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Biodiversity Policy & Practice

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Parks Congress (WPC) 2014

12-19 November 2014 | Sydney, Australia

Daily Web Coverage

Summary of the World Parks Congress 2014

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Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General, IUCN, during the closing ceremonies.

Highlights for Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) 2014 opened today in Sydney, Australia, with ceremonial welcome greetings by Aboriginal leaders and performances displaying the natural and cultural heritage of Australia.

Opening remarks were delivered by: IUCN President Zhang Xinsheng; Greg Hunt, Australian Minister for the Environment; and Rob Stokes, New South Wales Minister for the Environment and Minister for Heritage. Irina Bokova, Director General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), delivered a message on behalf of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Other speakers included Barbara Thomson, Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs, South Africa, Luvuyo Mandela, great-grandson of Nelson Mandela and Champion of WPC 2014, and Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon and Co-Patron of the WPC 2014.

Four junior rangers from South Africa and Australia participated in a symbolic passing of the Congress torch between the nations. Chair Ernesto Enkerlin Hoeflich, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), and Jessica Watson, the youngest person ever to sail solo and unassisted around the world, officially opened the WPC 2014. After watching performances on inspiring the next generation to care for the environment and protected areas around the world, delegates attended a welcome reception.

Daily Report for IUCN World Parks Congress for Wednesday, 12 November 2014: Visit full IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 coverage for Wednesday, 12 November 2014

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Performance on inspiring the youth to protect the environment.

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Allen Madden, indigenous elder, Eora Nation
IUCN President Zhang Xinsheng

Greg Hunt, Australian Minister for the Environment
Rob Stokes, New South Wales Minister for
the Environment and Minister for Heritage


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Highlights for Thursday, 13 November 2014

Participants convened in plenary throughout the day. In the morning, speeches were delivered by high-level representatives from Australia, the Pacific Island States, and US, as well as leaders from UN organizations, the private sector and the youth movement. In the afternoon, three panel discussions addressed issues on regional ways to “make space for nature”, achievements of the last decade and the challenges and opportunities of the next one, and adventures in the wild.

In the evening, the first World Leaders’ Dialogue on “The Future Is Not What It Used To Be - How Parks Can Help Build a More Resilient Future,” took place with several leaders sharing personal stories about the connections between nature and humans, and environmental protection and climate change, among others.

Daily Report for IUCN World Parks Congress for Thursday, 13 November 2014: Visit full IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 coverage for Thursday, 13 November 2014

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Pacific voyaging canoe crew members performing the traditional "haka."

Julie Bishop, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs
Patrick Dodson, Australian Aboriginal leader and former
Chair of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation

Henri Djombo, Minister of Environment, Republic of Congo
Sally Ranney, IUCN Patron of Nature

Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General, IUCN, and Ernesto Enkerlin Hoeflich, Chair, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA)
Live underwater interview with a diver in the Great Barrier Reef.

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Panel (L-R): Márcio Favilla, Executive Director, Operational Programmes and Institutional Relations, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); Sylvia Earle, Explorer-in-Residence, National Geographic and WPC Patron; Inger Andersen, IUCN Director General Designate; Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias

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Baba Brinkman, Canadian rap artist

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Panel (L-R): Sally Jewell, Secretary of Interior, US; Zhang Xinsheng, President, IUCN; Paula Caballero, Senior Director, Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice, The World Bank Group; Margareta Wahlström, Secretary-General, UNISDR; Tommy Remengesau Junior, President of Palau; and Jeff Horowitz, Founder, Avoided Deforestation Partners

Highlights for Friday, 14 November 2014

On Friday morning, participants attended three introductory plenaries on the thematic areas of the Congress: parks, people and planet.

Participants then attended the opening sessions of the eight streams on: 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.

Stream sessions convened throughout the day, and in the evening the World Leaders’ Dialogue focused on money matters and the value of parks.

