International Union for Conservation of Nature Indigenous and Traditional Peoples

Australia to host IUCN World Parks Congress in 2014
19 June 2012

A landmark global forum on parks and protected areas is to be hosted in Australia in November 2014. The IUCN World Parks Congress takes place only once every 10 years, and is the world’s most influential gathering of people involved in protected area management.


New South Wales 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.

“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,” Ms Parker said. “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.”

Indigenous and Traditional Peoples

Indigenous and traditional peoples have often been unfairly affected by conservation polices and practices, which have failed to fully understand the rights and roles of indigenous peoples in the management, use and conservation of biodiversity. In line with numerous international instruements (e.g., Agenda 21; ILO Convention 169; Article 8(j) of the CBD; and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples) several IUCN WCC resolutions emphasise indigenous peoples’ rights to lands, territories, and natural resources on which they have traditionally subsisted. These resolutions stress the need to enhance participation of indigenous peoples in all conservation initiatives and policy developments that affect them. Furthermore, they recognise that indigenous peoples possess a unique body of knowledge relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

Recalling the WCC Resolutions 1.49 to 1.57, IUCN aims to:

Respect indigenous peoples’ knowledge and innovations, and their social, cultural, religious and spiritual values and practices.

Recognise the social, economic and cultural rights of indigenous peoples such as their right to lands, territories and natural resources, respecting their social and cultural identity, their customs, traditions and institutions.

Ensure full and just participation of indigenous peoples in all conservation activities supported and implemented by IUCN.

Support indigenous peoples’ right to make their own decisions affecting their lands, territories and resources, by assuring their rights to manage natural resources on which their livelihoods and ways of life depend, and strengthening their traditional institutions.

Strengthen the capacity of indigenous peoples to ensure the potection of their knowledge and the fair and equitable sharing of any benefits arising from its use.

Support processes for improving the national and international legal and policy framework relevant to the rights of indigenous peoples in the context of the environment and biodiversity conservation. To accomplish this IUCN’s Commission on Environmental Law has set up an Indigenous Peoples Specialist Group.

International Union for Conservation of Nature
Indigenous and Traditional Peoples