Rwanda is hosting the 2023 International Conference on Conservation Biology (ICCB 2023) slated for July 23-27, under the theme, “The Future is Now: Sustaining Biodiversity for Today and Tomorrow.” The ICCB is organised by the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), which serves as the premier international membership society for professionals, students, and non-profits dedicated to advancing the science and practice of conserving biodiversity. ALSO READ: How community involvement has boosted conservation in Volcanoes National Park The event, held at the Kigali Convention Centre, brings together a diverse community of conservation professionals, researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and students from around the world. The conference creates a unique opportunity for the exchange of knowledge, experiences, and best practices in conservation biology. According to information from the Ministry of Environment, more than 1,000 people from 93 countries will be in Rwanda to share knowledge, discuss challenges, and explore innovative solutions to address pressing conservation issues. ALSO READ: Experts push for inclusive financing mechanism for conservation The theme emphasises the importance of translating scientific knowledge into tangible conservation actions that yield positive and measurable impacts. “Biodiversity is not a luxury, it is the essence of life itself. It is about time that we humans connect nature and climate together. Let us join hands to safeguard our planet’s natural heritage and forge a sustainable and resilient future where harmony with nature prevails. Together, we can make a lasting difference,” said Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Rwanda’s Minister of Environment. Policymakers will have the opportunity to develop effective strategies through engaging in discussions and policy forums, leveraging scientific knowledge to guide conservation actions worldwide. Additionally, capacity-building initiatives will empower early-career researchers and practitioners, while the showcase of successful conservation initiatives will inspire participants to take proactive steps and implement practical solutions within their own regions. “We’re excited to host the conference in Africa for the first time in more than 15 years,” said Mwezi “Badru” Mugerwa, Chair of ICCB 2023 and President of the SCB Africa Region. “This is a unique opportunity to host more than 1,000 leading conservation scientists and practitioners from 93 countries and inspire future generations of African conservationists working to conserve Africa’s threatened biodiversity,” he said. The first International Conference on Conservation Biology was held in 1988 in Montana, USA. Since then, the conference has been held biennially in locations around the world, attracting thousands of conservation professionals from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to shape the field of conservation biology, fostering collaborations, and promoting the integration of science into conservation policy and practice.