oa Koedoe : African Protected Area Conservation and Science - World Parks Congress 2014 : parks, people and planet : commentary
The 6th International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Parks Congress took place in November 2014 in Sydney, Australia. This once-in-a-decade event is the flagship global forum on protected areas and the conservation of nature. For seven days, Sydney Olympic Park was teeming with over 6000 park rangers, conservation scientists, politicians, government officials, business people and concerned citizens from 170 countries. They came together to share their experience and ideas about the challenges and opportunities facing the global protected area network. The breadth of issues addressed at the congress was impressive. Each day was structured around eight themes: Reaching Conservation Goals; Responding to Climate Change; Improving Health and Well-Being; Supporting Human Life; Reconciling Development Challenges; Enhancing Diversity and Quality of Governance; Respecting Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge and Culture; and Inspiring a New Generation. These different themes involved discussions that spanned all scales of activity, from removal techniques for individual invasive species to updates on international legal frameworks. Given this overwhelming amount of content, it was not possible for one individual to engage in all the workshops, dialogues and plenaries the conference had on offer. This article is a reflection of the sessions that were attended by the author and how they were relevant to the catchphrase of the congress: 'Parks, people, planet: inspiring solutions'.
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