Inspiring action for a protected planet: National Geographic teams up with IUCN

IUCN Member National Geographic has been announced today as the official media partner for the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 – a global forum on protected areas taking place in Sydney, Australia this November.

The Congress is a once-in-a-decade opportunity for people from all walks of life – from Presidents to park rangers, business executives to indigenous leaders – to come together in a common endeavour towards conservation and sustainability.

Its aim is to find better and fairer ways to conserve our natural and cultural diversity, inspire people around the world and across generations to reconnect with nature and demonstrate the solutions that nature offers to our planet’s challenges such as climate change, health and food and water security.

“If you want to combine cutting-edge science, latest thinking and innovative solutions with breath-taking imagery, captivating stories and inspiring personalities, what better match can you think of than that between National Geographic and IUCN?” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. “We are delighted to have National Geographic join us in our efforts to inspire the much-needed action to protect our planet’s most precious places, together with the solutions they offer to some of our biggest challenges.”

In Sydney, National Geographic will be actively involved in the Congress theme of ‘inspiring a new generation’, which looks at how we can encourage people around the world and across generations to reconnect with nature and become its custodians.

The Congress will feature some of National Geographic flagship initiatives, including BioBlitz – a challenge in which scientists, families, students, teachers and other community members find and identify species in national parks – and Pristine Seas, whose mission is to help protect the last wild places in the ocean over the next five years.

National Geographic representatives will be among keynote speakers at the Congress, including Dr Sylvia Earle, the legendary oceanographer and National Geographic explorer-in-residence, who has been named Patron of the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014; Enric Sala, explorer-in-residence and Pristine Seas director, actively engaged in exploration, research and communications to advance ocean conservation; Paul Rose, leader of the Pristine Seas Expeditions, explorer, television presenter, journalist and author; and Beth Foster, Vice President of Communications.

“These passionate speakers have the ability to inspire millions of people around the world to care for the future of our planet,” says Trevor Sandwith, IUCN World Parks Congress Director. “I am convinced that they will help us make the Congress a success, leading to meaningful commitments on a global scale. This partnership is a milestone in our ongoing relationship with National Geographic, which will hopefully continue to thrive well beyond Sydney.”

The event will also be supported by National Geographic Channel Australia through the promotion of Congress Public Service Announcements, active engagement on social media and facilitation in capturing Congress content via an on ground production team.

The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 will take place from 12 to 19 November at the Sydney Olympic Park.

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