Last night hundreds gathered at the Australian Event Awards in Sydney to hear the sixth IUCN World Parks Congress named CIM Magazine best meeting or conference of the year by industry experts.
I would like to congratulate Parks Australia and the New South Wales Parks and Wildlife Service on this great achievement.
Almost a year to the day, Australia hosted 6,000 delegates from more than 170 countries at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Parks Congress. More than 30 heads of state also came to Australia for this important forum.
The Congress was the largest event of its kind ever held, bringing together people from all walks of life – rangers, protected area experts, scientists, doctors, young people and businessmen – to find solutions to sustain and protect our planet.
At the Congress I was proud to demonstrate Australia’s commitment to parks and protected areas as key tools to deliver clean air, clean land and clean water that keep our country healthy.
The legacy of the Congress was ‘The Promise of Sydney’ – a pledge to work together over the next 10 years to deliver innovative solutions to the challenges facing our planet.
During the Congress I announced Australia’s own major promises – which we have delivered.
These include banning capital dredge disposal in the Great Barrier Reef, an historic agreement with China to ban mining in Antarctica, support for the international effort to fight wildlife crime, commitments to recover the rainforests of the Asia-Pacific and initiatives to halt threatened species loss in our parks.
Co-hosted by Parks Australia and the New South Wales Parks and Wildlife Service, the Congress also gave us a chance to showcase our country and the beautiful city of Sydney to the world. It’s estimated that the Congress contributed around $40 million to the New South Wales economy alone.
Congratulations to all those involved in putting on this major event for Australia. I would particularly like to thank the team at Parks Australia who demonstrated the highest levels of dedication to ensure the Congress ran smoothly and delegates experienced a great welcome to Australia.