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IUCN World Parks Congress

The Congress is fast approaching - did you know Australia has specific customs and quarantine requirements that may be different from those in your own country?

Make sure you have a smooth entry into Australia by knowing the rules before you travel. Check out the Guide for Travellers - Know Before You Go brochure on the Congress website.

Plant material, animal products and some food from overseas are not allowed to be brought into Australia as they could introduce serious pests and diseases, devastating our agricultural industries.

Make sure you declare any food, plant or animal products when asked on arrival. There are high penalties for not declaring prohibited and restricted goods.

If you are planning to bring cultural heritage items that contain plant or animal products, please note that these may be confiscated if they do not meet quarantine requirements.

Make sure you read the Declare It brochure.

Click here for more details.


Accommodation for the Congress is filling up fast and it’s best to make sure you have somewhere to stay before you arrive. Sydney is full of great places to suit every budget.

There may be limited rooms remaining right in Sydney Olympic Park, but the Congress is only a 30 minute train ride from the Sydney CBD (or a gorgeous 45 minute ride on the ferry ) and 25minutes from Parramatta.

There are plenty of accommodation recommendations at Destination Sydney or try one of the online hotel booking sites such as Expedia, Trip Advisor, or Wotif.


Sydney Olympic Park provides delegates with automated teller machines (ATMs) to withdraw Australian dollars. ATMs are open 24 hours and are located within a two-minute walk from the main Congress halls.

In addition, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia has full banking facilities including changing overseas currency into Australian dollars.

The bank is situated within a two-minute walk from the main Congress halls. Opening times of the bank are 9.30am to 4.00pm, Monday to Thursday, and 9.30am to 5.00pm on Friday.

Delegates should check with their bank before departure on overseas fees that may be incurred when making cash withdrawals.

A quick reference guide to onsite facilities including ATMs and banks is available on the Sydney Olympic Park website.


The rainforests of the Asia–Pacific are vital to the region’s economy, providing food and income for millions of people. They are home to many endangered plants and animals and store millions of tonnes of carbon.

In the ten years to 2010, Southeast Asia lost some 11 million hectares of forest.

Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt is delighted to extend an invitation for 200 World Parks Congress delegates to attend the Asia-Pacific Rainforest Stakeholder Dialogue on 11 November 2014 in the Sydney CBD. 

At this parallel event for World Parks Congress, technical and policy experts will focus on  practical solutions to rainforest loss and showcase successes in protecting the world’s precious rainforests.

To register your interest please click here.


How much space do you think should be allocated to nature, and why?

You can add your voice to thousands of others around the world by taking part in this first-ever global public opinion survey on space for nature here.

The Zoological Society of London, in collaboration with IUCN and freuds, will launch the results at Congress in Sydney.

It only takes 5-10 minutes and you’ll be helping to answer the question of how much space we should set aside for nature, steering the future vision for the world’s protected areas.

Be quick. The survey closes on 13 October.


One of the exciting outcomes of the World Parks Congress will be a New Social Compact – a key legacy in the Promise of Sydney.

The Compact will embody principles and actions to change human behaviour, shift political will and define a new approach to conservation. This cross-cutting theme will gather a wide range of global participants from Indigenous Peoples and fishers to media and scientists, all contributing their inspiring solutions for parks, people and planet.

Leading the dialogues across streams is Dr Nigel Crawhall of the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee who has worked with Indigenous Peoples and local communities in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Niger, Kenya, Gabon and Tanzania.

Helping to facilitate are environmental lawyer Dr Trisha Kehaulani Watson-Sproat from Hawaii and Professor Amran Hamzah from Malaysia, an expert in tourism planning and development.

Look out for these sessions in your Congress programme!

Dr Trisha Kehaulani


Dr Nigel Crawhall


Professor Amran Hamzah


Get snapping now! The deadline for the SAVED Nature Photography Competition is 15 October.

Capture a great shot of the landscape, habitat or wildlife in a national park or protected area and you’ll be in for a chance of sharing in $24,000 in cash prizes and being exhibited at the World Parks Congress.

There are three themes to choose from - Parks, People and Planet. Images can be entered in four categories - professional, enthusiast, student (aged 13-18) or social.

We’ve received some incredible entries so far – make sure you add yours before the deadline. Tracy Ryan took this great photo of Australia’s World Heritage-listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

And this one of the spectacular Antarctic was submitted to SAVED by L.A.Shibish, who’ll be presenting in the Governance stream.


General enquiries
WPC 2014 Secretariat
ICMS Australasia
GPO Box 3270
Sydney NSW 2001

Ph: +61 2 9254 5000
Fax: +61 2 9251 3552

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