Congress history

60 years of Congresses

In the past, Congresses were held every two years, then every three, and now they are held every four years. Initially, the Congress only consisted of the Members’ Assembly of all IUCN member organizations. Since 1996, the Congress has grown to include the Forum, open to all, to debate major sustainable development issues, propose solutions and facilitate the sharing of information and experiences.

The IUCN World Conservation Congress has been held in all corners of the world.

2008 Barcelona   1972 Banff
2004 Bangkok   1969 New Delhi
2000 Amman   1966 Lucerne
1996 Montreal   1963 Nairobi
1994 Buenos Aires   1960 Warsaw
1990 Perth   1958 Athens
1988 San José   1956 Edinburgh
1984 Madrid   1954 Copenhagen
1981 Christchurch   1952 Caracas
1978 Ashkhabad   1950 Brussels
1977 Geneva (extra ordinary session)   1948 Fontainebleau
1975 Kinshasa  

Venue Selection

Traditionally, a World Conservation Congress is hosted by one of IUCN’s State Members. Preference is given to countries and regions where Congresses have not been held in recent years.

In November 2008, IUCN officially commenced its search for the Host City to welcome the 2012 World Conservation Congress by sending an invitation letter to all State Members of IUCN, as well as countries where IUCN has government agencies as Members, inviting them to express interest in hosting the 2012 Congress. Out of the expressions of interest received, Council selected Mexico and the Republic of Korea as candidates. Based on the bidding documents submitted by the candidates as well as the evaluation report prepared after the site visits, IUCN’s Council, at its 73rd meeting in November 2009, decided to accept the offer by the Government of Korea to host the Congress in Jeju, Republic of Korea.

2012 Congress
  • 2012 Congress logo
2008 Congress
  • Barcelona Congress
60 years of IUCN

From IUCN's creation in France in 1948 to its 4th World Conservation Congress in Barcelona in 2008.