Cross-cutting themes


Cross-cutting themes:

Cross cutting themes are topics that are relevant to multiple Streams. They will not become stand-alone Streams but will be incorporated into the 8 Streams so that the Streams take account of the cross-cutting issues and Congress delegates can follow a particular thematic journey across different Streams if they so desire. Cross-cutting theme leaders are expected to work with the eight Stream leaders to incorporate relevant and innovative perspectives, case studies, programs, speakers and activities into Stream design and programs, and to work at the level of the whole Congress to develop the Congress legacy outcomes.


This cross-cutting theme will focus on how to design and manage effective Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Marine Protected Area networks. Marine issues will be clustered around three sub-themes: Invest More, increasing the investment of funds, time, partners, and other resources in MPAs; Involve More, engaging a broader range of stakeholders, building new partnerships, and moving from awareness to action; and Protect More, expanding the use of MPAs and MPA networks to achieve conservation goals and targets and maximize their resilience and effectiveness. The theme will build upon the outcomes of the Third International MPA Congress (IMPAC3), and will produce at least one major initiative, potentially a partnership with relevant industries. The Congress will facilitate the sharing of experiences and innovations, foster alliances, and highlight both achievements of and new commitments by the MPA community.

Led by: US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

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World Heritage

This cross-cutting theme will provide an opportunity to take stock of successes and challenges in this subset of protected areas that are listed as being of outstanding universal value. As an exemplar, World Heritage Sites offer the opportunity to examine the role of protected areas when addressing the specific strategic directions of the Congress. For example, mining exploration or development that affects World Heritage sites is a key issue in reconciling the conflicting goals of conservation and development. Finally the cross-cutting theme provides an opportunity to take lessons learned from global practice in protected area systems to enhance the integrity of World Heritage Sites, and to make recommendations for renewed commitment and effectiveness of the World Heritage Convention.

Led by: IUCN World Heritage and IUCN WCPA

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Capacity Development

Capacity Development is expected to be a lasting legacy of the Congress. This theme is relevant to all Streams and will seek to address systematically the implementation gap between policy and practice in protected area sites and institutions. The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 provides an opportunity to reach agreement and commitment on a global programme for professionalising protected area management, supported by standardised resource materials, a standardised curriculum delivered through accredited courses hosted by accredited institutions, as well as producing protected area professionals who meet competency standards and can contribute to effective systems of protected areas.

Led by: IUCN WCPA and IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC)

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New Social Compact

Within the context of protected area systems and institutions globally, this cross-cutting theme will seek to provide fresh and effective approaches to addressing the human drivers behind the spiralling threats to the planet, including gross imbalances of power and decision-making. The solution to the world’s global environmental and climatic process must be built on the will of humans to work together to change behaviour and impacts. An inspirational platform will be created across the streams and themes of the Congress where diverse rights holders, stakeholders and interest groups are able to enter into dialogue and commit to building solidarity in human networks and a shared understanding of the intrinsic and functional value of nature.

Led by: IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP)

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