Participants at the Vth IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) met in Plenary throughout the day. In the morning, panel discussions on tourism, business and protected areas (PAs), and on extractive industries and PAs addressed the general theme "Global Partners for PAs." Participants also heard an update on the drafting process of the Congress Outcomes. In the afternoon, a special session on Africa met under the patronship of HM King Goodwill Zwelithini of the Zulu Nation and HM Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, King of Akyem Abuakwa and Presidential Advisor on Environment, Ghana. HE Marc Ravalomanana, President of Madagascar, was also present.
GLOBAL PARTNERS FOR PROTECTED AREAS
TOURISM, BUSINESS AND PROTECTED AREAS: Cheryl Carolus, South Africa Tourism, chaired the session. Mike Leach, Tribal Chief of the Tit’qet St’at’imc Nation, called on participants to work cooperatively with indigenous peoples to protect PAs, by drawing on their traditional knowledge and customary laws, and said PA visitors should be educated about indigenous cultures.
Les Carlisle, Conservation Corporation Africa, presented a tourism model applied across a range of land tenure systems, the key points of which include: internal audits; sustainable community development; environmental awareness; and biodiversity conservation. Faustine Kobero, Conservation Corporation Africa, described the benefits of the company’s cooperation with a Tanzanian foundation to ensure biodiversity conservation and returns to communities, in terms of employment generation and development projects.
Debra Epstein, Canon, outlined Canon’s approach to social and environmental responsibility, and its support for the environment through, inter alia, a scholarship programme for academic excellence in conservation.
Hans Grabias, Krombacher Brewery, presented the Kombacher rainforest campaign, which contributes to rainforest conservation and is managed in partnership with, amongst others, WWF Germany. Highlighting the campaign’s success, he noted that partnership with the public sector had failed due to political complications, and warned that over-regulation can jeopardize cooperation.
Bill Jackson, IUCN, moderated the panel discussion. Stressing that tourism should not be the only strategy for PA sustainability, Penelope Figgis, Australian Conservation Foundation, noted significant improvements in planning, partnerships, coordination and education for PA management.
Eugenio Yunis, World Tourism Organisation, said sound national policy is a prerequisite for tourism’s environmental and socioeconomic sustainability. Calling for multi-stakeholder and community involvement, he encouraged companies to voluntarily develop their own responsible initiatives, and stressed the importance of partnerships at all levels.
Carolus said tourism can and must contribute to peoples’ lives and to sustainable development. Stressing the need for an overall understanding of tourism and sustainability issues, she identified improving employment opportunities as a main priority.
Robert Hepworth, UNEP, stressed that, since tourism is a large utilizer of environmental resources and a potential polluter, all its aspects need to be closely monitored. He highlighted the need to promote cultural diversity and tourists’ awareness and responsibility, advocated certification for tourism companies, and gave examples of successful partnerships.
EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES AND PROTECTED AREAS: Achim Steiner, IUCN Director General, moderated the session. Noting that high brand value is an asset, Christine Milne, IUCN, stressed improvements in transparency and accountability in the extractive industries. She highlighted the conflict between extractive industries and environmental protection and poverty alleviation, and stressed the need for partnerships and addressing the negative legacy of extractive industries.
Noting BP’s operations in IUCN-designated areas and ecologically sensitive areas, Greg Coleman, BP, stressed the company’s commitment not to extract in World Heritage sites, and outlined BP’s approach to environmental protection, including the mutual advantage policy, transparency, and partnerships.
Stressing the impact of mining on poverty, the environment, and indigenous rights, Joji Carino, President of the Tebtebba Foundation, called for binding minimum international standards and benchmarks to measure the progress of partnerships.
Adrian Loader, Shell, outlined Shell’s biodiversity policy and highlighted commitments to: foster partnerships; not explore for resources in World Heritage sites; improve operating practices; support work to improve PA management effectiveness; and report publicly on its activities in IUCN designated PAs.
Sir Robert Wilson, Chairman of the International Council on Mining and Minerals (ICMM) described ICMM, which includes 15 of the largest oil and gas companies, and said the dialogue between ICMM and IUCN resulted in a commitment not to explore or mine in World Heritage sites. He noted problems regarding the consistency of, and the scientific basis for, the IUCN PA classification system.
Stressing the need for targets for the next decade, Adrian Phillips, World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), outlined challenges for the extractive industry, including commitments: not to extract resources from PAs in categories I-IV; not to seek to overturn national legislation prohibiting mining activities in PAs; and to accept the IUCN PA categorization.
During the ensuing discussion, participants stressed over-mining and human rights violations in the Philippines and other megadiverse countries. Manuel Rodriguez, Costa Rica’s Environment Minister, reported on the prohibition of oil drilling and mining in Costa Rica. Highlighting human rights violations by Shell in Nigeria, a participant said Congress’ debates have been dominated by mining industries. Another participant questioned the legitimacy of the ICMM-IUCN dialogue, in which no governments are represented, and noted that it could undermine NGOs’ and indigenous groups’ activities on the ground.
Noting that extractive activities drive government corruption in many countries, Milne stressed the need for local communities’ prior informed consent (PIC) and drew attention to efforts in preventing titanium mining in a South African park. Wilson noted that a company can engage in dialogue with a local community only where national legislation provides for local communities’ PIC.
