WCPA Chair’s Update: Launch of World Parks Congress Website and IUCN Commission Participation

20 November 2013 | Article

Once every decade we have a landmark event which results in commitment and action while moving the protected areas agenda forward – the IUCN World Parks Congress. 

Planning and organization for the next IUCN World Parks Congress, due to be held in Sydney in November 2014, is already fully underway, and I am pleased to announce the launch of the Congress website.

The website contains a wealth of information on the Congress programme and how you can get involved. It will also be updated regularly, so please continue to check back for the latest news and information.

We have come a long way in increasingly making protected areas conservation part of human cultures, yet at the same time the challenges for a just world that values and conserves nature are perhaps larger and more pressing than ever. The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 has, therefore, chosen the theme Parks, People, Planet– Inspiring Solutions. By inviting collaboration from outside the conservation sector, including business, youth and the next generation of conservation leaders, this Congress seeks to move the protected areas agenda forward while also positioning protected areas within broader social and economic goals.

Just as conservation will not succeed if we do not engage the broader community interests and incorporate other decision making sectors, the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 needs the input of the whole IUCN family, and in particular the leadership and contributions of all six Commissions. We value your participation, and hope it will continue up to, and during, the Congress. We will also appreciate your help in spreading the word to your Members and colleagues.

We are already collaborating amongst the Commissions as well. Each Commission is associated with at least one Congress stream, and Commission Focal Points for the Congress have been identified, with Nancy Colleton from the CEC representing all Commissions on the Programme Working Group. The Focal Points are:

  • Kathy Mackinnon – WCPA
  • Nancy Colleton – CEC
  • Martha Chouchena-Rojas – CEESP
  • Ben Boer – WCEL
  • Angela Andrade – CEM
  • Jeff McNeely -- SSC

Please consider this as an invitation to become engaged and also as an expression of gratitude for all you have done so far and will continue to do to make the World Parks Congress 2014 a leap forward as a modern vision of conservation where we join together to inspire others for Parks, People and the Planet.