The IUCN World Conservation Congress took place earlier this month in Jeju, South Korea. Held every four years, the conference is the world’s largest conservation event and aims to “improve how we manage our natural environment for human, social and economic development.”
Igance Schops, the 2008 Goldman Prize winner from Belgium, was in attendance at this year’s event. The IUCN has long been interested in Schops’ model of creating and funding national parks.
Schops led the effort to establish Belgium’s first and only national park. Raising more than US$90 million by bringing together private industry, regional and European Union (EU) government, local stakeholders, and NGOs, he created a new model for land conservation in the EU and beyond.
Schops is now making the final preparations to host an international conference of his own. The Europarc 2012 conference will be held at Kempen and Maasland Regional Landscape (RLKM) in Belgium, October 22-25.
From the EUROPARC website, “The theme of this conference will be ‘(RE)CONNECTING.’ It will explore (Re)connecting nature with nature; people with nature; business with biodiversity; and policy with practice. In other words: (re)connecting society with biodiversity."
A Goldman Prize staff member will be attending EUROPARC and reporting from the field. Check back next month for news and updates!