FOCUS ON AFRICA
KEYNOTE PRESENTATIONS: Walter Lusigi, IUCN/WCPA, chaired the session.
Through a video presentation, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, WWF, said the international PA network is far from complete, and stressed the need for increased training, infrastructure development, and resource mobilization. Calling for the acknowledgement of environmental services, he highlighted the need to identify key factors for sustainable PA management.
Mohamed Bakarr, WCPA, presented the video "Protecting Africa’s Natural Heritage." Highlighting Africa’s social and environmental vulnerability, he described ongoing projects at the community level, and quoted that "we do not inherit the land from our ancestors, but borrow it from our children."
Calling for respect for the balance and dynamics of nature, HM King Goodwill Zwelithini of the Zulu Nation advocated a holistic approach towards development and the environment, and stressed the need to incorporate indigenous viewpoints in management.
HM Osagyefou Amoatia Ofori Panin, King of Akyem Abuakwa and Presidential Advisor on Environment, Ghana, stressed human beings’ role as trustees of the Earth, and highlighted the need for a change in attitudes towards nature and for values based on the sustainable development model. He said such a change requires livelihood alternatives, leadership at all levels, education, partnerships, and financial resources.
HE Marc Ravalomanana, President of Madagascar, noted the link between biodiversity and poverty alleviation, and highlighted his country’s commitment to: adopting a strategy to conserve the natural heritage and ensure fair benefit sharing; supporting the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD); and implementing relevant international instruments and WPC recommendations.
Claude Martin, WWF Director General, recognized progress achieved in Africa since the Caracas Congress, and offered a "gift to the Earth" certificate to Charles Rabotoarison, Ministry of the Environment of Madagascar, and HE Pape Diouf, Minister of Fisheries of Senegal, who represented the Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade.
FUTURE OF PROTECTED AREAS IN AFRICA: Achim Steiner moderated the first panel. HE Pape Diouf outlined his government’s decision to create four new marine PAs (MPAs), and stressed the need to demonstrate to local communities how these areas will contribute to alleviating poverty. He called for support for the Sub-Regional Programme for the Conservation of Coastal and Marine Zones, a joint initiative of six East African countries for coastal management and conservation, and highlighted the need to develop alternative livelihoods to fishing.
Martin stressed that conservation organizations should recognize the challenges of PAs and conservation, where conflicts between wildlife and people may exist.
Murphy Morobe, South African Financial Commission and Fiscal Commission, noted that education is the biggest challenge in South Africa. He stressed that PAs should not be seen in isolation from other economic issues, and highlighted the significance of the World Trade Organization negotiations in Cancún, Mexico, to development in Africa.
Patrick Bergin, African Wildlife Foundation, called on PA managers to work within a broader landscape and to distribute benefits beyond PA boundaries. He emphasized the different value propositions concerning PAs, depending upon the specific livelihood strategy of surrounding communities.
Describing partnerships with Australia and Kenya, Rabotoarison said that local communities receive a share of revenues from PA entry fees in Madagascar, and stressed the need for partnerships, donor support for conservation and a stronger institutional framework.
Michael Rands, BirdLife International, noted the importance of local community participation in PA management. He emphasized the need to link conservation and development at all levels, and ensure their integration into other policy goals. Noting the global value of African biodiversity, he said that its conservation requires global investment.
Martin stressed that the key to dealing with financial constraints is capacity building, and called for increased capacity at all levels. He warned that, although conservation improves conditions in the long term, it is an inadequate mechanism for short-term poverty alleviation.
Crispian Olver, South African Ministry of Environment, moderated the second panel discussion. Introducing the NEPAD, Ahmed Djoghliaf, UNEP, outlined its objectives and ongoing activities, stressing that capacity building is the key to its implementation.
Nicholas Robinson, IUCN, elaborated on the proposed new African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Identifying the Convention as the world’s most advanced regional treaty on environmental protection, he said it offers a framework for consistent environmental policies, capacity building and indigenous communities’ involvement in decision making.
Murphy Morobe, South African National Parks, introduced the African Protected Areas Initiative. Calling for a collective approach and governmental responsibility, he said solutions must come from within the continent.
Presenting on the West Africa MPAs Action Plan, Luc Hoffman, WWF, stressed that MPAs are critical to West Africa’s ecosystem and economy, and that short-term planning is a threat to both. He said the main challenge is no longer internal MPA management, but communication and cooperation with the outside world.
HE John Kachamila, Minister for Environmental Affairs of Mozambique, stressed the benefits of raising awareness regarding PAs among political leaders, local communities and civil society. He said challenges include making sure that PAs are managed sustainably, and expanding transboundary agreements.
Olver closed the session by calling for a pro-people approach to conservation.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: Plenary will convene at 9:00 am in the Main Hall to consider the Congress Outputs, namely the Durban Accord and Action Plan, WPC recommendations and the Message to the Convention on Biological Diversity. It will reconvene at 2:00 pm to address the implementation of the Congress Outputs.
WEDNESDAY AND SUMMARY REPORTS: A Sustainable Developments report on Wednesday’s Plenary will be available online on Thursday, 18 September, at: http://www.iisd.ca/crs/worldparksV. A summary report on the WPC will be available on Saturday, 20 September.
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