The tenth World Wilderness Congress (WILD10) convened in Salamanca, Spain from 4-10 October 2013, with the theme “Make the World a Wilder Place.” The meeting brought together over 1000 participants from over 60 countries in Salamanca, including over 100 traditional leaders, along with many online participants, representing a wide range of stakeholders including conservation groups, indigenous peoples’ and local community representatives, government officials from regional, national and local levels, non-governmental organizations, scientists, artists, private investors and youth leaders, who have a common interest in conserving, protecting and restoring wild nature.
Preceded by the Intergovernmental Forum on Wilderness (2-3 October), WILD10 consisted of two main sessions: the Global Gathering (4-6 October), which convened plenary sessions on solution-oriented approaches to conservation issues; and the Global Forum (8-10 October), which consisted of concurrent meetings, workshops, symposia, capacity building activities and cultural events. WILD10 also included an exposition tent featuring institutional, educational, artistic and commercial exhibits, and excursions and tours to natural and cultural sites on WILD Day (7 October).
WILD10’s outcomes included, among other things: a series of draft resolutions, to be finalized the week following the meeting and posted online; the “Salamanca Statement,” a 12-page policy statement; the launch of CoalitionWILD, an initiative to support youth leaders and young professionals in conservation; the launch of the WILD Cities Coalition and project, for promoting wild spaces in urban areas; the launch of the Nature Strategy for Sustainability; the official launch of Rewilding Europe Capital, a pioneer, loan-based fund to support conservation enterprises in Europe; and the launch of the European Rewilding Network.
This summary report focuses on the events of the Global Gathering.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF PROTECTED AREAS, WILDLIFE AND WILDERNESS CONSERVATION IN INTERNATIONAL FORA
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SCALING-UP STRATEGIES TO SECURE COMMUNITY LAND AND RESOURCE RIGHTS: The International Conference on Scaling-Up Strategies to Secure Community Land and Resource Rights was held from 19-20 September, 2013, in Interlaken, Switzerland. Bringing together over 180 participants from 40 countries, representing a wide range of stakeholders with a common interest in clarifying and securing the ownership of community lands and resources, the conference aimed, among other things, to increase the profile and prioritization of community land rights as a global concern and to catalyze new ideas and alliances. IISD RS coverage of the meeting can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/rri/sclrr/.
SEVENTH TRONDHEIM CONFERENCE ON BIODIVERSITY: Convened in Trondheim, Norway, from 27-31 May, 2013, the seventh Trondheim Conference on Biodiversity brought together approximately 330 experts from governments, international organizations, academia, civil society and the private sector to consider the theme “ecology and economy for a sustainable society.” Since 1993, the Trondheim Conferences on Biodiversity have sought to enhance cross-sectoral dialogue on biodiversity research and management, and to establish the best possible scientific basis for policy and management decisions in relation to the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
The seventh Conference focused on the first goal of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, adopted by the CBD and endorsed by several conventions, which addresses the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society. IISD RS coverage of the meeting can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/biodiv/tcb/2013/.
CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN ENDANGERED SPECIES OF WILD FAUNA AND FLORA (CITES) COP16: The sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP16) to CITES met in Bangkok, Thailand, from 3-14 March, 2013. The aim of CITES is to ensure that international trade of wild animal and plant species does not threaten their survival. CITES parties regulate wildlife trade through controls and regulations on species listed in three appendices. COP16 adopted 55 new listing proposals, including on sharks, manta rays, turtles and timber, and also adopted strong enforcement measures to address wildlife crime. IISD RS coverage of CITES COP16 can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/cites/cop16/.
CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY (CBD) COP11: The CBD’s COP11 was held in Hyderabad, India, from 8-19 October 2012, and adopted 33 decisions on a range of strategic, substantive, administrative, budgetary and financial issues. The CBD aims to promote the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. COP11 addressed, among other things, implementation of the Strategic Plan 2011-2020 and progress towards the Aichi biodiversity targets. IISD RS coverage of CBD COP11 can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/biodiv/cop11/.
CONVENTION ON MIGRATORY SPECIES (CMS) COP10: The CMS’s COP10 met in Bergen, Norway, from 19-25 November, 2011, with approximately 300 participants representing governments, non-governmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations, multilateral environmental agreements, scientists and the private sector. The CMS recognizes that states must be the protectors of migratory species that live within or pass through their national jurisdictions, and aims to conserve terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their ranges.
COP10 adopted 27 resolutions, including on: synergies and partnerships; overview of the process regarding the “future shape” of CMS, budget, enhanced engagement with the Global Environment Facility (GEF); wildlife disease and migratory species; migratory terrestrial species; global programme of work for cetaceans; and bird flyway conservation policy. IISD RS coverage of CMS COP10 can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/cms/cop10/.
9TH WORLD WILDERNESS CONGRESS (WILD9): The ninth World Wilderness Congress (WILD9) was held in Merida, Mexico, from 6-13 November, 2009, bringing together 1800 delegates from 50 countries in Merida, and over 12,000 online participants from 130 countries. Held every 2-3 years, with the first convened in 1977 in Johannesburg, South Africa, World Wilderness Congresses aim to develop innovative, intergenerational, practical solutions to meet the challenges of wilderness conservation. This collaborative conservation project brings together conservation groups, scientists, governments, community representatives, the private sector, artists, and other stakeholders to address conservation issues while recognizing the importance of culture, policy, science and resource management.
Focused on the theme of wilderness, people and climate change, WILD9’s outcomes included: the adoption of 44 targeted resolutions; a “Message from Merida,” as an international call to action with specific policy guidelines to integrate wilderness and biodiversity conservation into global climate change strategy; a “Corporate Commitment to Wilderness,” signed by 15 corporations; and the launch of WILD’s “Nature Needs Half” vision.
CBD EXPERT WORKSHOP ON PROTECTED AREAS: The Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), with funding from the European Union, convened an expert workshop on protected areas on 17-18 March 2006, in Curitiba, Brazil, prior to CBD COP8. Over 25 experts from CBD parties and intergovernmental, non-governmental, indigenous and local community organizations participated in the workshop, and 20 observers attended. The expert workshop aimed to facilitate an informed review by COP8 of the implementation of activities/elements of the work programme on protected areas and a draft revised evaluation matrix. IISD RS coverage of the meeting can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/biodiv/paws/.
FIFTH IUCN WORLD PARKS CONGRESS: The IUCN World Parks Congress has been convened five times at ten year intervals since 1962, with the last meeting held in 2003, in Durban, South Africa, with the theme “Benefits beyond Boundaries,” focused on governance, sustainable finance, capacity development, linkages in the landscape and seascape, equity and benefit sharing. IUCN organizes the Congress to take stock of protected areas (PAs), appraise progress and setbacks, and chart the course for PAs over the next decade. Among the Fifth Congress’ main outcomes were the Durban Accord and Action Plan, which included a high-level vision statement for protected areas, and a message to the Convention on Biological Diversity. IISD RS coverage of the meeting can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/crs/worldparksv/.
