KIGALI, Feb 3 – The inaugural IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress (APAC) previously scheduled for 7-12 March 2022 has been postponed to 18-23 July 2022 in the Rwandan capital Kigali, the organizers said.

The Rwandan government, which is to host the congress, and all partners remain fully committed to making the IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress a landmark event for nature conservation and sustainable development in Africa, they added.

“The Government of Rwanda remains excited to host all delegates in July for a safe, ambitious Congress that will change the course of the African conservation agenda,” said Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Rwanda’s Minister of Environment. “Rwanda remains steadfast in seeing the vision of having the first IUCN Africa Protected Areas Congress held in Kigali.

“We encourage delegates to continue registering as we prepare to deliver this all-important Congress. We would like to assure everyone that Rwanda has put in place stringent measures to ensure that Africa deliberates on the future of its biodiversity in a safe environment,” she added.

The event will be the first-ever continent-wide gathering of African leaders, citizens and interest groups to discuss the role of protected and conserved areas in safeguarding Africa’s iconic wildlife, delivering vital life-supporting ecosystem services, promoting sustainable development while conserving Africa’s cultural heritage and traditions, according to the organizers.

The secretariat has extended the early bird registration to 31st March 2022 and urged those planning to participate to register.