Daily Report for IUCN World Parks Congress for Friday, 14 November 2014: Visit full IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 coverage for Friday, 14 November 2014

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Panel during the World Leaders' Dialogue

IUCN Vice-President Malik Amin Aslam Khan described the youth's involvement in the green development agenda in Pakistan.
Beate Jessel, President, German Federal
Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)

Frank Hugelmeyer, Outdoor Industry Association
Alison Fox, American Prairie Foundation

Jon Jarvis, Director, National Parks Service, US
Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs, South Africa

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Chris Spence, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

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Panel (L-R): Jo Confino, Executive Editor of The Guardian newspaper; Mark Burrows, Vice Chairman, Credit Suisse; Guillermo Zúñiga, former Finance Minister, Costa Rica; UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner; Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, the Global Environment Facility (the GEF); Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, Australia; Inger Andersen, Director General designate, IUCN; and Jochen Zeitz, Founder, Zeitz Foundation and Co-founder, the B Team

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner
Inger Andersen, Director General designate, IUCN

Highlights for Saturday, 15 November 2014

On Saturday, participants were able to select from a variety of events, including workshops, e-poster presentations and pavilion events. Stream sessions on the eight themes of governance, climate change, health and wellbeing, human life, conservation goals, indigenous culture, sustainable development, and the new generation took place throughout the day, covering a broad range of topics, including: funding success in protected areas (PAs); the value of the IUCN’s Red Lists in PA planning and monitoring; managing climate change in arid and semi-arid lands, human health benefits of traditional medicine; nature-based solutions for disasters; climate change in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica; visitor experience and enjoyment; and community-based natural resource management (CBNRM). Other sessions took place addressing PAs and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), sustainable use of wild resources and combating wildlife crime, the role of traditional management systems in achieving national and international policy goals, and “pushing the boundaries” on young peoples' action on PAs.

Cross-cutting issues discussed in the stream sessions included: the impacts of PAs on local communities; the value of strengthening community rights to benefit from wildlife; the synergies between strong governance and community participation; and enlisting community participation in restoration initiatives.

In the evening, a session of the World Leaders’ Dialogues titled “Stand Up for Your Rights: Parks and Social Equity” convened with leaders from conservation, non-government organizations, academia and government to share their perspectives on social equity.

Daily Report for IUCN World Parks Congress for Saturday, 15 November 2014: Visit full IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 coverage for Saturday, 15 November 2014

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Pristine and productive land and seas: an artist depicts a vision of biodiversity at the World Parks Congress exhibition hall.

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Russell Warman, University of Tasmania, Australia

Anu Adhikari, IUCN
Xiangying Shi, Shanshui Conservation Center, China

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Stream Session 8: Inspiring a New Generation: Pushing Boundaries: Young Peoples' Protected Areas Challenge

Bruno Monteferri, Conservamos por Naturaleza, Peru
Crista Valentino, CoalitionWILD, US

Claudio Chiarolla, IDDRI
CBD Executive Secretary Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias

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Panel (L-R): Patsy Doerr, Head of Diversity and Inclusion and Corporate Responsibility, Thomson Reuters; Myrna Cunningham Kain, former Chair, UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; Luvuyo Mandela, Lead Advisor, Tyathumzi Advisory; Lucky Sherpa, President, Green Forum Nepal; Ricardo Rozzi, Director, Sub-Antarctic Bio-Cultural Conservation Program, University of North Texas; and Sally Ann Ranney, President and Co-founder, American Renewable Energy Institute

Highlights for Sunday, 16 November 2014

On Sunday, Congress events organized throughout the day included: a workshop on community-based social and ecological resilience; a technical workshop on national plans and funding strategies for elephant protection; a stream session on coalition building for promoting health and wellbeing of people and nature; a theme event on an ethical framework for custodianship of nature in which women, youth and indigenous peoples can articulate solutions; and an eco “hackathon” taking place simultaneously in several cities around the world, providing an opportunity for environmentally-conscious hackers to help save the iconic monarch butterfly.

WPC 2014 participants were also offered the opportunity to join excursions to Sydney-based nature experiences, and visit the “PlanetFest” festival, open to the public and taking place at the Sydney Olympic Park.