REPORT OF THE MEETING
WILD10 OPENING CEREMONY
The tenth World Wilderness Congress (WILD10) opened on Friday, 4 October, in Salamanca, Spain, with a video highlighting the value of wilderness, goals of WILD10 and recovery of wildlife in Europe. Following a moment of silence to recognize the reasons for convening, Vance Martin, WILD Foundation, welcomed participants to the Congress.
Ilmo Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, Mayor of Salamanca, underscored the value of human heritage and natural wealth, and said WILD10 provides a message of hope, optimism and responsibility. Bienvenido Mena, Representative of Castilla y León, called environmental protection an “obligation,” not an “option,” and underscored his region’s focus on environmental education. Daniel Hernández Ruipérez, President of the University of Salamanca, pointed to the efforts of university faculty across disciplines to advance conservation research. Guillermina Yanguas Montero, Ministry of the Environment, Spain, reviewed some of Spain’s conservation achievements, including, inter alia, the recovery of golden eagle populations and reintroduction programs for lynx and sturgeon, and highlighted the need for policies that benefit both the natural world and humans.
Julie Cajune and Terry Tanner, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Montana, US, shared a traditional blessing, and, recalling the interconnectedness of the global community, Tashka Yawanawa, Chief, Yawanawa Tribe, Brazil, sang a prayer song.
Vance Martin, WILD Foundation, noted that the World Wilderness Congress (WWC) is not a formal institution or a legal entity, but a community of people – including policy makers, conservationists, artists and children – committed to protecting wild nature. He introduced filmmaker Morgan Heim’s video “From WILD9 to WILD10,” which reviewed the history of WWCs and emphasized the importance of sharing stories about nature through science, history and art.
Exequiel Ezcurra, chair of WILD9 in Mexico, reflected on WILD9’s calls for action, including setting aside “half for nature,” adding that the protection of nature is needed not just for conserving biodiversity but also human culture. He introduced WILD10 co-chairs Odile Rodríquez de la Fuente and Magnus Sylvén.
Co-chair Rodríquez de la Fuente encouraged drawing on ancient wisdom from all cultures in conjunction with innovative new ideas from all disciplines to create a “new consciousness” and paradigm. She recognized the President of Honor of the meeting, HM Queen Sofia of Spain, and the eleven Congress ambassadors. Co-chair Sylvén described the European demographic shift from rural to urban areas, highlighting that changes in historic uses of land have allowed new opportunities for wildlife to return to those places. He introduced delegates who took the “Trail to Salamanca” by walking to the Congress, highlighting these journeys as linking history and culture in Europe to nature.
In a video message introduced by Patrick van Klaveren, Ambassador of Monaco to Spain, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco recognized the “deep, complex and necessary” ties between the development of human civilization and the preservation of the natural world, calling for new ways of thinking and living with wildlife.
Recalling the initiation of World Wilderness Congresses in South Africa, Andrew Muir, Wilderness Foundation, South Africa, explained that the WWC logo of a three-pointed leaf represents the relationships of people: with one another; with the earth and nature; and with spirit, in whatever form that takes to each person. In a video address, WWC founder Ian Player lauded the convening of WILD10 in spite of challenging economic times, and, paraphrasing the writer Henry David Thoreau, stressed the need for wildness.
Johan van de Gronden, WWF, Netherlands, highlighted the complex relationship between people and nature in Europe, particularly the Netherlands, where “every square centimeter of the land has been tilled.” He identified two key action points: the need for better agricultural practices; and the need to not only protect large swaths of land, but also revive biodiversity.
MAKING THE WORLD A WILDER PLACE
Launching a series of sessions under the day’s theme “Making the World a Wilder Place,” on Friday, 4 October, co-chair Sylvén introduced discussions showcasing European wilderness protection.
EUROPE: Ladislav Miko, former Director of Biodiversity, DG Environment-European Commission, moderated the session, with presentations on: regional governance; country-level wilderness initiatives; wildlife recoveries; European wilderness; connectivity and the Iberian region; and rewilding.
European governance: Through a video, Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment, outlined Natura 2000, a European Union (EU)-wide network of nature protection areas, stressing the goal is not only nature protection but also ensuring sustainable livelihoods for people. He noted a new register to record remaining wilderness areas in Europe and guidelines to assist EU member states with non-intervention management approaches.
Angelo Salsi, Environment Directorate-General, discussed the policy context for wilderness conservation in Europe, showing maps of the Natura 2000 network, overlaps between wilderness areas and Natura 2000 protected sites and examples of the EU’s LIFE+ Programme projects in Finland and the Carpathians. He called upon WILD10 participants to “join forces” to increase the efficiency of conservation efforts, including through communication and public outreach.
Eladio Galliano, the Council of Europe, discussed conservation achievements and challenges in Europe over the last forty years, stating that Europe’s main achievement was a comprehensive system of protected areas (PAs). He noted that while some mammal and bird species have recovered as a result of specific conservation measures, others, such as wolves, have recovered due to the abandonment of rural communities and farms.
Wilderness initiatives: Ruedi Haller, Swiss National Park, presented on a century’s efforts at creating and maintaining wilderness in the Swiss Alps, noting the three goals of the Swiss National Park: nature conservation, research and information. He described the reintroduction of ibexes to Switzerland, and emphasized the importance of connectivity for the conservation of large predators.
Presenting wilderness initiatives in Austria, Viktoria Hasler, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, Austria, focused on the development of wilderness zones in her country’s national parks. She highlighted the government’s public relations work on wilderness, including a short film on nature that will be shown during WILD10’s Global Forum.
Wildlife recoveries: Richard Grimmett, BirdLife International, and Monika Böhm, Zoological Society of London, presented on wildlife recoveries in Europe. Grimmett outlined a study on the recovery of 37 species of mammals and birds, detailing the cases of the Eurasian beaver and white-tailed eagle. Böhm encouraged celebrating the successes in species recovery, but cautioned that population recoveries must be seen in context of population numbers, noting that dramatic increases do not always indicate that species have reached a viable population status.
Frans Schepers, Rewilding Europe, introduced the Rewilding Europe Initiative, explaining the project’s demand-driven approach through local communities nominating sites for rewilding, and outlining the six projects already underway. He noted the European Rewilding Network will be launched during WILD10, and outlined its three pillars: rewilding, communication and enterprise.
European wilderness: Toby Aykroyd, Wild Europe, UK, presented on the “Wild Europe Initiative,” which aims to produce a coordinated strategy for the protection and restoration of wilderness throughout Europe. He stressed the importance of “not just defending what wilderness already exists, but expanding and linking it,” and noted the importance of engaging with other sectors to achieve these objectives.
Zoltán Kun, PAN Parks, Hungary, described his organization’s efforts to protect the European continent’s most undisturbed areas of nature. Noting that 99% of the European landscape has been modified by humans, and urging that the remaining 1% be “urgently protected,” he added that PAN Parks has a vision of achieving 5% wilderness in Europe, through restoration and protection.
