IUCN World Conservation Congress and STELARR project

The IUCN World Conservation Congress (WCC) brings the world together to set priorities and drive conservation and sustainable development action. IUCN’s 1400+ government, civil society and indigenous peoples’ member organisations from over 160 countries vote on major issues and actions to guide humanity’s relationship with our planet for the decades ahead. IUCN’s unique and inclusive membership of governmental and non-governmental members gives the Congress a powerful mandate.

The Congress is the largest marketplace for conservation and sustainable development science, practice, innovation and policy. Scientists, policy experts, business leaders and professionals from around the globe share their experience, innovation and latest research. Over 600 sessions address the economic, social, scientific and technical aspects of issues ranging from wildlife to oceans, protected areas to sustainable business, and climate change to human rights.

In June 2019, IUCN and several partners jointly organised a conference on "Pastoralism and rangeland restoration: a practitioners’ dialogue for increased investment in pastoral management of the rangelands" in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

In September 2021, the WCC was held as a hybrid in-person and virtual event in Marseille. It approved a call for IUCN support for the IYRP that was included in §6 of Motion 010:

“REQUESTS IUCN to seek support from State Members for the process initiated by the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, to designate a ‘United Nations International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists’ in order to increase worldwide understanding of the importance of rangelands, including grasslands and savannahs, for the conservation of biodiversity and local livelihoods, to be voted on at the 27th session of the COAG."

In 2023, IUCN will start to implement the project Sustainable Investments for Large-Scale Rangeland Restoration (STELARR), which is funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and executed by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). The project will work with pastoralists and other livestock value-chain actors, including the commercial sector, to make the value chains more sustainable and climate-friendly by ensuring that investment is made in the rangelands to sustainably raise their productivity and restore them where needed. It will support governments and other rangeland stakeholders to make strong commitments to advance sustainable rangeland restoration in the context of the Global Biodiversity Framework, Land Degradation Neutrality, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and the IYRP 2026 (see one-page document below).