As challenges in sustainable development and sustainable use of the earth’s natural resources accelerate, the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress will play a key role in ensuring that protected areas can contribute towards addressing them. The ultimate aim of the Congress is to position parks and protected areas firmly within broader goals of economic and community wellbeing. The theme of the Congress has therefore been selected as Parks, People Planet: Inspiring Solutions.
In Sydney, meeting the challenges of sustainable development and contributing to community wellbeing will be achieved by increasing understanding of the vital role of protected areas in conserving biodiversity and delivering ecosystem services. This progress will contribute substantially to realizing IUCN’s overall vision of a “just world that values and conserves nature.”
More than a meeting place, the Congress will set the protected areas agenda through its design to achieve outcomes that have global and local impact, and influence the direction and trends involved in contemporary protected area management. To achieve real impact, the Congress aims to bring together not only leaders in the parks and protected areas field, but also business, government and influential individuals that depend on or impact protected areas. It will also strive to engage a diversity of young people around the world as the main proponents of a new vision and perspective on the role and value of protected areas. This holistic view will ensure WPC 2014 results in outcomes that last, and that will influence policy, practice and perspectives for conservation and development in the decade that follows.