Natural resources and environmental representatives from the African Development Bank attended the 2012 World Conservation Congress, the largest and most important conservation event, from September 6 to 15 in Jeju, South Korea, to discuss conservation issues, including the problem of elephant poaching on the African continent.
Held every four years, the World Conservation Congress aims to improve management of the natural environment for human, social and economic development. This year's Congress brought together more 10,000 participants and speakers, including 5,000 conservation experts from 153 countries, to over 600 events. The meeting was addressed by Lee Myung-Bak, President of the Republic of Korea, and Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, who addressed the Congress in a video message to participants.
The 2012 Congress focused on five main themes symbolizing the planet's most pressing environmental and development challenges, including: nature-based solutions to climate change, food security, social and economic development; effective and equitable governance of nature's use; and nature conservation.
Among the 52 resolutions adopted during the meeting was one regarding the current elephant crisis. Experts widely recognized that Africa is today facing unprecedented elephant poaching with thousands of elephants killed every year to fuel the Asian ivory market.
The AfDB was represented at the event by Ken Johm, Division Manager for Natural Resources and Environment Management, and Bamba Diop, Environmental Specialist. The Bank participants had separate meetings with several African ministers and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) African Elephant Specialist Group to explore and discuss ways of stopping this massacre and how the Bank can play a vital role in this effort.