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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 3, 2008


Assistant Secretary of State Claudia McMurray To Lead U.S. Delegation to IUCN World Conservation Congress

Claudia A. McMurray, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, Environment and Science will lead the U.S. delegation at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress, which will convene in Barcelona October 5-13, 2008. Held every four years, the Congress provides the global conservation community the opportunity to assess the successes and challenges of conservation. Over 8,000 participants from NGOs, governments, the private sector, UN specialized agencies and academia will come together with a shared commitment to conserve and preserve the world's species.

The U.S. objectives for the Congress are three-fold. The first goal is to work to strengthen IUCN by adopting a four-year strategic program that promotes science-based decision making for conservation. Secondly, U.S. Government conservation activities and programs will be highlighted, including our goal to ensure that all of our conservation efforts meet the real needs of people and protect the environment. And finally, the United States will use the Congress to encourage public-private partnerships that further our conservation efforts worldwide.

Assistant Secretary McMurray will chair an Alliance workshop on the illegal trade in wildlife, featuring partners to the Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking, a global initiative started by the Department of State in 2005. The Assistant Secretary will also preside over a meeting of the Coalition during the Congress. In addition, the Department will sponsor a Pavilion session to highlight U.S. work on coral reefs, including our activities as co-chair of the International Coral Reef Initiative.

The U.S. delegation will include six government agencies, and will highlight key United States conservation activities and programs through interactive sessions, panel presentations and workshops, led by our technical experts. NOAA will host a series of seminars and poster sessions, including highlighting U.S. marine protected areas such as the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, the largest fully protected marine park in the world. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service activities will include a forum on global polar bear conservation and research. Representatives from USAID will participate in dialogues on sustainable development, working to strengthen the links between promoting economic growth and prosperity while protecting our natural base.

2008/834


Released on October 3, 2008

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