What was once Sydney’s brickworks, abattoir and rubbish dump will play host to more than 5,000 parks specialists from around the world participating in an international forum on environmental conservation this week.
Sydney Olympic Park, with its 430 hectares of parklands, will host the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) World Parks Congress 2014. Delegates from more than 160 countries will converge on Sydney Olympic Park for the once-every-ten-year gathering to share knowledge and set the agenda for conserving the world’s natural heritage.
Sydney Olympic Park was selected to host the World Parks Congress based on its 430 hectares green space, range of facilities and sustainability credentials.
“The ICUN’s decision to hold its World Parks Congress here is a powerful validation of the effort that has gone into transforming this part of Sydney’s landscape into one of its most popular parklands. In less than 15 years, the Park has become a well-loved place for Sydneysiders, hosting 6,000 events and almost 14 million people each year,” said Alan Marsh, CEO Sydney Olympic Park Authority.
“At the time, Sydney Olympic Park’s land regeneration project was the largest ever completed in Australia. Today the Park is 640 hectares, twice the size of Sydney’s CBD, and includes 430 hectares of green space and protected areas. It’s home to; 400 native plants, 200 native animal species and a range of alternative energy generation, waste and water recycling and sustainability solutions.
“The result is a place that not only protects native, threatened and endangered species, but also provides hundreds of hectares of useable space that is enjoyed by the more than 2.8 million visitors to the parklands each year. This includes 36,000 school children participating in curriculum-based environmental programs.
The IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 will take place from 12 to 19 November.