Steve Carver, University of Leeds, showed a series of global maps offering different representations of wilderness, human impacts and spatial distributions. He described the development of a European Wildness Index and wilderness continuum map to identify unprotected high-wilderness spots as candidate areas for protection.
Connectivity and Iberia:In the Iberian region, Xavier Escute, on behalf of Miquel Rafa Fornieles, Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera, described the development of the Great Mountain Corridor, linking the Cantabric Mountains with the Pyrenees and Alps, including efforts to identify already-protected sections of the corridor and unprotected areas needed as connectors. Carlos Sánchez, Fundación Naturaleza y Hombre, Spain, described conservation efforts on the western Iberian peninsula, taking participants on a tour across the peninsula through photos and species descriptions from protected areas. He highlighted efforts to address conservation challenges through programmes for ecotourism and private enterprise.
Rewilding: Christof Schenk, Frankfurt Zoological Society, discussed rewilding initiatives in abandoned land and ex-military training grounds in Germany, where the government has set a goal of 2% wilderness by 2020. Noting that Europe serves as an example that rewilding is possible, he introduced a new document, “Vision for a Wilder Europe,” and presented it to the European Commission and Council of Europe, among others.
Session moderator Miko concluded the panel calling for communication of these ideas and projects beyond the “community of the converted.”
NATURE NEEDS HALF — A PRACTICAL VISION FOR PLANET AND PEOPLE: Harvey Locke, Founder of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, moderated this session, calling on participants to engage with the emotional side of conservation. Locke showed a video of efforts to increase protected areas in Canada and the US in the Flathead Valley.
Russell Mittermeier, Conservation International, discussed the status of large land and seascapes, including those covered by PAs and Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs) in Suriname, the South Pacific, Indonesia and elsewhere. He noted that more PAs are needed worldwide, since they are the “most effective tool” for preventing biodiversity loss and sustaining ecosystem services. He also urged better management for existing PAs. He concluded by entreating people to take a stand against clearing natural forest for oil palm plantations, noting that “plenty of degraded land is already available.”
James Brundige, First Light Films, highlighted that PAs are becoming “biological islands” surrounded by human development, with species conservation threatened by this landscape fragmentation. He showed a short film on the subject, explaining his work explores the scientific basis for connectivity projects, profiles corridor and connectivity projects and follows biologists working to link protected areas.
Using a series of different maps to show remaining intact areas, existing protected areas, human land use and other data, Steve Carver, University of Leeds, explored the feasibility of setting aside half of terrestrial landscapes for nature. From his projections, he cautioned that although half the world’s land could be protected globally, such protection levels present more challenges at regional and national levels when political boundaries, existing human land uses, population growth and biomes are taken into account.
Noëlle Kümpel, Zoological Society of London, introduced a short film, “Space for Nature,” which explores public views on how much of the natural world should be protected.
The Waters: HRH Prince Khaled bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia, addressed WILD10 through video to discuss the work of the Living Ocean Foundation, whose mission is to preserve ocean wilderness worldwide. He highlighted the Global Reef Expedition, a six-year voyage to study coral reefs around the world.
Exequiel Ezcurra, University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC-MEXUS), commented on the importance of the oceans in regulating climate, providing ecosystem services and driving precipitation patterns and weather on islands, the coast and inland environments.
Several speakers jointly presented on California’s Marine Protected Areas, sharing an initiative on ocean wilderness and indigenous rights. Hawk Rosales, InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, introduced a multi-year effort to craft California’s first tribal marine use policy that formally recognizes and protects indigenous tribal marine rights and cultural uses of the state’s coastal resources. Shawn Padi, Hopland Tribe and InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, led a prayer. Briannon Fraley, Smith River Rancheria, encouraged delegates to reach out to schools and children with a message of caring for the environment. Kaitilin Gaffney, Ocean and Coastal Program, Resources Law Group, invited delegates to attend WILD10 Global Forum events elaborating on the campaign to protect tribal rights to California’s coastal resources and the critical role of Native American leadership in its eventual success. She also introduced a short film, “Stewards of the Wild Seas,” highlighting successes in protecting tribal peoples’ traditional rights.
Natasha Luzhkova, V. B. Sochava Institute of Geography SB RAS, Russia, introduced participants to the Lake Baikal watershed, and outlined the impacts on the lake of changes to Russia’s protected area laws, particularly those aimed at increasing eco-tourism in parks and wilderness areas.
Recalling Spain’s wealth in biodiversity, Sonia Castañeda, Fundación Biodiversidad, Spain, described her organization’s efforts towards aquatic protection through the LIFE+ Indemares project, which aims to designate and inventory marine areas and contribute to the protection of the seas. She explained the “scientifically intense” project had contributed to species and ecosystem knowledge.
The Lands: Robert Debus, Advisory Group for National Wildlife Corridor, Australia, outlined Australia’s National Wildlife Corridors Plan 2012. He described the development of this landscape-level government policy, which builds on existing protected reserves. He also highlighted six existing connectivity projects developed by states and NGOs that will have the first opportunity for formal recognition as national corridors.
Boyd Norton, Serengeti Watch, used maps and photographs to introduce the audience to the Serengeti, highlighting its importance for many species whose populations have experienced rapid declines. Noting threats to the Serengeti from a proposed commercial highway, along with poaching, he said Serengeti Watch was founded for awareness-raising and education. Meyasi Meshilieck Mollel, Serengeti Preservation Council, outlined the Serengeti Teacher Environmental Project (STEP), aimed at training teachers in environmental education and ecosystem science. He noted that if children learn about ecosystems and the importance of species, they might be able to persuade their families and communities to stop poaching.
Peter Prokosch, GRID-Arendal, presented on the state of Arctic wilderness twenty years after WILD5 in Tromsø, Norway. Noting the region’s low population density and intensive research and monitoring programs, he highlighted the Arctic as the place where environmental goals and targets, including the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Aichi targets, “can most easily be achieved.”
Florian Schulz, wildlife photographer, gave a visual presentation of photography from a book project, “To the Arctic,” which dispels misconceptions of the region as a “flat white nothingness” or a “barren wasteland.”
The Climate: Jonathan Jarvis, US National Park Service, addressed the Global Gathering via video. He spoke about addressing climate change through reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving energy and water consumption and reducing the carbon footprints of national parks.
Jeff Orlowski, Producer and Director, presented an excerpt of his film, “Chasing Ice,” an award-winning documentary about conservation photographer Jim Balog’s “Extreme Ice Survey (EIS),” which featured time-lapse photography of glaciers. Orlowski noted the film uses the adventure of Balog’s work as a “messenger and vehicle” for the story of climate change. Joining WILD10 through a live-stream video connection, Balog underscored the “uniquely potent and powerful” nature of artistic approaches to scientific questions, explaining these allow a “full range” of human responses, from rational and factual to emotional and aesthetic.
The Big Trees: Odile Rodríquez de la Fuente, Fundación Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente, Spain, and a representative of Diputación de Valencia, introduced “EnArbolar—The Big Trees,” a visual communications project and exhibition premiering at WILD10. In the evening, delegates gathered for the opening of the exhibition.
