute of Canada executive director Rob Cahill, the motion was necessary given the growing political decisions affecting wildlife use and the inconsistencies that are arising from a lack of consultation with the IUCN and using its scientific authorities on best practices for sustainability.
As a result, he says, governments particularly in Europe are establishing policies, initiatives and legislation that go against established IUCN policies and that are harmful to conservation practices and the peoples who rely on renewable wildlife.
“Although IUCN members made commitments to follow guidelines and policies adopted in 2000,” he said, “many governments in recent years have created legislation or disincentives that are not in keeping with those sustainable use commitments.”
Not only are these actions affecting the importation or sale of products from abundant wild species, they may also prove to be in violation of international law, according to Cahill. “Although Canada, through the FIC, took the lead in introducing this motion, we believe it is important for solving many conflicts on the sustainable use of any natural resources,” he said. The motion was also sponsored by the:
- Northwest Territories Department of Environment and Natural Resources
- International Fur Trade Federation
- Federation of Associations of Hunting and Conservation of Wildlife of the European Union
- International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation
The action was endorsed by the International Council of Environmental Law.