Opening plenary 13 November 2014
Taking the Congress theme "Parks, people, planet: inspiring solutions", the opening plenary session will bring together leaders from all walks of life including the international community, governments, business, civil society, indigenous peoples and youth to debate the central question: Why do protected areas matter? Picking up where the Durban World Parks Congress left a decade ago, the opening plenary will take stock of global trends and challenges faced by our planet and the seven billion people living on it. This will be an opportunity to celebrate, debate, and be inspired by the potential of protected areas to provide inspiring solutions for some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
Parallel plenary sessions 14 November 2014
Parks, People, Planet – three parallel plenary sessions
The three parallel plenary sessions will present an opportunity for keynote speakers to explore in greater depth the ambitions for the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 in each arena of parks, people and planet. Each session will consider the transformational steps that must be designed in Sydney to affect real change in the years ahead. They will consider the desired outcomes of the streams and cross-cutting themes that will lead towards the Congress outcome – The Promise of Sydney.
This parallel plenary session will focus on finding better and fairer ways to conserve natural and cultural diversity, involving governments, businesses and citizens in establishing and managing parks. The session will explore how far we have come in building the global protected areas estate, how much still remains to be done, and how we can strengthen policy and action commitments for the expansion, connectivity and better governance and management of parks.
This parallel plenary session will explore how we can inspire people from around the world and across generations to reconnect with nature and how we can empower citizens and communities to become more involved and gain real benefits from protected areas. We will identify inspiring solutions that benefit both parks and people.
This parallel plenary session will look at how we can identify and demonstrate nature’s solutions to our planet’s more pressing challenges such as climate change, disaster risk reduction, health, food and water security. Engaging a wide range of sectors including agriculture, health, forestry and fisheries, the parallel plenary will showcase protected areas as a wise investment in our planet’s – and our own – future.
Closing plenary sessions 18 November 2014
The three closing parallel plenary sessions will bring together the participants from the stream sessions and will allow for the synthesis of key recommendations and messages that will form The Promise of Sydney, and to share these with other Congress delegates – what lessons have been learnt, what are the solutions at our doorstep and how the innovative ideas and inspiring solutions will be fed into The Promise of Sydney.
Closing plenary session 19 November 2014
This session will bring together all the outcomes from the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014, including strategies and recommendations from the streams and cross-cutting themes, the perspectives flowing from the World Leaders’ Dialogues and the partnerships and commitments of the many organisations and individuals involved. These will be summarised in the high-level Promise of Sydney. This will also be the opportunity for high-level announcements to safeguard protected areas for future generations expected from leaders around the world. And here we will celebrate our work not only over the past few days of the Congress, but the beginning of our commitment to protected areas for the decades to come.