World Parks Congress


World Parks Congress 2014: Parks, People, Planet: Inspiring Solutions

Parks Australia was very proud to co-host the sixth International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Parks Congress in November 2014 in partnership with the IUCN and the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Media releases

What happened at the Congress?

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Parks Congress 2014 (the Congress) was a great success. Over 6,000 delegates from 170 countries, gathered at Sydney’s Olympic Park from 12-19 November 2014, making it the largest event of its kind ever to be held.

Overall there were more than 900 events, presentations, workshops and functions during the week-long Congress, plus exhibitions and pavilions, which offered a glimpse into the vast range of work of the IUCN and its partners. The pavilions covered the themes: oceans, protected planet, conservation finance, nature-based solutions, business and biodiversity, and community dialogue. There were also 12 Congress field trips, running from between one and four days in length, at locations across Australia – from the nearby Blue Mountains to Uluru-Kata Tjuta in the Northern Territory to Tasmania.

The IUCN developed the Promise of Sydney as the main legacy outcome from the Congress. The Australian Government made a range of announcements at the Congress and these are considered part of the national pledges that contribute to the Promise of Sydney.

Australian Government Pledges

The Australian Government made a number of key announcements at the Congress that form part of the Promise of Sydney.

These include:

  • A ban on capital dredge disposal in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
  • An historic agreement with China to ban mining in Antarctica.
  • Support to help develop a resolution to the United Nations General Assembly to prevent poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking.
  • AU$2 million to boost threatened species protection in national parks, AU$6 million to support Coral Triangle marine protection, AU$6 million to combat illegal logging across the Asia-Pacific, and AU$100,000 for a new university-led initiative to boost the skills of rangers in Australia and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
  • AU$1.2 million for Bush Blitz, which is an innovative species discovery program borne out of a partnership between the Australian Government, BHP Billiton and Earthwatch Australia.
  • AU$700,000 from the AU$40 million Reef Trust to clean up marine debris across the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Ongoing commitment to work with the United Nations General Assembly to protect the biodiversity of the high seas.