INFORMING, ENGAGING AND EMPOWERING
On Saturday, 5 October, WILD10 co-chair Rodríquez de la Fuente welcomed participants, introducing the day’s aim of “informing, engaging and empowering” in discussions on conservation as questions of relationships of humans to each other and to nature.
INDIGENOUS AND COMMUNITY LANDS AND SEAS: Panel co-moderator Terry Tanner, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Montana, US, asked participants to “open up your hearts” to the messages shared by the panelists. Co-moderator Sharon Shay Sloan, WILD Foundation, said conservation has not always done a “good job” for indigenous people, explaining the panel aimed to inspire a vision for the future of conservation.
Wayne Bergmann, KRED Enterprises Charitable Trust, Australia, shared his peoples’ experiences with maintaining cultural integrity in the face of large-scale development pressures in Kimberley, Australia. Calling attention to extractive industry pressures in his region, including interest in the commercial potential of one of the world’s largest shale gas deposits, he noted local efforts to secure land rights, negotiation power and management authority, including through the Kimberley Land Council and a ranger network for protected areas.
Addressing mining, extractive industries and industrial development, Liz Hosken, The Gaia Foundation, outlined increasing pressures on parks, World Heritage Sites and indigenous territories from the “ecocidal” scale of current extractive industry activities. She observed that already-extracted minerals and metals can be re-used, and asserted that the “fossil fuel addiction” must be stopped.
Noting ongoing threats to natural landscapes and traditional territories, Nigel Crawhall, IUCN, called the protection of sacred, cultural and holy sites a “collective human duty.” He noted that although the policy instruments to protect World Heritage Sites are in place, states are not “upholding their side of the deal.”
In a video address, Nnimmo Bassey, Environmental Rights Action, Nigeria, said that mining activities initially produced materials needed for essential activities, but are now driven by profit, wealth accumulation and speculation. Declaring “enough is enough” in extraction, he called on the world to “say yes to life, no to mining.”
Jointly presenting on a partnership to protect culture and nature in the Greater Laponia region of Sweden, Lars-Anders Baer, Swedish Sámi Parliament, and Ulf Lovén, Swedish Ecotourism Society, showed a video slideshow of Greater Laponia. Calling the area “not only a wilderness, but a cultural and spiritual landscape,” Baer outlined the biodiversity values of the area along with threats to its integrity, including from mining and wind power development. Lovén described their aim of starting a coalition to define long-term sustainable use of the landscape as an alternative to extractive industry.
Co-moderator Sloan presented on behalf of the ICCA Consortium. Shay reviewed the history and lawful status of ICCAs, presented case studies of ICCAs managed by local communities around the world and discussed threats to ICCAs, including the exploitation of subsurface mineral rights.
NEW CONSTITUENCIES — INSPIRING, INFORMING, AND EMPOWERING: Karl Wagner, Club of Rome, moderated the first part of this session, on wild cities and youth, and Mike Wong, Parks Canada, moderated the second part on inspiring a new generation, engaging people in wilderness and rewilding in Europe.
Wild Cities:Julie Randall, WILD Foundation, launched the WILD Cities Movement, a coalition of cities and initiatives devoted to protecting urban wildness and city watersheds. Cathy Geraghty, Chicago Wilderness, spoke about “Chicago Wilderness,” a metropolitan alliance for the conservation of nature, aiming at creating a network of 1.4 million acres of protected, restored and connected space in the greater Chicago region.
Youth: Youth leaders launched CoalitionWILD, “a movement of rising leaders to create a wilder world” and a platform for young professionals to showcase innovative ideas, projects and opportunities.
Inspiring a New Generation:Participants watched a video publicizing the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014, with a message on one of its 8 priority themes: the need to inspire new generations to experience, appreciate, care about and protect nature.
Alan Latourelle, Parks Canada, said what is needed is “not an evolutionary but a revolutionary step” to engage with an urban, technologically connected population who view nature as foreign. He asked participants to imagine a future with a protected and accessible natural world, and highlighted efforts by Parks Canada, to ignite interest by providing opportunities for people to experience nature, including through work to establish the first urban National Park in Canada.
Nancy Colleton, IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC), described the CEC’s aim to better equip people to communicate and teach environmental issues, and effect behavioral change. She outlined CEC efforts to link social scientists with conservation actors, bringing research on psychology and human behavior to bear on biodiversity conservation, communication and motivation.
Stating her concerns about a “war” between digital and natural worlds, Sally Barnes, Office of Environment and Heritage, Government of New South Wales, Australia, proposed engaging youth with nature through the digital realm, encouraging participants to “start where the kids are and take them on a journey.” She introduced a programme in New South Wales called WilderQuest, which uses digital games and tools to introduce children to Australian ecosystems, and complements these virtual experiences with “real-world” encounters such as discovery tours in national parks.
Moderator Wong led a question-and-answer session with youth delegates Elaine Hsiao, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Young Professionals Group, and Crista Valentino, CoalitionWILD, on how the “older generation” can inspire and engage a new generation of voices in the wilderness and conservation community. On encouraging the participation of disengaged youth, Valentino urged for optimism, stating that for a social movement to be successful, it must be positive, exciting and meaningful. Hsiao and Valentino both underscored that their generation is not apathetic, recalling that there are many involved, inspiring and passionate young people already engaged in conservation. On how to support young conservation voices, Hsiao exhorted participants to see the inclusion of youth not only as a “one-way” mentorship but as a “co-learning” process, and called for allowing youth to assume positions of power.
Young Deck Park and Stan Sung-gon Kim, Korea National Park Service, Republic of Korea, described the Jeju Delaration of the 2012 World Conservation Congress in South Korea, which highlights the value and conservation of nature, the effective and equitable governance of nature’s use and nature-based solutions to global challenges. They noted the need to further develop these ideas at WILD10, and bring them to the World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia, in 2014.
Engaging People in Wilderness and Rewilding: In a video message, HRH The Prince of Wales noted that the degradation of wild places has a long-term economic impact, and also “deprives the human spirit of essential source of inspiration and solace.” He stated that protecting and restoring wilderness is an imperative.
Stuart Brooks, John Muir Trust, Scotland, presented on the work of the John Muir Trust, a non-profit organization devoted to safeguarding wild land in the UK against development. He highlighted the Trust’s “John Muir Award,” an environmental award scheme that encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural world by nurturing connections between people and wild places.
Alan Watson Featherstone, Trees for Life, Scotland, UK, presented on his organization’s efforts to reforest the Scottish Highlands, a depleted landscape where overgrazing pressures had prevented natural forest recovery. Noting that rewilding involves the restoration of a whole ecosystem, he stressed that “you have to know the magnitude of what has been lost” in order to begin.
Rewilding in Europe—“Rewilding 10”: Speaking to “lovers of wild creatures and areas,” Staffan Widstrand, Rewilding Europe, detailed the Rewilding Europe Initiative, highlighting its goal of rewilding 1 million hectares by 2020 in 10 areas in Europe. He described the six areas where work has already begun, three areas in the pipeline, and called for nominations for the 10th project site.
