iAct Webinar Highlights: Our Pact for Parks, People and Planet

IUCN WPC iAct Dialogues Webinar Series 2014 Banner LogosUNDP logo



IUCN WPC iAct Dialogues Webinar Series 2014 Banner Title




Introduction and Gratitude

Rebecca Koss presenting during Our Pact webinar

Rebecca Koss presenting during Our Pact webinar

The “iAct Dialogues for Sustainability” are interactive, global webinars that inspire intergenerational discussion and collaboration on sustainable planetary futures. Sustainability Leaders Network, Earth Charter International and the IUCN Task Force on Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability organized a series of webinars in conjunction with the IUCN World Parks Congress (12-19 November 2014 in Sydney, Australia).

Many thanks are due to the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Young Professionals Group  and the iAct Working Group who jointly developed the content and discussion questions for this final webinar in the IUCN WPC series. In addition to speakers Elaine Hsiao of the United States and Rebecca Koss of Australia, WCPA Young Professional Sudeep Jana of Nepal also helped shape this event. Furthermore, the 30 people who participated in the Pre-World Parks Congress Young Professionals Capacity Development Workshop in the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney deserve a big round of applause for creating “Our Pact for Parks, People and Planet.”

People of all ages from around the world were invited to participate for free. Funding that was secured by the World Commission on Protected Areas Young Professionals through an IUCN/UNDP/GEF grant and in-kind support made this webinar sereis possible, in addition to the above capacity building event in Australia.

Our Post-Congress Webinar: “Activating ‘Our Pact for Parks, People and Planet:’ A Legacy of the IUCN World Parks Congress” was held on Thursday, 29 January 2015. This webinar sought to raise  awareness about Our Pact, inspire action and generate ideas for sharing it widely across geographies and generations! Presentations by Elaine Hsiao of the United States and Rebecca Koss of Australia were followed by an engaging discussion on a set of carefully designed questions. Information on participants, speakers, links to video footage and a discussion summary are below, plus a webinar evaluation by participants.

Be sure to read Our Pact for Parks, People and Planet before reading our report!

Diverse Participants
Our 13 participants included 9 women and 4 men. Eight were young professionals (18-35 years old) and 5 were mid-career professionals (36-50 years old). The group represented diverse parts of the world:

  • Asia: Armenia, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Taiwan
  • Africa: Egypt
  • Europe: Italy, Germany, Scotland
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: Argentina, Panama
  • North America: Canada, United States
  • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand

When asked about their sector, 3 reported being in civil society, 6 in academia (4 as faculty and 2 as students) and 4 as ‘other.’ Four reported working at the global level, 4 at the regional/international level and 5 at the local/sub-national level.

In terms of work related to protected areas, 3 are members of communities living in or near a protected area, 2 work to support those in and around protected areas and 8 promote biocultural and biodiversity conservation through their work.

When asked about indigenous groups, 1 participant self-identified as being indigenous, 2 work directly with indigenous groups, 1 focuses on indigenous groups in their teaching and 2 focus their studies on indigenous groups. In addition, the remaining 7 participants support the rights of indigenous persons.

Finally, participants were asked why they chose to participate in the webinar. Responses can be grouped as follows:


  • Connect with other environmental leaders; see how the Pact resonates with others; build a network of inspiring leaders

Share Knowledge

  • Share the Pact with a larger group; learn more about the Pact and engagement in sustainability; learn more about the actions of the World Parks Congress

Take Action

  • Collaborate in fulfilling the Pact’s commitments; identify which key sections of the Pact to take forward; discuss how we can take the Pact and other YP/IPS work forward

Speaker Bios
Elaine Hsiao is the Co-Vice Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Young Professionals Specialist Group.  She is an Honourary Member of the ICCA Consortium, as well as a Liu Scholar and PhD Candidate at the University of British Columbia.  Her research focuses on socio-legal reviews of transboundary protected areas and peace/conflict.  Elaine is originally from California, where her favorite ancestor tree, the giant sequoias, live.

Dr. Rebecca Koss is a Co-Convenor for the IUCN Task Force on Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability (IPS) and is a Partner at Dalton Koss HQ. Rebecca has over 14 years international and Australia-wide experience in protected area and natural resource project management and stakeholder collaboration to develop, deliver and implement environmental policy frameworks.

