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IUCN World Parks Congress

We promised an inspiring eight days in Sydney and the preliminary Congress programme is certainly shaping up to deliver on that!

From the thousands of ideas, case studies and inspirational stories that we received from the world, the stream leaders and programme working group have designed a diverse and exciting schedule. While this complex programme will continue to develop over the coming months, the initial programme provides a comprehensive view of some of the sessions and events that will take place at the Congress.

The Opening Plenary will bring together world leaders, governments, youth, indigenous peoples and numerous protected area stakeholders to debate the central question: Why Protected Areas?

We’ll take a look at the journey since the 2003 Durban World Parks Congress, taking stock of the progress and global challenges faced in 2014 and our challenges as an industry for the next decade ahead.

The three sub-plenaries, Parks, People and Planet will showcase how vital protected areas are to humanity and what must be considered at the World Parks Congress to affect real change for the future.

The Stream Sessions, the work engines that power the Congress, will host charismatic keynote speakers and will comprise many interesting sessions such as:

  • Ramping up Earth’s heat engine;
  • Respecting, relying & advancing traditional knowledge, governance & management systems;
  • Are landscape approaches undermining protected area integrity?;
  • Nature based solutions for disasters – what can we learn from practices on the ground?
  • Wildlife Crime and law enforcement in protected areas;
  • Sustainable hunting and fishing;
  • Human health benefits of traditional medicines;
  • Technology without walls – drawcards to nature.

Your biggest hurdle will be deciding which sessions to attend!

To start planning your Congress experience, visit the Programme page:


From Thursday 13th – Tuesday 18th November, a series of thought provoking high level debates, the World Leaders Dialogues will take centre stage. Involving media personalities, protected area experts, activists, CEOS, Indigenous Leaders and politicians, they’re sure to be a Congress highlight.

Bookmark the following in your Congress calendar now:

  • 13 November: The Future Is Not What It Used to Be — how parks can help build a more resilient future;
  • 14 November: Ante Up — money matters and the value of parks;
  • 15 November: Stand Up for Your Rights — parks and social equity;
  • 16 November: Food for Thought — feeding nine billion within our planetary boundaries;
  • 17 November: The Nature of Crime — the extent and impact of illegal wildlife trade;
  • 18 November: A Balancing Act — how global appetite for natural resources defines the fate of vulnerable countries.

The full details of the World Leaders Dialogues can be found here:


The Programme also includes a variety of specialised Field Trips, enabling participants the opportunity to hear from the people on the ground, see conservation in action and learn from each other's experiences. These tours showcase the many successes and challenges across the Australian landscape.

Participants will visit places including the Greater Blue Mountains, Uluru, Kakadu, the Flinders Ranges, Tasmania and many more. On some of the Field Trips you’ll also have the opportunity to get up-close to some of Australia’s most unique wildlife including small mammals at Booderee National Park, Tasmanian Devils and one of the last remnant populations of Eastern Barred Bandicoots in Melbourne.

These one off tours provide a unique insight into the management of parks and the range projects taking place within the Congress host country including large-scale landscape connectivity programs, joint indigenous management and carbon off-setting tourism schemes.

The Field Trips can be booked by anyone, you don’t have to attend the Congress so make sure you pass this onto your networks so they don’t miss out!

For a sneak peak at one of the Field Trips, click here for a virtual tour of Australia’s bush capital, Canberra and the Australian Alps Cooperative Management Program:


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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