Connecting people to nature – a key outcome of the World Conservation Congress

Fantastic Beasts’ actor Alison Sudol and executives from National Geographic, Parks Canada, Google Earth Outreach and Vulcan Productions were just a few of many leaders that took part in the launch of the #NatureForAll movement at the 2016 IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) World Conservation Congress. Sean Southey, IUCN CEC Chair and CEO of PCI Media Impact tells us more.#NatureForAll logo

#NatureForAll is IUCN’s new global movement founded on a simple idea: the more people experience, connect with, and share their love for nature, the more support there will be for its conservation in the future. The IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) and World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) conceived and implemented the movement.

Just as numerous organisations collaborate to examine species health, #NatureForAll applies the same IUCN model to communication and engagement. More than 110 partners have already agreed to join forces to share best practices and tools to connect people to nature.

Parks Canada CEO Daniel Watson was an early supporter of the movement. “Inspiring people to experience and connect with nature is a key priority for Parks Canada. Parks Canada is committed to maintaining and restoring ecological integrity in our protected areas, and providing Canadians with meaningful opportunities to discover and enjoy them. That includes ensuring that the #NatureForAll initiative continues to move forward,” he said.

Created in 1948, IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organisation, with more than 1,300 government agencies, NGOs larger and small, scientific and academic institutional members, and close to 15,000 Commission Members.

The week-long launch included:

  • A rousing opening ceremony with Alison Sudol setting the tone for a call to action to a packed audience;
  • A pavilion hosting nearly 50 events including performances (Guardians of the Mist), workshops and professional development sessions that provided a space for participants to reflect on content, share experiences, identify opportunities, build networks, and collectively develop strategies to better connect people to nature;
  • The launch of an awe-inspiring new video delivered to the IUCN Assembly at the World Conservation Congress.

“From Alison Sudol to dancers to inquisitive children to media moguls, #NatureForAll offered a vibrant energy with a strong reminder that people are part of nature,” stated former CEC Chair Nancy Colleton.  “It’s a reminder of how important it is to reconnect people to nature – no matter what the method.”

Connections forged among youth leaders at a #NatureForAll Congress event have already led to the Cultural Biodiversity Week in Kpele Tsiko, Togo.

As stated by Dode Houehounha, a WCPA young professional with the IUCN West and Central Africa Programme, “we already planned our first #NatureForAll event: to convene 200 youth from Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and Ghana to discuss conservation of sacred sites, food security, intergenerational partnerships and connecting youth leaders with nature. This will make it part of a global, inclusive initiative that works with many partners, both from the north and the south.”

Houehounha and his colleagues are already demonstrating the power of this movement.

#NatureForAll in Action: Guardians of the Mist, Chiapas , Mexico © Sean Southey

#NatureForAll in Action: Guardians of the Mist, Chiapas , Mexico © Sean Southey

Learn more about the #NatureForAll movement and find out how you can become a partner today at

All images © PCI Media Impact unless stated otherwise.

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