Two sessions of the World Leaders' Dialogues took place in the afternoon and evening. During the afternoon dialogue, on “Food for Thought - Feeding Nine Billion within our Planetary Boundaries,” the audience was challenged to elaborate on their choices as consumers in the globalized food production and distribution system. Panelists were also asked to deliberate on options to help reverse current food insecurity trends and statistics, in a bid to reduce global poverty and eradicate hunger.

In the evening, the dialogue on “Health, Naturally - Managing Healthy Parks for Healthy People” explored the parks-health interface and the “nature deficit disorder,” referring to deteriorating public health caused by a growing disconnect from the natural world. Themes addressed by panelists during the event covered: the perverse health impacts associated with environmental change; emerging diseases; the role of PAs in preventative healthcare and providing solutions for healthy urban living; and measuring the positive impacts of nature on human health.

Visit full IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 coverage for Sunday, 16 November 2014

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The afternoon session of the World Leaders' Dialogue: Food for Thought opened with a traditional greeting and statement read by Reza Saleh, Abdlhasan Tribal Confederacy, and Ghanimat Azhdari, Centre for Sustainable Development and Environment, Iran, representing nomadic and indigenous people.

Sylvia Earle, Explorer-in-Residence, National
Geographic, and WPC 2014 Patron
Alcinda Abreu, Minister for the Environment, Mozambique

Tom Lovejoy, Senior Fellow, UN Foundation, and Professor in Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University
UNCCD Executive Secretary Monique Barbut

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Panel (L-R): Fouad Mohadji, Vice President, the Comoros; Christopher Golden, Director Health and Ecosystems - Analysis of Linkages, Wildlife Conservation Society; Gil Penalosa, Executive Director, 8-80 Cities; Jonathan Patz, Director, Global Health Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Bill Jackson, Chief Executive, Parks Victoria; and Frank Hugelmeyer, President and CEO,vOutdoor Industry Association, US

Fouad Mohadji, Vice President, the Comoros
Bill Jackson, Chief Executive, Parks Victoria


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Highlights for Monday, 17 November 2014

Monday continued with stream sessions on the eight themes of governance, climate change, health and wellbeing, human life, conservation goals, indigenous culture, sustainable development, and the new generation convening throughout the day. Sessions covered a broad range of topics, including: restoring natural systems to increase resilience to climate change; resilience tools for climate change adaptation in and around PAs; mainstreaming PA solutions for mining and energy; innovative financing of PA management; sharing international experiences in monitoring natural and cultural resources by indigenous peoples; and building a social movement to connect a new generation with nature.

Some of the topics discussed were, inter alia: the role of urban parks in creating healthy and liveable cities; assessing and certifying indigenous knowledge of tracking in African conservation and PAs; finding solutions through sustainable sourcing and supply chains to improve business opportunities for PAs; and delivering socio-economic and environmental benefits towards ecosystem restoration and PAs. Participants were also able to select from a variety of events, including workshops, e-poster presentations and pavilion events.

In the evening, leaders from conservation, non-governmental organizations, academia and government debated the world’s ability to address wildlife crime in a session of the World Leaders’ Dialogues titled “The Nature of Crime: The Extent and Impact of Illegal Wildlife Trade.”

Daily Report for IUCN World Parks Congress for Monday, 17 November 2014: Visit full IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 coverage for Monday, 17 November 2014

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Presentation at the Partenariat France-UICN Nature et Développement exhibit

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Stream Session 3: Improving Health and Wellbeing: Why Urban Parks Matter in Creating Healthy and Liveable Cities (Part 1) - Panel (L-R): Tobias Volbert, Playscape Creations; Amber Bill, Wellington City Council; Fran Horsley, Parks Victoria; Lee Yi Ling, Singapore Health Promotion Board; Vance Martin, The WILD Foundation; and Gil Penalosa, Executive Director, 8-80 Cities

Erustus Kanga, Kenya Wildlife Service
Joyce Loza, Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife

