At any conference, it’s always good to break up the daily routine of PowerPoints and panels with a bit of color, a bit of fun. After all, networking is one of the main goals of events like this week’s World Parks Congress (WPC), and many important connections have been made over drinks or meals intermixed within the usual conference schedule. Leading the way in this respect during the WPC has clearly been the WIN Pacific Pavilion, which is a collaboration between a number of Pacific organizations, including IUCN Oceania, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Program (SPREP), and the World Indigenous Network (WIN).
This pavilion, set in the middle of the congress’ main hall, has been described as the heart of the congress. Regularly you can pass by…
The vaka is the heart and the spirit of the community. Its sails sewed together and painted by hand. Its mast felled from the forest at the center of the island, its floorboards originated from the same stand. This canoe is guided by nature. Its double-hauls are pushed forward by the wind and its power comes by way of the sun. The lead navigator looks to the stars for direction, feeling the waves for confirmation on their bearing. When the winds are silent, the vaka bobs, listlessly. The crew throws fishing lines off the back reeling in tuna, finishing the first before throwing the line out again to catch the next. Each night, under the light of a billion stars, stories are told.
Across the hundreds of events that…
The World Parks Congress (WCP) in Sydney has come to an end with a closing ceremony that focused on several main themes: integrating indigenous communities into the decision making processes; recognizing park rangers for their work at the front line of conservation; involving the youth of the world to lead the future of parks, people and the planet; and learning the art of story telling to inspire larger audiences to support conservation. These messages are primary aspects of the Promise of Sydney, which is “the blueprint for a decade of change coming from the deliberations of this World Parks Congress.” It is now up to the delegates and the rest of the conservation community to go back to their countries and “save the world.”
But saving the…
The World Parks Congress (WPC) divided the categories of Parks and Protected Areas into 8 different ‘Streams’. Out of these, the most relevant to me was Stream 1: Reaching Conservation Goals. The aim of this stream was to demonstrate that a well-planned and effectively managed protected area system is essential to conservation.
On the final day, the session summarized all that had taken place over the week including key solutions that came out of the 53 sessions held. The concerns and threats that gained attention throughout the Congress and recommendations for addressing them were then contributed to a document titled “The Promise of Sydney”. This will be presented as a final report to governments, NGOs, businesses, extractive industries, and representatives from other sectors…
Greetings from outside of Sydney Olympic Park!
The event organizers, in their great wisdom, realized that even the most determined of us congress-goers can’t spend eight straight days in windowless rooms without going stir-crazy. Therefore, on Sunday we had the opportunity to take a field trip and see how local parks are addressing the global themes of the congress, from ‘reaching conservation goals’ to ‘inspiring a new generation.’ Options ranged from whale-watching to cruising up the Hawkesbury River to visiting the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. While presenters and panelists at the congress had already discussed and debated many methods and strategies for conservation, here was our opportunity to see them being implemented on the ground. Four of us opted for the trip titled ‘Think Global, Act Local,’…
Today the Yale F&ES student delegation to the 6th World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia had the opportunity to sit in on a paneled debate among world leaders on “The Nature of Crime”, wildlife crime and enforcement.
On the panel:
- Lee White- Executive Secretary of Parks, Gabon
- The Honorable Greg Hunt- Minister for the Environment, Australia
- John Scanlon- Secretary General of CITES
- The Honorable Edna Molewa- Minister of Environmental Affairs, South Africa
- Dr. Marco Lambertini- WWF Director General
- Nadya Hutagalung- TV Host, Co-Founder of Let Elephants Be Elephants (Singapore), and Champion of the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014
- Sean Willmore- President, International Ranger
If you are what you eat, then just as true, you are what you buy.
From organic, fair-trade, responsible palm oil, Wildlife Friendly, and most recently deforestation-free, consumers can cast their lot with a variety of eco-friendly labels and define who they are by what they buy. It gives someone in New York City the chance to contribute to forest protection in Indonesia by using their wallets to influence the sustainability of the supply chain that serves them with goods.
The consumer’s role cannot be underestimated; conscious consumers can help to shift the social norms and support responsible supply of agricultural or forest products. To get sustainability into the mainstream, the world needs to shift its shopping habits, minimizing environmental damage, and taking the environmental costs of the…
We are all students here at the World Parks Congress.
We are all here with a joint mission and shared worldview – that we need nature, and nature needs us. And, ultimately, we are here to learn from each others’ experiences with the hope that we can make the world a better place. The community of practitioners, scientists, and world leaders at the World Parks Congress bring diverse skills, experiences, and knowledge to the table. Through collaboration and engagement, we hope to find solutions to shared problems and conservation outcomes that benefit both nature and people.
We know what the challenges are. We know how to solve the problems we face. But something stands in our way. In our…
“Are we moving toward a world without wildlife?” At the 6th World Parks Congress this week in Sydney, five of my classmates and I are working with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to ensure wild animals exist well into the future. We have spent the semester learning about wildlife crimes and how they threaten species around the world – particularly in protected areas. The situation is so serious that WCS co-organized a double session at the congress to discuss wildlife crime and law enforcement in protected areas. On Saturday I watched as global conservation leaders took the stage to call the world to action, examine lessons learned and share messages of hope.
You may be thinking, wildlife crime? That issue doesn’t affect me. But here’s why you should care…
“First I would like to first recognize the traditional owners of this land—the Eora people—and their ancestral leaders past and present.” So begins almost every talk at the World Park’s Congress—a nod to the way things once were. I too nod to the traditional owners of this land. And to the traditional voyagers of the sea.
On Wednesday morning, four beautiful Vaka’s—traditional Polynesian canoes—sailed into Darling Harbor in Sydney, Australia to kick off the World Parks Congress. They have been sailing for months now, navigating by the stars as they traverse the globe, carrying a message, a call to action—
—our climate is changing, seas are rising, oceans are warming and acidifying, the world is netting too many fish, storms are intensifying and eroding coasts as they crash…