Biodiversity loss needs to be elevated as an existential challenge on the global agenda, equal in urgency to climate change, according Razan Al Mubarak, who told a Reverse the Red live webinar on December 9th that IUCN is best positioned to lead the effort.
Reverse the Red is a global movement that ignites strategic cooperation and action to ensure the survival of wild species and ecosystems, providing tools and partnerships to unite stakeholders and catalyze conservation impact.
Co-hosted by the IUCN Species Survival Commission, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the Smithsonian Earth Optimism Summit, the panel also featured Yolanda Kakabadse, the first woman to serve as IUCN President; Asha de Vos, Executive Director and Founder of Oceanswell; Kris Tompkins, President of Tompkins Conservation; and Elizabeth Mrema, Executive Secretary at CBD.
“We need IUCN now more than ever,” said Ms. Al Mubarak. “When the fabric of our existence is being threatened we need an IUCN that is fit for purpose. The world is changing, things are moving very, very fast and we can’t be the only ones that are walking in a race
Ms. Al Mubarak summarized her vision for the organization in three points:
- Focusing on the core of IUCN, which is nature conservation, in order to improve its knowledge products and to make these available to local communities.
- Redesigning internal policies to streamline the work of IUCN to better serve its members, respond to externalities, and expand communication.
- Fostering collaboration with other global institutions and with its own members in order to empower local conservationists, indigenous communities, and our youth.
Ms. Al Mubarak closed her remarks by paraphrasing the Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, saying “even though we may carry pessimism of the intellect, we need optimism of the heart. We must not be discouraged in the face of challenging circumstances, when our work is needed most.”