Participants at the Vth IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) met in Plenary throughout the day to consider the Congress Outputs, including the Durban Accord and Action Plan, the WPC Recommendations and the Message to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and their implementation.
Juan Mayr, former Colombian Minister of Environment, chaired the session.
DELEGATES’ SURVEY: Gary Machlis, University of Idaho, US, and Nyambe Nyambe, University of Natal, South Africa, presented the results of the delegates’ survey regarding the different aspects of protected areas (PA) management. Noting differences among regions, they said inadequate funding, leadership and enforcement were identified as key barriers to PA management. Stressing that inappropriate adjacent land use was considered as a key threat to PA resources, they said delegates stressed encouraging innovations, including the co-management of PAs, and an increase in knowledge sharing and data availability.
WORKSHOP RESULTS: Jeffrey McNeely, IUCN, reviewed the workshop streams and cross-cutting themes. He stressed the importance of science and knowledge for PA management, and put forward ten questions on PAs, which were then addressed by Julia Carabias, Environment, Protected Areas and People Project, Mexico, and Mohamed Bakarr, World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA).
On recognizing the importance of PAs, Carabias called for awareness raising on ways to improve rural sustainability, and stressed the value of traditional knowledge. She called for the diversification of legal frameworks, planning and management, and community initiatives.
On innovations for delivering quality PA management, Bakarr said standardized procedures are required to evaluate the effectiveness of diverse management strategies. He stressed the need for commitment from the private sector, indigenous communities and international organizations.
On local communities, Carabias said recognizing communities’ rights is key to strengthening their capacity to identify and address their needs.
Regarding the equitable sharing of PA costs and benefits, Bakarr noted the need to identify the value of PAs to society and their impact on communities. Stressing that only 20% of PA management costs are currently met, he said participants recommended increasing funding by US$ 15 billion, expanding funding sources, and removing policy and institutional barriers to funding.
On partnerships, Carabias said new governance models are required to increase public involvement in decision making and management, as well as different types of partnerships, including those for training and capacity building.
On filling the gaps in the PA network, Bakarr identified inadequate coverage at the species, habitat and ecosystem level. He stressed the need to use planning tools and science, be strategic and adopt targets, and increase resources for research.
Regarding necessary innovations, Bakarr emphasized evaluating management effectiveness and making sure that technical tools to increase understanding of biophysical changes, such as remote sensing, are accessible.
On linking PAs with wider development objectives, Carabias stressed the need for regulatory frameworks integrating conservation and development.
Bakarr highlighted the benefits of technologies, such as global positioning devices, in improving PA management, but said that a better understanding of ecological flows is required and that the threats posed by technological innovations should be addressed.
In relation to international cooperation, Carabias called for synergies between related treaties such as the CBD, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, noting the potential of PAs to offer a forum for those synergies. Emphasizing the need for capacity building, she outlined other areas for cooperation, including: NGOs’ contribution to long-term governmental strategies; the Protected Areas Learning Network; World Heritage sites; mobile people and transboundary PAs.
CHALLENGES FOR THE NEXT DECADE: McNeely asked participants to consider issues for the next WPC, including: best practices and indicators for PA management; expansion of the global PA system to ensure representation of all ecosystems; ecological integrity in the face of climate change, invasive species, and conflict; cohesion between scientific and traditional knowledge; how to promote international cooperation; and how to reconcile human needs and conservation goals.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Alfred Oteng-Yeboah, Chair of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, briefly presented on the WPC Recommendations. He said that 32 Recommendations emerging from workshop streams had been adopted, including three new motions on: preventing and mitigating human-wildlife conflicts; PAs, freshwater and integrated river basin management frameworks; and communication, education and public awareness. The Plenary noted and acknowledged the Recommendations.
DURBAN ACCORD: Estherine Lisinge Fotabong, WWF and WCPA, noted that the Durban Accord incorporates inputs from workshop streams and discussions held with, amongst others, the African group, indigenous peoples, and youth. She outlined the main structure of the Accord, including: progress since the Caracas Congress; future concerns and challenges; and required commitments and action. The Plenary adopted the Durban Accord and Action Plan by acclamation.
MESSAGE TO THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY: Peter Schei, Chair of the Message to the CBD drafting group, stressed that the Message has to lie within the CBD mandate and should be considered within the context of other Congress Outputs. He said the Message outlines key priorities, including: addressing gaps and deficiencies in the PA network; generating benefits beyond boundaries; developing tools and mobilizing resources; and measuring management effectiveness. The Plenary adopted the Message to the CBD by acclamation.
NEW INITIATIVE: Commending recent commitments to extend PA coverage in Indonesia, Madagascar and Brazil, Peter Seligmann, Conservation International (CI), said the international conservation community now has a responsibility to provide technical, political, educational and financial support for PA establishment and management. Emphasizing the need to increase global funding for conservation, he urged participants to challenge the private sector to improve business practice and provide financial support, and announced a CI commitment to create a fund to train a new generation of conservationists.