WILDERNESS IN LAW AND PRACTICE: In the afternoon on Friday, 5 October, Vance Martin, WILD Foundation, introduced the panel on wilderness in law and practice.
Vicky Hoover, Sierra Club, US, highlighted 2014 as the 50th anniversary of the US Wilderness Act, noting this occasion provided a public engagement opportunity to promote and publicize wilderness to a wide range of communities across the US. She said the anniversary represents a three-fold celebration: an environmental victory; a cultural landmark, in which a society agreed to set aside areas from development; and a legal achievement, where such protection was made permanent through law.
Arto Ahokumpu, Metsähallitus, Finland, introduced participants to the Finnish Wilderness Act, noting one of its objectives is to safeguard Sámi culture and traditional subsistence uses. He described Finland’s experience with the CBD’s voluntary “Akwé: Kon Guidelines,” which provide guidance for impact assessment processes on, inter alia, traditional indigenous territories, and highlighted the Guidelines’ value for developing management plans that safeguard the rights of the Sámi people.
Calling the Danube Carpathian region the “green heart of Europe,” Costel Bucur, WWF, Romania, shared photos and descriptions of the Danube River basin and Carpathian Mountains, highlighting their ecological richness and diversity. Calling attention to threats to the region, including legal and illegal logging, infrastructure development and small hydropower plants, he noted the need for public advocacy and the value of legal and institutional frameworks such as Natura 2000.
DEVELOPING LEADERSHIP — THE SOCIAL BENEFITS OF WILDERNESS: Joanne Roberts, Wilderness Foundation, UK, moderated this session. She pointed out “significant” financial savings associated with nature-based social interventions, saying traditional medical or social interventions cost far more.
Courtnie Reeve, Wilderness Foundation, UK, presented on the Turnaround Program of the Wilderness Foundation UK, a multi-faceted, nature-based programme enabling vulnerable young people to make positive changes to their lives. She described her personal experience with the programme, which transformed her self-confidence and outlook.
Pinky Kondlo, Wilderness Foundation, South Africa, spoke about the Wilderness Foundation South Africa’s nature-based intervention programmes that aim to empower young people with skills for sustainable livelihoods, using the “transformative, healing power” of wilderness.
Mark Evans, Outward Bound, Oman, presented on the “University of the Desert,” a UN Alliance of Civilizations-sponsored programme to connect young people through a multi-cultural wilderness experience in Oman. Two students of the program, Hiba Al Hejazi, UK/Jordan, and Martin Wauligmann, Germany, shared their experiences in Oman, stressing the uniqueness of the connections, lessons and insights that are achieved when a small group of people spend time together in a wilderness environment.
NATURE AND WILDNESS—ENGAGEMENT THROUGH CULTURE: HE Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), moderated the panel exploring arts and culture in the context of environmental conservation, highlighting the role of the arts in finding creative, diverse ways to engage with the non-conservation community.
Outlining his museum’s mission, including its aim to enrich and inspire appreciation and knowledge of humanity’s relationship with nature, Adam Duncan Harris, National Museum of Wildlife Art, US, took participants on a brief tour of wildlife art through history. Highlighting the museum’s collaborations and public outreach events, and efforts to inspire community solutions, he invited delegates to approach him with ideas for partnerships for art and conservation projects and exhibitions.
Juan Jaume, Boa Mistura, introduced the work of the urban art collective “Boa Mistura,” explaining the group focuses on large art projects in public spaces, such as painting murals with words and phrases of inspiration on buildings. Sharing several examples of projects that re-imagine public spaces, he focused on several from the collective’s “Crossroads” project, which brings art into poor communities. He also announced the group’s work on a project in Salamanca for WILD10.
Silvia Vilarroya Oliver, Curator of the Permanent Exhibition of La Pedrera, Spain, introduced the audience to architect Antoni Gaudí’s work. With a focus on the building Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera (The Quarry), she explained Gaudí’s “organic view” of architecture, noting he looked to nature for solutions to functional and structural architectural challenges.
Creative conservationist Asher Jay, US, explained her aim is to “lend a visual voice to conservation agendas around the world,” noting that art allows for telling stories in multiple ways and addressing complex issues with cumulative effects. Highlighting the need to share difficult stories while showing empathy and compassion, she shared examples of her work, including several pieces from her current efforts on ivory and rhino horn campaigns.
NEW CONSTITUENCIES THROUGH CONSERVATION COMMUNICATIONS: Shari Sant Plummer, International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP), moderated this session, which explored solutions for communicating the value of nature and conservation.
Sharing imagined future scenarios of how media tools and technology might advance conservation, Trista Patterson, resource economist and communications expert, explained that her efforts focus on processes of engagement, rather than technological gadgets. Referring to her title, “Petabyte Planet,” she challenged participants to envision a future where individuals can store unprecedented quantities of data, highlighting the ways in which information exchange and mobile technologies can be used to engage people in unfamiliar natural environments and advance wilderness conservation.
Yasser Ansari, Project Noah, explained Project Noah as a “digital butterfly net,” with the aim of engaging people in nature protection by providing an open, inclusive social and digital media community for learning, information exchange and interactions between amateurs and experts. He said the online platform lets participants become “storytellers” for their local wilderness by uploading photographs, identifying species from others’ posts and creating “missions” for information-gathering, education and activism.
John Francis, National Geographic Society, US, presented on “The Great Nature Project,” an initiative to create a global snapshot of the Earth’s biodiversity. The project encouraged citizen scientists to take photos of plants and animals in their own backyard, taking “technology into nature in order to demystify what is found there.” With 102,202 animal image uploads, the project set a Guinness World Records® title for the Largest Online Photo Album of Animals.
Robert Baron, Fulcrum Publishing/International League of Conservation Writers (ILCW), presented the 5th WILD Conservation Writing Award to Spanish naturalist and author Joaquín Araújo, citing his “meaningful and significant body of writing that protects wilderness, honors the spirit of wild nature and recognizes human communities.”
A WILD MUSIC MEDLEY: In the evening, participants reconvened for four musical performances, featuring: Luis Paniagua, Spain, sharing his Music of Ancient Iberia; David Rothenberg, US, playing a clarinet in concert with recordings of animals including cicadas and whales; Raúl Cobo and Enriquito Sextet, Spain, playing “flamenco-fusion” music; and Baba Brinkman, Canada, performing excerpts from his “Hip Hop Guide to Wilderness…and Evolution,” along with a rap piece he wrote for WILD10.
ENGAGING WILD NATURE THROUGH CONSERVATION, COMMUNITIES, AND BUSINESS
Following the precedent set on the previous mornings, on Sunday, 6 October, Vance Martin, WILD Foundation, opened the final day of the Global Gathering with a moment of silence, to reflect on the themes of the meeting.
FROM SPECIES TO SPACES — WILDLIFE, WILD NATURE AND PEOPLE: Frédéric Launay, Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, UAE, moderated the session. He showed a video highlighting the small grants programme of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, which had supported more than a thousand species-focused conservation projects since its launch.
