The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014, which will take place in Sydney, Australia, from 12 to 19 November, is a landmark global forum on protected areas. The Congress will share knowledge and innovation, setting the agenda for protected areas conservation for the decade to come.
Building on the theme “Parks, people, planet: inspiring solutions”, it will present, discuss and create original approaches for conservation and development, helping to address the gap in the conservation and sustainable development agenda.
Marine protected areas have been created across the globe to stem the loss of biodiversity in our oceans. But are they working? Now, thanks to a six-year survey involving over one hundred divers, we know that the global system of marine protected areas still has much to achieve.
The marine environment lies out of sight and is expensive to survey, so its true condition is very poorly known. What we do know is that multiple threats—most notably introduced pests, climate change, fishing and pollution—are pervasive.
On 13th December 2013, the Australian Government took a major step backwards for marine conservation, suspending the implementation of management plans for the 33 new marine parks, including parks in the Coral Sea, the Kimberley and the Great Australian Bight. These management plans outline the levels of protection the parks provide to fragile ocean habitat and the marine species within them.
Environmental groups, including Project AWARE, have released a report, highlighting the unique marine life in NSW, Australia which is currently at risk should the State Government decide to wind back marine protection. In a joint effort to call on the State Government to review this decision, the report was recently presented to Members of Parliament.
Dive store owners from across New South Wales (NSW), Australia have united, writing to Premier O’Farrell urging him to reverse the decision to allow fishing in marine sanctuaries and reinstate the protection the ocean requires.
Australia has the world's third largest marine territory and a rich diversity of marine habitats from the tropical coral reefs of the north, through temperate sponge gardens and vast seagrass beds to the chilly southern waters of the Great Australian Bight.