Dr. Jane Goodall Launches World Parks Congress Education Program

Renowned environmentalist, Dr. Jane Goodall, launched the IUCN World Parks Congress education program at Rose Bay Secondary College today, encouraging students to find inspiring solutions for parks, people and the planet.

Dr. Goodall, an ambassador for the World Parks Congress,  met with year eight students who are participating in the program developed by NSW National Parks to celebrate Australia hosting the prestigious event which plans the future for some of the most valuable areas on the planet.

Over the coming weeks, the students will learn about the vital role of parks, completing projects with their NSW National Parks mentors and presenting their findings to global leaders at the Congress.

The Rose Bay Secondary College students will learn about effective park management in relation to the numerous pressures upon them in an increasingly urbanised world.  Their specific research project will analyse African parks which are grappling with the effects of an insatiable poaching crisis. A topic close to Dr. Goodall's heart.

“Our global parks are vital to the health of our planet and society. They provide habitat for threatened animals, keep us healthy by being the source of clean air, water and new medicines, offer natural solutions to climate change and provide homes and livelihoods to millions of people around the world,” said Dr. Jane Goodall.

“These students will be the future park rangers, managers and custodians of our planet. This education program was designed to give them a louder voice at the Congress and get their unique perspectives as we set the agenda for the decade ahead” .

Eight schools throughout NSW will participate in the program and  present their work to experts from 160 countries and organisations including UNESCO, The World Bank and the United Nations Environment Program.

Fondly referred to as the 'Environmental Olympics', the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's World Parks Congress will be hosted at Sydney Olympic Park from 12 – 19 November, 2014.

The wider community can get involved in this once in a decade event  by registering as a delegate, attending the free public festival, ‘PlanetFest’ on Sunday 16 November or submitting their professional, amateur or instagram photos of parks and the threatened species they protect, to the Congress nature photography competition for the chance to win from $24,000 worth of prizes.

More details can be found at: www.worldparkscongress.org.au