Have you ever heard of IUCN? It stands for International Union for Conservation of Nature, established in 1948 in Fontainebleau, south of Paris. It held the 9-day International Biodiversity Congress here around the corner from where I live in Marseille, from 3 to 10 September. French President Macron as well as American actor Harrison Ford came for the official opening. I attended the second day of the congress to see what it was about. Most of the information I obtained is from IUCN’s website.
President Emmanuel Macron is known for stating There is no Planet B. This time he added There is no vaccine for a sick Planet, urging to phase out pesticide use, ending plastic pollution and eradicating raw materials linked to the deforestation of rainforests. He also wants the polar regions of the Earth being recognised as common global assets. Harrison Ford represented Conservation International and emphasised the protection of the Amazon and the importance of the role of indigenous people in this. He holds high hopes for the young environmentalists in protecting nature and battling the climate crisis.
Many climate experts and scientists attended the Congress and are involved in the action against the climate crisis, a crisis that affects the whole earth and every single person on it. Over the past months well-developed European countries like the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France experienced frightening destructive weather. Unfortunately, their ‘decent’ infrastructures are also not built for longterm extreme weather. When world leaders are getting involved in fighting the climate crisis then there is still hope that words can be put into action.
Many excellent resolutions were made during the Congress, among which 80% protection of the Amazon by 2025, a moratorium on deep-sea mining across the oceans and a new IUCN creation the Climate Crisis Commission. We’re in the second week of September and already you feel it, the wind is subtly cool. I was surprised to see fresh blooms in the Calanques after such a warm summer. When I passed a hiker with a dog I said to her ‘it’s the end of the summer‘. And she said, ‘yes, it’s the best time in the Provence, the month of September!’
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