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Global green.

What is being billed as one of the biggest environmental environmental meetings ever is being held in Thailand this month as more than 5,000 scientists, conservationists, and politicians discuss how to save species and ecosystems that seem headed for extinction.

The IUCN World Conservation Union is hosting the World Conservation Congress, which takes place every four years. Reuters News Service quotes director-general Achim Steiner as saying the meeting "sends a very powerful message that conservation is not a marginal issue in the year 2004."

Steiner warned that despite worldwide efforts, "we have not really succeeded in stemming the loss of species. The number has now risen to over 15,000 threatened species on our planet--and this is just the number we have been able to assess so far."

A highly anticipated part of the meeting will be the unveiling of the IUCN's "Red List" of endangered animals, which Reuters called "the most comprehensive scientific assessment of species at risk of dying out, and concrete measures to slow or reverse their extinction."

The threat posed by rapid economic and population growth will be discussed. Among the businesses that will be represented are oil giants BP and Royal Dutch/Shell. "There has definitely been a shift in the big corporations, who now realize the importance of biodiversity," said IUCN spokesman Deric Quaile. "Most of big business now incorporates this as part of their strategic planning."

IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, shortened its name to IUCN-The World Conservation Union in 1990.
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Title Annotation:News from the world of Trees; environmental meetings, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
Publication:American Forests
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Words:255
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