Update on the World Conservation Congress and Jeju Naval Base

IUCN is an open and democratic membership organization and has always welcomed constructive and vigorous dialogue about environmental issues based on sound science and mindful of IUCN’s vision of a just world that values and conserves nature.

Julia Marton Lefèvre meets the head of the Gangjeong village association

The World Conservation Congress is now well underway in Jeju, Korea. Hundreds of issues have been discussed, with members of the Gangjeong Village Association and other campaigners against the Jeju naval base participating freely in events and debates. Peaceful campaign demonstrations have also taken place inside and outside the Congress Center.

The Korea National Committee for IUCN has also taken the lead in organizing an open dialogue with representatives of the Gangjeong Village Association and representatives of the IUCN Council and Secretariat on 11 September from 2pm to 4pm. This will take place at the Village Centre in Gangjeong. This will be an informal dialogue to ensure IUCN’s experts and scientists better understand environmental issues with the naval base and can contribute more effectively to an objective and constructive discussion. Members of IUCN’s governing Council will also participate in the dialogue.

Upcoming Forum events will continue to feature discussion about various environmental issues in Korea and elsewhere, as well addressing other serious emerging issues from all corners of the

IUCN’s statutes declare that “all persons entitled to attend the World Congress shall be admitted to that State without discrimination”. We are therefore very concerned about the three registered Congress delegates who were refused entry into Korea in the last few days. We formally asked the Korean government for an official explanation two days ago. The Korean government responded this morning saying that the delegates were refused entry according to the Korean Immigration Control Act and that this has nothing to do with the Congress.

We look forward to a continuing open dialogue on these issues and others at this Congress and beyond.

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