Vanessa Trowell, Australian Institute of Landscape
Architects, and Suellen Fitzgerald, Parramatta
Park and Western Sydney Parklands Trust
Robert Moseley, The Nature Conservancy,
and Richard Fuller, University of Queensland

Nigel Crawhall, Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee
Alfred Chedau, Khwe elder and tracker

David Ainsworth, CBD Secretariat
Collin O’Mara-Green, Mountains
Recreation and Conservation Authority

Agus Utomo, Burung Indonesia (BirdLife)
Roel Posthoorn, Natuurmonumenten, the Netherlands

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Panel (L-R): Widodo Ramono, Executive Director, Rhino Foundation of Indonesia; Lee White, Director, Gabon National Parks Service; Rosie Cooney, Chair, IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group; Mary Rice, Head, Environmental Investigation Agency; Sean Willmore, President, International Ranger Federation; Paul Rose, Vice President, Royal Geographical Society, and Leader of National Geographic Pristine Seas Expeditions; Nadya Hutagalung, Co-founder, Let Elephants Be Elephants; Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF; Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs, South Africa; John Scanlon, Secretary-General, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); and Greg Hunt, Minister for the Environment, Australia

Sean Willmore, President, International Ranger Federation
Paul Rose, Vice President, Royal Geographical Society, and
Leader of National Geographic Pristine Seas Expeditions

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National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW) Park Air 3 helicopter departs PlanetFest grounds

Highlights for Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Events organized on Tuesday included stream sessions, parallel stream and theme plenaries, congress and pavilion events, e-poster presentations, and a World Leaders’ Dialogue.

A morning high-level ministerial roundtable, convened by the IUCN President and two Australian Ministers, provided heads of state, ministers and other high-level representatives the opportunity to submit inputs to the Congress vision, and share country commitments, both which will be included in the Promise of Sydney outcome document.

Topics covered in the morning stream sessions included: governed seascapes as models for sustainable living; freshwater ecosystems in protected areas; a global compact for sustainable economics and environmental integrity; the “Inspiring a New Generation Legacy”; protected areas restoration the potential and limits of marine protected areas in addressing climate change; valuation of protected area systems; adaptive governance for resilient protected areas; and securing positive results for indigenous peoples from World Heritage.

During three parallel afternoon closing plenaries, stream and cross-cutting theme leaders shared key outcomes and messages, and addressed questions from the audience on: conservation goals, governance, inspiring a new generation, and the World Heritage theme; climate change, health and wellbeing, supporting human life, and the marine theme; and development challenges, indigenous and traditional knowledge and culture, and the capacity development theme.

In the evening, a World Leaders’ Dialogue convened under the theme “A Balancing Act - How Global Appetite for Mineral Resources Defines the Fate of Protected Areas,” to consider and share views on the costs of growing demand for mineral resources and related impacts on protected areas.

Daily Report for IUCN World Parks Congress for Tuesday, 18 November 2014: Visit full IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 coverage for Tuesday, 18 November 2014

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Panel from Parallel Plenary II

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(L-R): Zhang Xinsheng, President, IUCN; Hery Rajaonarimampianina, President, Madagascar; and Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, Australia

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(L-R): Peter Cochrane, Australia’s World Parks Congress Ambassador; Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General; and John Scanlon, Secretary-General, CITES

Taghi Farvar, ICCA Consortium, Cenesta, Iran
Purificació Canals, MedPAN

Lydia Slobodian, Environmental Law Centre, IUCN
Volker Mauerhofer, University of Austria

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Rebecca Koss, IUCN and WCPA Young Professionals and Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability Task Force
Ashley Mitton, Parks Canada

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Panel (L-R): Ignace Schops, EUROPARC Federation; Charlotte Karibuhoye, Fondation Internationale du Banc d’Arguin, and WCPA; Leigh Welling, US National Parks Service; Mariana Bellot Rojas, National Commission of Natural Protected Areas, Mexico; Nigel Dudley, IUCN WCPA; Devin Bartley, FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department; Jonathan Patz, Global Health Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Bill Jackson, Parks Victoria; Dan Laffoley, IUCN WCPA-Marine; and Lauren Wenzel, Marine Protected Areas Center, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Nigel Crawhall, Indigenous Peoples of Africa
Coordinating Committee, South Africa (right)
Pedro Rosabal, IUCN Global Protected Areas

