8th World Wilderness Congress announced

04/15/05

Will focus on wilderness, wildlands and people

The 8th World Wilderness Congress (WWC) will convene from September 30 October 6, 2005 at the Egan Convention Center in Anchorage, Alaska. The Congress is expected to attract more than 1,000 experts from 40 countries, including numerous high-profile and senior-level political and corporate speakers.

The theme for the 8th WWC is Wilderness, Wildlands and People: A Partnership for the Future. It will generate the most up-to-date and accurate information on the benefits of wilderness and wildlands to contemporary and traditional societies, and will review the best models for balancing wilderness and wildlands conservation with human needs.

The Congress, founded in 1977, was the first international environmental gathering to include indigenous people and always focuses on wilderness and people.

The gathering is expected to produce several newsworthy announcements and cover many oft-reported topics, including:

  • Wild Salmon The latest State of the Salmon data
  • Climate Change The latest data on climate change in Alaska and around the world, including impacts on local communities and mitigation efforts
  • New Protected Areas Several new protected areas and "peace parks" are expected to be announced, including some in the U.S. and Mexico
  • Native Lands and Wilderness Council Tribes from The United States, Canada, Australia, Asia and Africa will convene indigenous groups from around the world to present models for protecting wilderness on native lands
  • Global Wilderness Inventories The latest global terrestrial and marine wilderness inventories tell us how much wilderness is out there and where it is; up to 50 percent of the Earth's land is thought to still be "wilderness"
  • The 1st Mega-Flyover Scientist/explorer Michael Fay, who gained international renown for his 1999 trek through Central Africa, will offer the first report on his latest expedition by light aircraft across the entire African continent
  • Money A team of economists assess the exact worth of wilderness

The agenda, subject to change, is as follows:

September 30 October 1: The Global Wilderness Forum This forum will contain plenary sessions with reports of global scope and importance, featuring political, science, native, conservation and corporate leaders

October 2: Field Trips Include photographing moose in the Chugach Mountains, salmon fishing in Seward and hiking Caines Head State Recreation Area

October 3 October 5: World Wilderness Working Sessions: Include presentations and panels on native wildlands and corridor initiatives and climate change, as well as breakout sessions on science and stewardship, arts and advocacy, and the "Wild Planet Project," the applied research initiative likely to produce a lot of news

Source: Eurekalert & others

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