Participants of the Vth IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) met in two morning symposia to address "Community and Parks" and "Working at Scale." Plenary met in the afternoon to hear a briefing on the upcoming workshop streams and cross-cutting themes. Numerous side meetings and special events on, inter alia, transboundary protected areas (PAs) and biodiversity and mining were held throughout the day.
SYMPOSIUM: COMMUNITY AND PARKS
Yolanda Kakabadse, IUCN President, chaired the session. Bob Debus, Attorney General and Minister for the Environment of New South Wales (NSW), Australia, highlighted the benefits of stakeholder involvement in PA management and biodiversity conservation strategies in NSW, including: reduced conflicts; increased public support; employment generation; and reconciliation with aboriginal peoples. He called for equitable benefit sharing for local communities, and cautioned against inflexible prescriptions, a sole focus on physical aspects, and decision making without community support.
Otimio Castillo, on behalf of Sebastião Manchinery, General Coordinator of the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin, outlined the conflicts created by the occupation and exploitation of the Amazon. He called for: governmental recognition of indigenous rights; co-management and participation; implementation of action plans and relevant international environmental instruments; and a ban on disruptive extractive activities.
Francesco Bandarin, UNESCO, presented on the World Heritage Convention and the Man and Biosphere Programme. Noting that biosphere reserves have become places for people and nature since the Caracas Congress, Walter Erdelen, UNESCO, said that they: mobilize communities; provide neutral ground for cooperation within and between countries; and promote research into biodiversity. He called for education on sustainable development, increased financial support, and capacity building.
Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh, presented the community conserved areas (CCAs) concept, noting that CCAs: originate from traditional common property management; cover a wide range of ecosystems, sacred and cultural areas outside officially designated PAs; and provide livelihood, economic opportunities, and ecological functions. He called for: further financial, human and technological support; the recognition of community rights; and international acknowledgement of CCAs’ benefits.
Co-chair Claudio Maretti called for the integration of indigenous conservation practices and community management structures into official systems.
Stressing indigenous peoples’ rights to self-determination and land, and the problem of forced expulsion, Luz Maria de la Torre, indigenous representative, presented the Indigenous Peoples’ Declaration to the WPC. The Declaration calls for: a rights-based approach to sustainable development and nature conservation; indigenous peoples’ free, prior informed consent as a prerequisite to establishing PAs; and full indigenous participation in PA management.
During a panel discussion on parks with or without people, Jannie Lasimbang, indigenous representative, outlined the negative effects of depriving indigenous peoples of their lands for conservation, including loss of rights and livelihoods, and conflict with park authorities. She stressed the economic advantages of entrusting PA monitoring and enforcement to indigenous communities. Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP), noted: the historical interaction between people and nature; that a dominant and culturally biased perception of nature should not damage other cultures; and that many PAs exist only because they are inhabited or used. Gustavo Suarez de Freitas, Director of Peru’s National System of PAs, stressed that certain PAs require restricted use and that benefit sharing is needed to build alliances with local communities. He suggested: acknowledging the constraints posed by PAs to indigenous communities; making good use of the IUCN PA categorization; focusing on conservation priorities; and reaching agreements with local communities with right to the lands.
Stressing that national economic and security interests should not be undermined by traditional claims of minority groups, Richard Leakey, Eden Wildlife Trust, opposed politicizing conservation through the indigenous issue. Kai Schmidt-Soltau, German Society for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), emphasized the social costs of conservation and called for either improving the resettlement of people excluded from PAs, or ruling out resettlement as a conservation strategy.
Rejoice Mabudafhasi, South African Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, introduced a video showing the benefits to PA management of a gender-equitable perspective. Achim Steiner, IUCN Director General, introduced a theatre performance on PA issues.
SYMPOSIUM: WORKING AT SCALE
Gwen Mahlangu, Chair of the South African Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment and Tourism, and Trevor Sandwith, Cape Action for People and the Environment, co-chaired the session. HE John Briceno, Deputy Prime Minister of Belize, introduced the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor initiative, a regional effort promoting conservation, sustainable development and poverty alleviation, and called for greater community participation and standardized conservation methodologies.
Advocating the concept of a seamless park network, Fran Mainella, US National Park Service Director, called for conservation beyond PA boundaries, an emphasis on ecosystem integrity, and international partnerships. She stressed the importance of widespread environmental ethics combined with local commitment.
Mohammed Valli Moosa, South African Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, described the establishment of a transfrontier PA between South Africa and Mozambique. He noted that problems arose due to: the presence of military and agricultural fences obstructing animal movements; abandoned mines; illegal immigration; and sovereignty issues. He said that strong political commitment on both sides helped overcome these challenges.
Gustavo Fonseca, Conservation International, emphasized the role of corridors in reducing the vulnerability of isolated PAs. He identified infrastructure development as a cause of biodiversity loss and stressed the need to conduct threat analysis, to address stress, and to generate incentives for conservation at the appropriate scales. He emphasized the need to achieve conservation objectives within boundaries in order for benefits to accrue beyond boundaries.
Mike Fay, US Wildlife Conservation Society, outlined data collection efforts in Central Africa and introduced the Congo Basin Forest Partnership. He said challenges include building infrastructure and human capacity, and increasing public awareness.
Identifying oceans as primary life support systems, Sylvia Earle, Executive Director of Conservation International, called for the establishment of marine PAs (MPAs) and for an increased understanding of marine ecosystems and relevant conservation mechanisms.
