Andy Luck filming UNDP reforestation project for biodiversity in Sabah, Malaysia

Andy Luck filming UNDP reforestation project for biodiversity in Sabah, Malaysia

Over 5,000 participants are gathering from across the globe to set the agenda on protected areas for the next decade at the landmark IUCN World Parks Congress. United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and key partners Conservation International, the World Bank, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Global Environment Facility are playing a prominent role in representing 40 years of experience working in biodiversity and protected area projects in over 120 countries. 

The IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) ( ) opened today in Sydney, Australia. Themed “Parks, people, planet: inspiring solutions” and described as “a landmark global forum on protected areas” to be held once every decade by the IUCN , this 2014 event is  hosted by the Australian Government.

UNDP sees protected areas as crucial in the maintenance of biodiversity, the variety of life that constitutes our ‘natural capital’and has played a key supporting role.

” A total of 459 marine and terrestrial protected areas and indigenous and community conservation areas—covering 64 million hectares in 19 countries—has benefited from UNDP-managed GEF investment in governance, management effectiveness and livelihood generation.” UNDP press release

UNDP says work at the Congress will be intensifying actions for the effective maintenance and protection of biodiversity. The  recently published UNDP and GEF publication Biodiversity For Sustainability. Delivering Results for Asia and the Pacific is a fine showcase for the amazing biodiversity  that underpins sustainable development in the Asia Pacific region and the importance of the work that is being done to preserve it. The Wild Open Eye Orangutan picture by Andy Luck  is on the back cover  (Page 143). See Steve Hesse’s review in The Japan Times.

See the UNDP WPC Booklet for an overview of the event. UNDP says the WPC will present, discuss and create original approaches for conservation and development, helping to address the gap in the conservation and sustainable development agenda. UNDP is co-leading 2 of eight programme streams at the Congress. UNDP together with Conservation International and the World Bank are leading Stream 5 – Reconciling development challenges. Under this stream, UNDP and the partners are showcasing more than 100 innovative solutions from around the world that reconcile sustainable development with the major development challenges of our time.

Through the GEF Small Grants Programme, UNDP is also engaged with the global ICCA Consortium, the GIZ, and the CBD Secretariat in organising Stream 6: Enhancing the diversity and quality of governance of protected areas.

UNDP is also hosting the World Indigenous Network (WIN) Pavilion space organized by the Equator Initiative, along with numerous contributions to the Conservation Finance Pavilion and other events across the Congress. View the WPC booklet here:

View the UNDP WPC press release here:


View the first of the daily UNDP@WPC blog series by Nik Sekhran here:


View The Sound Of A Tree Not Falling for a short UNDP video message that explains the importance of maintaining forests in preserving biodiversity that supports sustainable development.

Wildopeneye short public service announcement film (2011) produced for UNDP The Sound of a tree not falling.


To mark the event Wildopeneye blog will be publishing a series of images that celebrate the role protected areas play in preserving biodiversity over the coming days!

Prawns from Vietnam's exquisitely beautiful Ha Long Bay. Protected Areas Essential In Preserving Biodiversity that underpins sustainable development, UNDP Delivers “Parks, people, planet: inspiring solutions” at IUCN World Parks Congress

Prawns from Vietnam’s exquisitely beautiful Ha Long Bay. Protected Areas are seen as essential to preserving biodiversity that underpins sustainable development, UNDP Delivers “Parks, people, planet: inspiring solutions” at the IUCN World Parks Congress