The IUCN World Conservation Congress is the main event we organise every four years. It means that most of the Headquarters personnel and many of the staff in the Regions are involved one way or another for the best part of the year, and as a result there is a large number of IUCN personnel at the Congress.
Do we need so many staff at the Congress? As we are organising several hundreds of parallel individual events during the next few days; we provide secretariat services to the elections and discussions of motions; we manage VIPs and other guests, and we are responsible for the overall running of an event that has nearly 7000 participants at last count, I would say: Yes!
This evening we had our first staff meeting, and we talked about the various working groups that have been established to make this a successful event. The IUCN Director General also gave her first impressions and last minute guidance on what to expect during the coming days.
My overwhelming impression was that we are a large group of excited nature conservation experts, wanting to share their knowledge and experience with others. The atmosphere was great, and while we all know that we will be losing sleep in the coming weeks, no-one complained or voiced disagreement.Let the show begin!