During a panel discussion on corridor initiatives moderated by Steven Sanderson, Wildlife Conservation Society, Hemanta Mishra, Sian Development Bank, stressed that developing transnational corridors is not only a conservation issue but also involves political, social and economic concerns. Noting problems arising from the paucity of scientific information, violent conflict and border issues, he identified the need for political will to promote transboundary conservation. Hartmut Vogtmann, President of the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, presented a project on the establishment of a European green belt. Highlighting Europe’s strong commitment to PAs, Nick Hanley, European Commission, presented Natura 2000, the main EU programme for PAs. Juan Carlos Godoy, World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), advocated the establishment of PA networks at different scales, and stressed the need to: identify factors crucial to connecting PAs; involve local communities; standardize PA management internationally; and develop national mechanisms to encourage best practices.
Jeffrey McNeely, IUCN Chief Scientist, stressed the need to increase PAs’ ecological viability by increasing their size or connecting them, and called for: political unity; local support for conservation; and international partnerships.
PLENARY: BRIEFING ON THE WORKSHOPS
Chair David Sheppard, IUCN, encouraged participants to comment on the drafts of the Durban Accord and Action Plan and WPC recommendations.
Steve Edwards, IUCN, emphasized the need to avoid contradictory statements in: the WPC recommendations, the Durban Accord and Action Plan, and the message to the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Julia Carabias, Mexico’s former Minister of Environment, presented the goals of the stream on developing capacities for PA management. She urged participants to recommend strategies, methodologies, and tools to strengthen capacity.
Mohamed Bakarr, WCPA, outlined the aims and organisation of the stream on building comprehensive PA systems. He said the workshop should identify ways to: achieve a representative PA system; set targets; achieve comprehensive coverage at global, regional and national levels; and generate funding. He said expected outputs include a world database on PAs, the updated UN List of PAs, the Global Gap Analysis report, and contributions to the Durban Accord and the message to the CBD.
Carlos Quintela, Wildlife Conservation Society, introduced the stream on building a secure financial future. He said sustainable financing for PAs requires raising funding baselines and reducing oscillations in funding. He suggested focusing discussions on how to generate and distribute funding for PAs. Quintela said the stream aims at: promoting the adoption of modern business and financial models for PAs; understanding policy and institutional constraints; demonstrating sustainable financial tools; building capacity; and establishing strategic alliances.
Peter Bridgewater, Ramsar Convention Secretary General, introduced the stream on linkages in the landscape and seascape. He stressed the importance of management beyond PA boundaries, and noted the interlinkages between terrestrial and marine PAs. He suggested considering the negative consequences of building corridors, and highlighted that biodiversity conservation should address the genetic, species, community and landscape and seascape levels.
Jeffrey McNeely introduced the stream on building broader support for PAs. He elaborated on the seven workshop themes, highlighting, inter alia: non-material values of PAs; PAs and local and indigenous communities; supporting PAs during violent conflict; urban outreach strategies; building international, national and local political support for PAs; and the potential impact of communication.
Jim Johnston, Parks Canada, and Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, CEESP, presented the stream on PA governance. Stressing that governance is the most important factor for poverty eradication and is essential for sustainable development, they said that the workshop would deal with questions of equity, decision making, and accountability.
On the stream on evaluating management effectiveness, Marc Hockings, WCPA, noted that issues to be addressed include ways to measure: the state of PAs and ecosystems; progress achieved; the impact of PAs on communities; reaction to threats; and the adequacy of funding. Noting that evaluation systems have been in place since the Caracas Congress, he stressed that it is time to assess their effectiveness.
Ashish Kothari presented the goals of the cross-cutting theme on communities and equity. He emphasized the need to fully recognize indigenous peoples’ rights in the development of conservation strategies and outlined how the theme will be integrated into each workshop stream. Kothari asked workshop coordinators to give consideration to the diversity of peoples and languages, and to different conservation models.
Charles Ehler, US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, introduced the MPAs cross-cutting theme by recalling relevant WSSD commitments, including the establishment of a representative MPA network by 2012. He outlined linkages with workshop streams related to: enhancing living marine resources and maintaining ecosystem functions; making MPA networks more resilient; enhancing the effectiveness of MPA management; integrating MPA management into marine and coastal governance; and conserving marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Natajaran Ishwaran, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, outlined how world heritage will be integrated into workshop streams. He expressed hope that the WPC would build broad systems to support world heritage, which will assist in effective PA management. Noting that site managers often do not recognize the benefits of world heritage, he recommended linking training with global PA management capacity building, strengthening existing partnerships and building new ones.
Kenton Miller, WCPA Chair, offered IUCN plaques to Enrique Beltran (post humus to his son), Bing Lucas (post humus to Hugh Logan) and Gerardo Budowski, in recognition of their long-term commitment to PAs.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
WORKSHOP STREAMS: Workshop streams will meet in plenary and break-out groups to address: linkages in the landscape and seascape; building broader support for PAs; governance of PAs; developing the capacity to manage PAs; evaluating management effectiveness; building a secure financial future; and building comprehensive PA systems
CROSS-CUTTING THEMES: The workshop cross-cutting themes on MPAs, world heritage, and communities and equity will cut across the seven workshop streams.
DURBAN ACCORD AND ACTION PLAN: Delegates are asked to participate in improving the draft Durban Accord and Action Plan during workshop discussions. A drop-in session for contributions will be held from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm in Room 3A10.
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