Elaine and Rebecca, along with WCPA Young Professionals Group Co-Vice Chair, Sudeep Jana, co-led the design and delivery of Stream 8 Inspiring a New Generation at the 2014 World Parks Congress as well as the Pre-World Parks Congress Young Professionals Capacity Development Workshop.

Video Recordings of Our Speakers

Dominic Stucker, by Clemens Kalischer, cropped, 2009Dominic Stucker, Senior Associate, Sustainability Leaders Network, Germany / United States
Opening (13:00), Participant Poll (20:07) and Speaker Intros (30:30)

Elaine HsiaoElaine Hsiao, Co-Vice Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Young Professionals Specialist Group, United States
Co-Creating a Legacy for the IUCN World Parks Congress (33:20) 

Rebecca KossRebecca Koss, Co-Convenor for the IUCN Task Force on Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability (IPS), Australia Our Pact, the Interleadership Framework and the Road to the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016 (45:38) 


Our Pact Video by the Young Peoples Media Coalition, created at the Pre-World Parks Congress Young Professionals Capacity Development Workshop, Australia:


Group Discussion
Our interactive group discussion focused on four questions:

1. When you read the Pact, what resonates with you the most? Which parts inspire you to take action?

Participants highlighted how the Pact emphasizes the connection to people and nature and went on to described how they are inspired by specific Pact commitments. Additional points included starting with Pact commitments we feel empowered to realize and increasing the role of youth in decision-making processes.

2. The Pact includes multiple commitments. How would you go about fulfilling some of these commitments?

The discussion starting broadly, recognizing that the work Our Pact calls for is immense and challenging. At the same time, participants shared ideas on specific starting points and encouraged the celebration of successes along the way. Ideas for fulfilling Pact commitments included empowering youth to take on decision-making roles, synchronizing decentralized actions around the world, leveraging funding and increasing publicity.

3. We want to create a larger movement of people of all ages who sign and apply the Pact. Who do you know who would be inspired by reading the Pact? Which other groups should we share the Pact with?

Participants indicated that they want to share the Pact with numerous organizations and networks both within and outside of the conservation community. Ideas were discussed on how to go beyond civil society and academia to engage the public and private sectors.

4. What are some creative and effective ways in which we can share the Pact and encourage others to join?

Participants agreed that sharing the Pact requires a sound communications strategy as well as a toolkit for applying the Pact in different sectors. It was also suggested to expand upon the WCPA Young Professionals Group to form a Pact Secretariat for coordinating communication and outreach.

This document offers a more detailed summary and clustering of the above discussions:

The WCPA Young Professionals Platform
Following our discussion, Elaine offered this additional presentation, inviting participants to engage with the WCPA Young Professionals platform by creating their own profiles and uploading information on their organizations, projects and actions that contribute to fulfilling Our Pact commitments:

Elaine HsiaoElaine Hsiao, Co-Vice Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Young Professionals Specialist Group, United States
Welcome to the WCPA Young Professionals Online Platform (1:58:45)

Continuing the Discussion
Participants and those who could not attend are encouraged to continue the discussion on our iAct Dialogues for Sustainability Facebook group. We encourage you to join the group to learn about future webinars.

Webinar Feedback
At the end of the webinar, participants were asked to respond to the following poll questions on a scale of 1-6, with 1 being “poor” and 6 being “excellent.”

  • How good was your Internet connection? 33% responded with 6, 17% with 5 and 50% with 4
  • What did you think of the content provided by the speakers? 67% with 6, 17% with 5, and 16% with 4
  • What did you think of the content provided by participants in your break-out group? 67% with 6, 33% with 5
  • How was your experience of the break-out groups? 17% with 6, 50% with 5, 16% with 4
  • What did you think of the interactivity of this platform? 50% with 6, 33% with 5, 17% with 3

Of special interest to organizers is that participants learned about the webinar in the following ways:

  • 4 personal invitations, including two from colleagues who returned from WPC
  • 4 Facebook post
  • 3 World Parks Congress or IUCN webpage
  • 3 IUCN Commission young professionals network
  • 1 Sustainability Leaders Network website

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