Asia:Namfon Passanan Cutter, Conservation Asia, discussed the ecology and conservation of fishing cats (Prionailurus viverrinus) in Thailand. She said this small, Asian wildcat is threatened by the loss and degradation of its wetland habitat, and called for its urgent conservation.
Li Quan, China Tiger Revival, discussed efforts to establish a self-sustaining wild tiger population in South China, where the species is extinct in the wild. She explained the process of reintroducing captive-bred tigers to the wild, beginning in South Africa and ending, eventually, with the reintroduction of “rewilded” tigers in South China.
Li Nuyun, Office of Climate Change, China, discussed the innovations and practices of the China Green Carbon Foundation, the first nation-wide, non-profit foundation dedicated to combating climate change by increasing China’s carbon sink, mainly through forestry initiatives. Noting the need to “practice a low-carbon production life in order to protect our Earth,” she discussed carbon sequestration and afforestation, inter alia, as carbon sequestration methodologies.
Jianwei Chen, China Wildlife Conservation Association, China, outlined conservation, education and awareness-building activities in his country, from the establishment of nature reserves to information posters at border crossings. He highlighted the scale of illegal wildlife trade in the country and described China’s efforts in combating this crime, including special operations, crackdowns on online crime and cross-border collaborations.
Southern Africa:Werner Myburgh, Peace Parks Foundation, related the history of the Foundation, calling the peace parks programme a “game-changer” in conservation in Africa, having mobilized financial resources, political will and interest for cooperation, management and conservation across borders.
Elaborating on the development of peace parks in southern Africa, Joaquim Alberto Chissano, President, Mozambique, pointed to challenges during the initiation of these talks, recalling Mozambique’s post-independence civil war and South Africa’s apartheid regime. He explained the motives for Mozambique’s government participation in early negotiations for transfrontier parks, including demonstrating the potential of working together to build a better future, and emphasized the value of cross-border conservation in improving living conditions for people in the region.
Ian McCallum and Lihle Mbokazi, Wilderness Foundation and Wilderness Leadership School, South Africa, showed a video and gave a presentation on the “Tracks of Giants” expedition, which traced the migratory corridor of elephants across five countries in Southern Africa. From encroaching human settlements to illegal poaching, McCallum and Mbokazi outlined the threats facing elephants, and stressed the importance of community engagement and transfrontier cooperation in their conservation.
SHOULD WE RESTORE EUROPEAN MEGAFAUNA?: Calling Europe an “elephant-shaped ecosystem,” George Monbiot, author and environmental journalist, UK, recalled paleoecological evidence of the presence of species such as elephants, rhinoceros, hippopotamus and lions on the continent up into the ice age, and argued for the restoration of megafauna in Europe’s terrestrial and marine environments. Stating that the presence of megafauna is not unique to tropical ecosystems but instead is a “universal” condition of ecosystems, he pointed to “shifting baselines” where previous normal conditions are forgotten. He said efforts for reintroducing such large animals, not only mesofauna such as red deer and European bison, would restore a series of ecosystem functions and trophic cascades, provide new opportunities for using vacated farmland and rekindle hope, by reminding people of the “extraordinary wonders” and excitement of the natural world.
NATURE-BASED DEVELOPMENT – INVESTMENT, BUSINESS, AND WILD NATURE: Co-chair Sylvén moderated the session on nature-based development, focused on linkages between investments, businesses and nature conservation.
Cormac Cullinan, EnAct International/Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, defined wilderness as a “mysterious, awesomely creative force,” which “binds all beings,” and called for using the language of rights and freedoms for nature to challenge what he called an exploitative relationship ingrained in legal systems and government structures.
Ruslan Urazaliyev, Association for Conservation of Biodiversity of Kazakhstan, and Michael Brombacher, Frankfurt Zoological Society, presented on Altyn Dala in Kazakhstan, “the Serengeti of the North.” They discussed large-scale saiga antelope migration in the region, and outlined how economic development is impacting the endangered species’ migrations through the construction of new railroads, border fences and pipelines, as well as illegal demand for saiga antelope horns.
Andrey Kushlin, World Bank, presented business lessons for conservation from the Global Tiger Initiative, an alliance of governments, international agencies, civil society and the private sector united to save wild tigers from extinction. He discussed, inter alia, the need to create a sense of urgency and scale in order to combine isolated efforts into collective impact on conservation issues and to mobilize financial resources.
Christoph Promberger, Conservation Carpathia Foundation, also on behalf of Barbara Promberger-Fuerpass and Mihai Zotta, introduced a private conservation project, using public and private financing, that aims to create Carpathia National Park, a new wilderness reserve in the southern Carpathian mountains of Romania. Outlining efforts to purchase forest and alpine meadows and acquire hunting rights, he said that while the global scale of the project is small, the local impacts are significant.
Defining “conservation enterprise” as any commercial activity that generates economic benefits in ways that support conservation outcomes, Giles Davies, Conservation Capital, underscored the need to develop small business as a tool for conservation and mobilize commercial finance to support these businesses. Noting successes in Africa with such financing, he announced the launch of a pioneer, loan-based fund in Europe: Rewilding Europe Capital.
HUNTING AND SUSTAINABILITY FOR WILDERNESS: Noting that “with responsible, sustainable practices, hunters can play an important role in conservation,” Brittany Peterson, Rock Environmental/WILD Foundation, moderated a panel discussion on hunting and sustainability for wilderness. She asked questions on, among other things: the role hunters play in wilderness conservation; the economic benefits of hunting; the ways hunting has shaped panelists’ relationship to wild spaces; and the ways hunters can improve conservation practices.
Panelists underscored the importance of recognizing hunters’ conservation efforts. The economic benefits of hunting were emphasized by several, with Terry Tanner, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Montana, US, highlighting the funds for fish and wildlife management provided from revenues from hunters’ ammunition, Tamas Marghescu, International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) citing findings that hunting contributes 1.6 billion pounds to the UK economy, and Melissa Simpson, Safari Club International Foundation, noting USD$3 billion was invested in conservation in 2011 by hunting and fishing. On relationships with wild space, Tanner emphasized the cultural context for hunting by indigenous people, adding his people do not hunt for sport and take only what they need. Speaking to challenges in conservation, Juan Delibes de Castro, Canal + Canal Caza y Pesca, Spain, pointed to communication barriers between scientists, environmentalists and hunters, highlighting the need to build bridges to unite them. Panelists also discussed, inter alia: the need to ensure hunting is sustainable; clarifying land status and authority to facilitate management; indigenous rights to hunt on traditional territories; and mobilizing hunters for conservation.
COMMUNITY, CONSERVANCIES, AND CONSERVATION—FROM AFRICA AND ASIA, FOR EUROPE: Moderator Bittu Sahgal, Sanctuary Asia, began this session with a video clip highlighting threats to the planet and recognizing conservationists and activists killed for their work, followed by a moment of silence. He shared examples of community conservancies in India, commenting on their potential to provide livelihoods, improve food and water security and “turn millions of people into climate and biodiversity warriors.”
