World Parks Congress – Opening Ceremony


The opening ceremony for the World Parks Congress – Sydney saw nearly 4000 delegates, including VIPs, high level dignitaries and volunteers converge at Sydney Olympic Park.

The ceremony began with a traditional indigenous welcome to country, followed by speeches by the likes of Nelson Mandela’s great grandson, the Australian Federal Minister for the Environment (majority of the Australian delegates were not impressed/confused by the Minister’s statements) and the New South Wales Minister for the Environment.


Delegates arriving into the Opening ceremony hall

There were three important messages that all speakers alluded to during the course of the ceremony.

1. Any large scale conservation management must include the local community, with the local indigenous population being at the core of decision making. That no-one should be ‘left behind’ when it comes to protected areas.

2. That the youth needs to be more involved in protected area management, as highlighted my Mandela during the Durban WPC in 2004. Indeed, Mandela’s grandson referred to ‘growing a collective legacy’.

3. The third piece of the puzzle is climate change and how it not only affects ecosystem resilience but also provides opportunities to implement long term and effective management strategies.

There is so much faith and positive energy at this conference, that the President of Gabon announced that 23% of the waters within Gabon’s territory would be designated a marine park.


Opening ceremony underway


Full capacity

I am already looking forward to what Day 2 brings. I will try and keep everyone updated as best I can.


Planet Fest at World Parks Congress


(Image credit: World Parks Congress host and partner organisations)

The event i am looking forward to most at the World Parks Congress is PlanetFest, a FREE event, open to the general public. The event offers an ideal opportunity for the public, national and international delegates and exhibitors to meet, mingle and learn from about large scale conservation planning and management.

Some of the activities planned for the day include;

1. A mobile zoo where Australian native animals will be on show

2. Meeting bush rangers from different national parks

3. An environmental documentary narrated by Cate Blanchett

If you are free on Sunday and looking for something to do in Sydney, PlanetFest is the place to be.

(I will upload some pictures from the day as well so keep an eye out for those)

World Parks Congress

Getting very excited for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s World Parks Congress starting next week in Sydney.

Nearly 3000 delegates from 160 countries are expected to attend as well as over a hundred high level dignitaries. The prime focus for the duration of the Congress will be developing long term and innovative methods of large scale conservation management. Indeed, the Congress theme; Parks, People, Planet – Inspiring Solutions, appears poignant for Australia.

I aim to attend as many seminars, plenary sessions, poster presentations, leader’s dialogues and a host of other events. And I hope to share everything I learn during the Congress as well. 

Frugal and Green

Save money and the environment

Hasmukh Chand

Saving the planet seems like a monumental task, particularly when scale and economics are taken into consideration. There are however, a number of changes that one can make to their daily lives which can have a positive impact on the environment. Moreover, these minor changes can also result in people saving more money as well.


Men’s shaving razors are expensive with some of the most popular brands costing between $18 and $20. Once the blades have become blunt, they are equally expensive to replace. Once you factor in the cost of shaving creams and gels, keeping a clean shaved look becomes very expensive. Investing in a beard trimmer is a great alternative to shaving and offers a quick way to maintain well kept facial hair.

Further, by not purchasing razors, shaving creams and gels, water and natural resource use is reduced. More importantly, plastic packaging material that would ultimately end up in landfill sites is also reduced. Finally, reducing the use of shaving creams and gels reduces the accumulation of micro-plastics in the aquatic ecosystems.

Estimated saving: $1300

Taking my own lunch:

The proliferation of food courts mean that consumers are being spoiled for choice when it comes to purchasing food. Considering that a decent meal costs an average of $10, purchasing lunch on multiple days can become costly. Packing your own lunch therefore offers an easy way to not only save money, but eat healthy as well.

Packing your own lunch is also a great way to reduce food waste. The flow on effect of this is that as less food is discarded in landfill, the amount of greenhouse gas causing gases, predominantly methane gas is also reduced. Additional environmental benefits include; using less water, land and chemicals for farming the food crops.

Estimated saving: $1560

Bottled water / soft drinks:

Bottled water costs an average of $2 with soft drinks and sports drinks costing more. As we approach the warmer seasons, the sale of bottled beverages will increase. Environmentally, reducing bottled water/soft drink consumption means that there are less plastics being discarded. Plastic bottles are a significant pollutant in aquatic water systems leaching chemicals and acting as choking hazards for wildlife.

Given that New South Wales lacks a robust container deposit scheme, consuming less bottled water and soft drinks remains a viable solution to maintaining healthy waterways. Until a container deposit scheme is instituted, investing in a durable water bottle offers a viable alternative to cheap drinks and low environmental impacts. Anyone seeking additional incentives for recycling should register for an ‘envirobank’ card, which allows a person to deposit empty plastic bottles into special vending machines in return for points. Once sufficient points are accumulated, they can be redeemed for gift vouchers and coupons.

Estimated saving: $520

Take away coffee:

The beverage of choice for most people, buying coffee for $3.50 every morning before work can be costly. For those who purchase multiple take away coffees daily, the habit can be very expensive. Discarded take away coffee cups add to the amount of waste going into landfill sites. Investing in a ‘keep-cup’ is a great way to address the issue of throwing take away coffee cups in the rubbish.

Estimated saving: $360

These changes are not for everyone and understandably, there will be days for self indulgence in take away lunches and beverages. The main thrust of this article is meant to highlight that there are simple steps available for saving money with the added benefit of reducing ones environmental footprint.

I would like to hear what strategies you have enacted in your lives that not only saves you money, but also reduces your impact on the environment. 


Social media and blogging course

Media School - Phil Stubbs
Media School – Phil Stubbs

Today I am completing my final course on social media marketing and blogging at Phil Stubb’s Social Media School in Clovelly, Sydney. I highly recommend the courses offered at this school, where Phil takes you on a journey into how individuals can harness the opportunities offered by social media platforms to pursue their goals. I look forward to applying all that he has taught me and seeing what possibilities the online community can offer.

And the food is exceptional.


Anyone interested, please follow the link below and contact Phil.

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