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Sydney to host IUCN World Parks Congress in 2014
A landmark global forum on parks and protected areas is to be held in Olympic Park Sydney in November 2014.
Held every 10 years, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Parks Congress is the world's most influential gathering of people involved in protected area management.
As IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefèvre explains "protected areas are irreplaceable treasures, preserving biodiversity, offering natural solutions to climate change and supporting the livelihoods of people throughout the world by providing clean water, fresh air, food and the source of many of our medicines.
"They are also important for recreation, tourism and education, as well as spiritual and cultural benefits."
As challenges in development and the sustainable use of Earth's natural resources accelerate, the IUCN World Parks Congress will play a key role in setting the agenda for the vitality and future growth of protected areas in meeting these challenges.
Since the first Congress in Seattle, USA in 1962, the IUCN World Parks Congress has been seminal to conservation policy worldwide, addressing global challenges and opportunities, establishing standards to ensure that protected areas are effective and being a source of inspiration and innovation for the decade that follows.
Marton-Lefèvre adds "protected areas are without doubt one of conservation's great success stories and one of the world's most valuable assets.
"The diversity of ways in which indigenous peoples and local communities, the private sector and governments work together in and around protected areas are key to this success".
Today some 13 % of the planet's land surface is dedicated as protected areas, and through the Convention on Biological Diversity, nations are aiming for a target of 17 % by 2020. However, major gaps remain in the marine environment, with less than 2 % of our seas and oceans currently under protection.
The Congress will be the premier gathering to address these gaps.
Welcoming the hosting of the event, NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker said she was thrilled that Sydney had been chosen to host this significant event, which is expected to attract more than 3,000 people to Australia's largest and one of the world's most beautiful harbour-side cities.
Minister Parker stated "Sydney is the home of Royal National Park Australia's first national park and the world's second national park after Yellowstone in the USA.
"Hosting this event is a great opportunity for us to showcase not only Australia's leadership in conservation but the many stunning protected areas that are accessible from our city and across New South Wales.
"Our track record in hosting 'green' events is undisputed, having gained international recognition for the 'green' Olympics in 2000, and we'll be building on this model to host the IUCN 2014 World Parks Congress at Sydney Olympic Park."
Click here for more information on the IUCN World Parks Congress or contact ICMS Australasia on 02 9254 5000.
The IUCN website is at www.iucn.org
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