In April 2022, dozens of geographers from across the globe participated in an online meeting of the world’s geographical societies ahead of COP15 of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming. An initiative of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, in collaboration with the International Geographical Union, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), the gathering was devised first and foremost as a moment for geographers and others with an empathy for our subject to come together and challenge ourselves to explore what we can do, both individually and collectively, to address this vital issue of our times: the biodiversity crisis. The event followed the success of the previous gathering in June 2021, ahead of COP26 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which resulted in a joint declaration of more than than 80 societies worldwide, all pledging to redouble efforts to address the climate emergency. The idea was, and remains, that many of our societies have extraordinary potential to effect change through our activities and networks: through our research and educational programmes; our events and publications; our advisory functions with local, regional, and national governments; and our efforts to inspire both geographers and the general public.
The full report of the gathering is available here