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Little Sydney
By SuperUser Account 02 Jun 2015
The latest IUCN protected area conference took place at Hainburg, Austria, between 28 and 31st May and there was a small presence of UK members and practitioners among the 300+ participants. ‘Little Sydney’ was a European follow-up to the IUCN World Parks Congress held in Sydney, Australia in November 2014.
 
The event drew a number of speakers from significant organisations including the EU Commission and DG Environment, the Council of Europe, European Environment Agency (EEA), Parks Canada, Parks Victoria and the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). Many IUCN staff, including the Director General, also contributed, notably Jane Smart on Key Biodiversity Areas and Dan Laffoley who gave an inspirational progress report on the latest technology helping marine conservation.
 
The UK’s WCPA Emeritus Roger Crofts was prominent on the stage and in the workshop sessions, providing the voice of experience, knowledge and a rallying call for action, particularly in support of young people.
 
Delegates from Natural England, Nick MacGregor and Humphrey Crick, led  an important workshop in theme 1 ‘Reaching Conservation Goals’, which asked “How much conservation land does Europe need and where?”. The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) also sent a representative, Stephen Grady, an active ambassador for the UK, constantly networking throughout the event. It was also good to meet students from Imperial College, London, attending with enthusiasm, and Jim Dixon, writing for The Times amongst a few other UK delegates and contributors.
 
In plenary session, Chris Mahon shared the experience of the UK’s “Putting Nature on the Map” project, about applying the IUCN management categories and governance types to UK sites. Several delegates took up the PNOTM report as potential assistance to the application in their own countries. Watch out too, for the IUCN Green List of Protected Areas now that the pilots have been completed, and the PANORAMA database as two positive examples of sharing and rewarding good practice. 
 
The many workshops provided detailed recommendations and action points which will be made publicly available in due course. Some of these may form the basis for motions that could go forward to the IUCN Word Conservation Congress in Hawaii in September 2016.
 
There is clearly much that needs to be done. The event coincided with the recent publication of the EEA report ‘State of Nature in the EU’ which showed that European biodiversity is still being eroded, with some local improvements. The IUCN DG spoke of the need for immediate action and urgency and Dan Laffoley encouraged delegates to “think big”. Concern was expressed on the potential weakening of European nature conservation policy and EU directives currently under review.  However, there was much positivity amongst delegates and the sharing of experience offered hope for the future if we can act as a joined up sector for nature. 
 
Thanks are due to organisers Andrej Sovinc and Boris Erg, hosts the Donau-Auen National Park and for the support of the Austrian Government.
News Archive Summary
IUCN NCUK launches new report on "River restoration and biodiversity" - Freshwater Biological Association, Windermere, Cumbria - 29th September 2016 (29 Sep 2016)
NCUK outreach activity - (12 May 2016)
DRAFT MINUTES OF THE 2015 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - The 2015 Annual General Meeting of the IUCN National Committee UK (NCUK) was held on Wednesday 10th June 2015 at London Wildlife Trust, Dean Bradley House, 52 Horseferry Road, London SW1P 2AF between 1530 and 1700. (6 Jul 2015)
IUCN Director General addresses UK Members at the House of Lords - The IUCN Director General, Inger Andersen, visited the UK in June and spoke at a reception in the House of Lords, sponsored by Baroness Parminter and organised for UK Members by the National Committee UK. (15 Jun 2015)
Little Sydney - The latest IUCN protected area conference took place at Hainburg, Austria, between 28 and 31st May and there was a small presence of UK members and practitioners among the 300+ participants. ‘Little Sydney’ was a European follow-up to the IUCN World Parks Congress held in Sydney, Australia in November 2014. (2 Jun 2015)
IUCN Protected Areas conference 'Little Sydney' - Register your place at the IUCN Protected Areas conference 'Little Sydney' in Austria 28th to the 31st of May (2 Apr 2015)
Experts gather to consider river restoration and biodiversity - Over 40 experts in river restoration from all over the UK and Ireland gathered in November at the University of Liverpool's Foresight Centre for a two-day workshop to consider the current situation with this important field of work. (11 Nov 2014)
IUCN National Committee UK Members Meeting - Amidst the turbulent weather in mid-February, over thirty UK-based Members of the IUCN family welcomed the organisation's President Zhang Xinsheng (19 Feb 2014)
Best wishes for a Happy New Year - Dear IUCN National Committee UK supporters, Best wishes for a happy new year! 2014 will be a busy year for NCUK and we welcome a new member elected to the Executive Committee (ExCo) - Kirsten Pullen, Executive Director of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria (BIAZA) – to help ExCo and IUCN NCUK Members deliver our programme. (6 Jan 2014)
Working Group on European National Committee Development (AHWGENCD) - Representatives of ten of the fourteen National Committees of the IUCN European Region were together with other elements of the IUCN structure in Rome in September 2013, hosted by the Government of Italy. (13 Jun 2013)