The protection of the world's most precious environments and the future of more than 11,000 species facing extinction will be discussed by conservationists at the World Park's Congress in Durban which opens on Monday.
Since the last conference a decade ago, protected areas have doubled in size and now cover about 12% of the Earth's surface.
Cab game parks make more money for poor local communities?
But just how much of the area classed as protected by the World Conservation Union is really secure will be one of the questions delegates will be asking.
Nelson Mandela and Queen Noor of Jordan will open the 10-day event.
How conservation can pay for itself in poor countries and be used to boost economies through tourism will also be on the agenda.
The success of trans-border parks like this is being discussed
It's the first time the 10-yearly meeting has been held in Africa and the success of trans-frontier parks, which cross international boundaries, and are increasing in number across southern Africa, will be assessed.
A list of all the protected areas in the world will be published and an accord will be signed at the end of the conference committing to a global conservation plan for the next 10 years.