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Panel (L-R): Melissa George, Chair, Indigenous Advisory Committee, Australia; Anthony Hodge, President, International Council for Mining and Metals; Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General; Hery Rajaonarimampianina, President, Madagascar; Robert Hill, former Minister for the Environment, Australia; Wang Wenbiao, CEO, Elion Resources Group; Emmanuel de Merode, Chief Warden, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo (video screen); and Thomas Friedman, The New York Times

Highlights for Wednesday, 19 November 2014

On Wednesday morning, the World Parks Congress 2014 concluded with participants meeting in plenary until lunchtime to hear statements and commitments from high-level delegates and dignitaries, witness the award ceremonies, and listen to musical performances.

The plenary observed a minute’s silence in memory of rangers who have sacrificed their lives in the frontline of anti-poaching activities, and in memory of two IUCN colleagues. Via video link, Jane Goodall applauded rangers around the world who, with little equipment and in times of conflict, even when they may not receive their salary, continue to protect conservation areas.

During the awards ceremony, several awards were presented, including the Jane Goodall Award, the International Young Conservationist Award, the International Ranger Federation Lifetime Achievement Award, the Kenton R. Miller Award in recognition of innovative approaches in conservation, and the Fred M. Packard International Parks Merit Award for leadership in conservation.

Artistic and musical performances celebrated the value of nature, and the importance of protecting biodiversity. The meeting concluded in the afternoon, after which participants enjoyed an Australian barbecue “send-off.”

Summary Report for IUCN World Parks Congress for Wednesday, 19 November 2014:


Visit full IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 coverage for Wednesday, 19 November 2014

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High-level representatives after making their countries' commitments to the Promise of Sydney.

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Penelope Figgis, Director, IUCN Australian National Committee

Jeff Koinange, Talk Show Host, Kenya Television Network
Adrian Steirn, award-winning wildlife photographer

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(L-R): Sean Willmore, Thin Green Line; Jean Pierre Jobogo Mirindi, Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); Tiwonge Mzumara-Gawa, Museums of Malawi; Max Jenes, PAMS Foundation, Tanzania; Luigi Eybrecht, Bonaire National Marine Park; Bill Jackson, Parks Victoria; Natasha Miller, The Nature Conservancy; Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General; and Ernesto Enkerlin Hoeflich, IUCN WCPA

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Recipients of the Fred M. Packard International Parks Merit Award pose with Ernesto Enkerlin Hoeflich, WCPA, and Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General.

(L-R): Michael Wright, NSW Deputy Chief Executive National Parks and Wildlife Service; Trevor Sandwith, IUCN Director; and Sally Barnes, Director, Parks Australia
Sally Barnes, Director, Parks Australia, presents the Promise of Sydney to Zhang Xinsheng, President, IUCN.

Australian didgeridoo player joins Fijian, Hawaiian, and Canadian musicians during the closing ceremony.

Ta’Kaiya Blaney and Corrina Kelling
Daniela Benavides, Founder, conCIENCIA

Jeffery Lee, Djok clan elder, who donated his ancestral land to Kakadu National Park and World Heritage Site.
Duane Fraser, Traditional Owner and Indigenous Participation Program accompanied by his uncle and a didgeridoo player.


Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Global Environment Facility-United Nations Development Programme, The Helmsley Charitable Trust, and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
IPCC Secretariat Global Environment Facility UNDP The Helmsley Charitable Trust John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Daily Web Coverage
Related Links
IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 Resources

*Congress Website *Congress Programme at a Glance
*Congress Plenary Sessions *Congress Stream Sessions
*Congress Theme Sessions *Congress World Leaders’ Dialogues
*Congress Capacity Development Workshops *Congress Pavilions
*Congress Field Trips *IUCN website


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