Chris Weaver, WWF, Namibia, and Maxi Louis, Namibian Association of Community-Based Natural Resource Management Support Organizations (NACSO), jointly presented on community conservancies in Namibia, sharing the context for their development following apartheid, market-based approaches for ensuring community benefits and ongoing challenges. Louis outlined the largely tourism-based income stream of the conservancies, highlighting their value for species recovery and protection. Weaver noted the rising returns on investments in conservancies, but noted challenges remain to their continued financing and sustainability.
In a joint presentation, Ian Saunders, Tsavo Trust, and Hon. Justice Nzioki Wa Makau, Judge of the High Court, Kenya, spoke on “stabilization through conservation,” using wilderness protection as a tool to develop security infrastructure and catalyze peace, as well as recognizing the need for stability and security to enable conservation. They presented the example of the Tsavo Trust in southeastern Kenya, explaining the Trust was initiated by a community in the region, who sought assistance in addressing threats to people and wildlife from “extremist elements” from Somalia entering and operating in the region.
Susan Canney, Mali Elephant Project, discussed the challenges of running community conservation projects for Mali desert elephants in an era of “rebellion, war and global terrorism.” She stressed that the key to conservation was understanding its social context, and described stakeholder outreach efforts that led to a conservation plan beneficial to elephants, people and the ecosystem.
Neil Birnie, Rewilding Europe, Scotland, UK, presented on building community conservancies in Europe as part of a “rewilding” effort. In terms of establishing successful community conservancies, he highlighted the importance of, inter alia: securing property rights; supportive national policy and legislation; communication and building awareness; endorsement from “local champions”; community-led management; and support for local enterprise development.
PROTECTED AREAS — A NECESSITY FOR OUR FUTURE: Kriton Arsenis, Member of the European Parliament, Greece, moderated the panel, reminding the audience of the importance of roadless areas.
Vivek Menon, Wildlife Trust of India, confirmed that parks “do work” in India, offering examples of successes with protected areas in his country, such as the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala and the Greater Manas in Assam. Presenting evidence of negative land cover change and anthropogenic effects outside park boundaries versus within them, he said the country now must address the increasing animosity between people and wildlife outside protected areas, pointing to the pressures of economic growth and poverty.
Noting the tropics are still in a “dewilding” phase, Bill Laurance, James Cook University, Australia, underscored the critical role of tropical wilderness, namely structurally complex old-growth rainforests, for supporting biodiversity, sustaining hydrological functions and storing carbon. Highlighting threats from the proliferation of roads into these areas, he said roads “open a Pandora’s Box” of environmental problems from forest fires and deforestation to increased hunting and illegal mining, and called for investment in protected areas to sustain these forests.
Stephen Woodley, IUCN, presented on the effectiveness of PAs at conserving biodiversity. He reviewed the work of the IUCN’s WCPA-Species Survival Commission (SSC) Joint Task Force on Biodiversity and Protected Areas in determining the reason for ongoing ecological decline despite growing numbers of PAs. According to preliminary results, he reported that the most significant factors in the effectiveness of PAs are not park size, fragmentation, roads, urbanization or population density, but socio-economic variables such as infant mortality, gross domestic product (GDP), the human development index (HDI), the Corruption Index and more. This offers “empirical proof,” reported Woodley, that “you have to think about people when you think about conservation.”
John Robinson, Wildlife Conservation Society, also discussed the effectiveness of PAs at conserving biodiversity, specifically large mammals such as elephants and tigers. Noting that the presence of guards was the single biggest factor in PA success, he stressed that PAs are “absolutely necessary” for safeguarding species of value from hunters and for maintaining habitat, but they are “not sufficient.”
Addressing the question of how to become more effective at creating and protecting wild areas, David Johns, The Wildlands Network, spoke on the politics of creating change, stating that “rewilding the world depends on pushing the envelope.” He urged against compromising on goals and called for perseverance, coalition- and community-building, as well as combining insider and outsider strategies. He advocated seeing politics as the “art of changing what is possible,” citing this as the basis of all social movements that have effected significant change.
PRIVATE LANDS, WILDERNESS AND REWILDING: Co-chair Sylvén moderated this session.
Keith Tuffley, Goldman Sachs and Partners, Australia, introduced Bush Heritage, an Australian non-profit organization that buys and manages land of “outstanding conservation value” as reserves for protecting endangered species and preserving biodiversity. He said private land conservation is needed because of, inter alia, the size and complexity of the challenge, the need for local solutions and its ability to empower and involve people in conservation.
Sonia Castañeda, Fundación Biodiversidad, Spain, presented on developing a new land stewardship platform for Spain that works for the conservation of biodiversity by taking into account social well-being and economic development. Since the platform launched, more than two hundred organizations and seven regional networks have collectively protected more than 350,000 hectares of land.
Miquel Rafa Fornieles, European Landowners Organization, Spain, and Tilmann Disselhof, Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, announced the launch of the European Landowner Alliance for Wildlands & Nature, a land stewardship network that engages private landowners across Europe in the conservation of natural lands.
GLOBAL GATHERING CLOSING SESSION
The closing session began with statements and a song by 30 youth delegates, sharing messages including to “help people love the earth; they will protect what they love,” and “take your time to listen to the music of nature, and make your own kind of music.”
Trevor Sandwith, Global Protected Areas Programme, IUCN, asked participants to look ahead from “Salamanca to Sydney,” linking the discussions at WILD10 to the anticipated events at IUCN’s World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia, in 2014. Noting the planet’s need for solutions to global challenges, he highlighted the links between parks, places and people in inspiring these solutions, and underscored that success in conservation is about quality, not quantity, which involves “conserving well and with justice.”
Magnus Sylvén, co-chair, WILD10, announced “The Salamanca Statement,” a 12-page policy statement agreed by nine organizations. In summarizing the key messages from the Global Gathering, he emphasized: conserving what remains of wild places; working at scale, and scaling up; reaching out to new people and forming new partnerships; and engaging the power of the arts for communication and inspiration. Noting the three ‘Ps’ of the Global Gathering – Planet, People, Prosperity – he concluded with the statement that “wild nature is pivotal for human sustainability.”
Regarding the aim of WILD10 to “make the world a wilder place,” Vance Martin, WILD Foundation, asked, “is it possible, this dream we have?” He affirmed that it was indeed possible, noting that “if you want to achieve something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.”
Closing the Global Gathering, Staffan Widstrand, Wild Wonders of Europe, Sweden, shared his short film “Wildlife in Europe: A Vital Part of Our Identity and Soul,” with images of wildlife intersecting with human art and culture.
On Monday, 7 October, participants took advantage of “WILD Day” to explore Salamanca and surrounding areas. Some delegates joined WILD-led tours and expeditions of cultural and natural sites in the region, including the city of Ávila, the Campanarios De Azaba Biological Reserve and Monfragüe National Park.