AWARDS CEREMONY: Kenton Miller, WCPA, and David Sheppard, IUCN, presented Fred M. Packard International Parks Merit Awards to: Richard Cellarius, on behalf of Michael McCloskey; Susan Matambo and Boitumelo Rampeng, on behalf of all young conservationists; Yvonne Stewart and Lorna Kelly, on behalf of all those involved in the Arakwal Indigenous Land Use Agreement, Australia; Liza Gonzalez, on behalf of Jaime Incer; Marshall Murphee; John Makombo, on behalf of all rangers who have lost their lives in the call of duty; Carmen Miranda; a Canadian representative, on behalf of the Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien; and Mavuso Msimang.
IMPLEMENTING THE CONGRESS OUTPUTS
IMPLEMENTING THE MESSAGE: THE POLITICAL IMPERATIVE: Crispian Olver, Director General of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism of South Africa, chaired the closing Plenary. David Sheppard, IUCN, noted that, with over 3000 delegates, including indigenous people, youth and private sector, the Vth WPC has been the largest so far. Stressing that the Congress achieved its objectives and has been an outstanding event for networking, he said the challenge lies in implementation. He paid tribute to the organizers, donors and to South Africa.
Panel discussion: Mohamed Valli Moosa, South African Minister for Environmental Affairs and Tourism, moderated the panel discussion. Suresh Prabhu, Chair of the Interlinking of Rivers Commission, India, stressed the need for increased transnational cooperation, further action for poverty alleviation, sustainable financial resources, increased political will, and addressing PA impacts on populations.
Claude Martin, WWF Director General, highlighted the high level and wide-ranging participation at the Vth WPC. He said PAs should not be considered as a panacea for conservation, and stressed the need to continue and extend the dialogue with extractive industries.
Recalling relevant WSSD commitments, Sweder van Voorst tot Voorst, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, noted that PAs have become part of the sustainable development agenda, and stressed the need for integrated poverty reduction strategies.
Patricia Luna del Pozo, youth representative, called for: moving from confrontation to dialogue to create necessary partnerships; developing young professionals’ training; and increasing youth involvement in PA management and at the next WPC.
Acknowledging the controversy regarding the extractive industry, David Richards, International Council on Mining and Minerals, said dialogue can only be constructive when all parties demonstrate their commitment.
Anoushiravan Najafi, Deputy to the Vice President of Iran, called for practical approaches to PA management, use of traditional knowledge, and a change in governments’ view that nature is merely a resource to exploit.
Jannie Lasimbang, Asia Indigenous People Pact, said indigenous communities have been ignored in the international debate, asked for respect for customary laws, and advocated community prior informed consent.
Stressing that biodiversity conservation does not exclude social and economic development, Antonio Waldez Goés da Silva, Governor of Amapá State, Brazil, said 70% of the State has been designated as a PA.
Peter Seligmann, CI, called on world leaders to form a political conservation block to encourage the G-8 to increase funding, and said that if only health and poverty issues are addressed, the environment will never be sufficiently protected.
Boku Tache, World Alliance of Mobile Indigenous Peoples, said his alliance’s objectives are to: establish solidarity among mobile indigenous peoples worldwide; achieve sustainable livelihoods; and promote just policies.
Calling for increased PA quality rather than quantity, Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Minister of Environment of Costa Rica, said the costs of PA establishment are not equitably distributed between developing and developed countries.
CLOSING PLENARY: Crispian Olver chaired the closing Plenary. Denis Hamu, IUCN, urged participants to communicate the Congress Outcomes to people with different perceptions of PAs. Noting that communication begins with listening, she introduced a video in which participants described how they would use the information and knowledge generated at the WCP for building capacity, influencing funding institutions, and informing the public. Hamu announced an IUCN commitment, in cooperation with several other organizations, to a common agenda on communicating and building on the outcomes of the WPC.
Achim Steiner, IUCN Director General, thanked the host country and all the organizing teams. He highlighted the contributions of Kenton Miller, WCPA, and David Sheppard, IUCN, and presented a plaque to Valli Moosa in recognition of his work in conservation.
Plodprasop Suraswadi, Thai Ministry for Natural Resources and Environment, invited participants to the 3rd World Conservation Congress in Bangkok, 17-25 November 2004. Participants watched a short video on WCP participants’ impressions, prepared by the IUCN Commission on Communication and Education.
Jacob Zuma, Deputy President of South Africa, said the WPC has laid the foundation for a new paradigm in conservation, in which the synergies between the conservation and development agendas are recognized, and benefits from PAs are shared beyond boundaries and across societies, cultures and generations. Noting that the approach to management needs to be innovative, adaptive, and based on indigenous and scientific knowledge, he said this paradigm would enable the development of new financial and income generating strategies. Identifying protection of the African environment as one of the priorities of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, he said that the the Durban Consensus on African Protected Areas for the New Millennium establishes a 10-point agenda for strengthening PA work in the continent.
Olver then closed the meeting at 4:55 pm.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR
SUMMARY REPORT: A Sustainable Developments summary report of the Vth WPC will be available online on Saturday, 20 September, at: http://www.iisd.ca/sd/worldparksV.
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