WILD10 GLOBAL FORUM
From Tuesday, 8 October to Thursday, 10 October, WILD10 participants took part in a variety of parallel sessions, workshops, roundtables and presentations envisioned by organizers as a “think tank,” “innovative laboratory” and forum to “float ideas” before bringing them to more formal, institutional venues.
The streams included, inter alia: the “Indigenous and Community Lands and Seas Forum,” aimed at facilitating intercultural, international dialogue toward a vision for the future of conservation rooted in the best practices of First Peoples and mainstream conservation; a “Symposium on Science and Stewardship to Protect and Sustain Wilderness Values,” to build networks and present successful programs, scientific findings, challenges and creative approaches for protecting or restoring wilderness character; “WILDSpeak Conservation Communications Symposium,” focused on using visual imagery to go beyond raising awareness to inspiring action; and “WILD Water,” convened to establish a global network committed to marine and freshwater conservation. Several of these themes coordinated “cross-over” days and sessions to integrate the discussions across communities, perspectives and topics.
WILD10 CLOSING SESSION
In the evening on Thursday, 10 October, participants gathered for the closing ceremonies.
Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and Mission Blue, underscored that the knowledge we have about the planet creates an imperative for action. Scientific discoveries have allowed us to measure and observe the changes taking place and recognize the costs of our actions, she said, adding that current generations have the “gift of knowing we have to change our ways.” As a source of hope for the future, she urged participants to make sure “no child is left dry,” by finding ways to take them outdoors, into direct contact with marine ecosystems, highlighting the power of “bright young minds.”
Reflecting on the Congress, Bittu Sahgal, Sanctuary Asia and Project Tiger, remarked on the collective spirit of people at WILD10, noting “we’re not in competition with each other; we care for the same things.” Commenting that Earle’s focus on youth resonated with him and his work with Project Tiger, he pointed to environmental destruction as “intergenerational colonization.” He remarked that participants will return home from WILD10 with renewed strength and hope.
The conveners of several WILD10 initiatives, Global Forum themes and WILD10 activities gathered onstage to summarize the work of the parallel events and sessions. Among the outcomes and highlights were: the launches of the WILD Cities Coalition and Project, Nature Strategy for Sustainability, CoalitionWILD, European Landowners Alliance and European Rewilding Network; the re-naming of a water initiative as the WILD Seas and Water Strategy; the recognition of traditional knowledge and wisdom in scientific forums; a shared vision from the Indigenous and Communities Land and Seas Forum for the future of conservation; and the reaffirmation of the ILCP of its commitment as a collective body for the power of conservation photography to communicate these issues.
WILD10 co-chair Sylvén offered two main conclusions: the need to “draw a line in the sand” against the further dewilding of the world; and the hope offered by current rewilding work in Europe. Creative conservationist Asher Jay presented artistic wolf masks to co-chair Sylvén and Vance Martin, WILD Foundation, and Staffan Widstrand, Wild Wonders of Europe, Sweden, presented Martin with artwork.
Martin concluded with a call for collaboration, integration and action, underscoring that working together and breaking down fences allows for “acting with purpose, love and effectiveness.” WILD10 ended with a farewell toast.
CBD SBSTTA 17: At its seventeenth meeting, the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is expected to address, among others, issues related to marine and coastal biodiversity, biodiversity and climate change, and collaboration with IPBES. dates: 14-18 October 2013 location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1 514 288 2220 fax: +1 514 288 6588 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.cbd.int/doc/?meeting=SBSTTA-17
28th General Meeting of the International Coral Reef Initiative: The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) will hold its 28th General Meeting (GM28) in Belize. Launched at the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 1) to the CBD in 1994, ICRI brings together governments, the CBD and the Ramsar Convention Secretariats, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), development banks such as the World Bank, regional organizations such as the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), and international organizations such as the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). ICRI members use annual General Meetings to interact, discuss past and upcoming ICRI-related activities and adopt resolutions or recommendations that bring international attention to specific issues affecting coral reefs. dates: 14-17 October 2013 venue: Radisson Fort Hotel and Marina location: Belize City, Belize contact: ICRI Secretariat e-mail: email@example.com www: http://www.icriforum.org/ICRIGM28
Third International Marine Protected Area Congress: The third International Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) Congress aims to define actions to promote cooperation through different initiatives, and to inspire a new way of thinking to face global challenges, such as climate change, poverty reduction, and resource sharing. dates: 21-25 October 2013 location: Marseille (Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azur), France contact: IUCN www: http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/impac3_pageflyer_dl1.pdf
Global Landscapes Forum: This Forum will convene on the margins of the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by the Collaborative Programme on Forests (CPF) and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Research Program on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). The Forum will focus on four main themes: investing in sustainable landscapes and livelihoods; landscape policy and governance; synergies between adapting to, and mitigating climate change in landscapes; and landscapes for food security and nutrition. The Global Landscapes Forum will combine into one event two annual conferences on the role of forests and agriculture in mitigating and adapting to climate change: Forest Day and Agricultural and Rural Development Day. dates: 16-17 November 2013 location: Warsaw, Poland contact: Ann-Kathrin Neureuther e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.cifor.org/glf
World Forum on Natural Capital: The first World Forum on Natural Capital will be dedicated to discussing how to turn the debate on natural capital accounting into action. It will build on the private sector interest shown at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) held in Rio in June 2012 and the many developments that have since taken place. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is one of the key partners in the World Forum on Natural Capital. dates: 21-22 November 2013 location: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK e-mail: email@example.com www: http://www.naturalcapitalforum.com/
9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas: The Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation, a network of nongovernmental organizations, donors and regional organizations working in nature conservation in the Pacific, organizes this conference every five years to set activities and strategies for the next five year period. This ninth conference’s theme is “Natural Solutions: Building Resilience for a Changing Pacific.” dates: 2-6 December 2013 venue: University of the South Pacific, Laucala Campus location: Suva, Fiji e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.sprep.org/pacificnatureconference
World Ocean Summit 2014: This meeting, scheduled to take place in February 2014, will convene more than 200 global leaders from government, business, international organizations, NGOs, think-tanks and academia for an outcome-driven dialogue on sustainability and governance of the world’s oceans. This will be the second World Ocean Summit, with the first having taken place from 22-24 February, 2012, in Singapore, with the aim of bridging the “often polarised debate” between economic growth and marine conservation, and imagining a “more responsible approach to human activity in and around our oceans.” dates: 24-26 2014 venue: Ritz-Carleton, Half Moon Bay location: San Francisco, California, US e-mail: email@example.com phone: +852 2585 3312 www: http://www.economistconferences.asia/event/world-ocean-summit-2014
13th Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII 13): The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues will hold its 13th session in May 2014. The PFII was established by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in July 2000 to advise the UN system on indigenous people’s issues. The PFII session will address the theme of “Principles of good governance consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: articles 3 to 6 and 46 (3).” dates: 12-23 May 2014 venue: UN Headquarters location: New York, US contact: Nilla Bernardi phone: +1 212-963-8379 fax: +1 917-367-5102 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://social.un.org/index/IndigenousPeoples.aspx
20th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management (ISSRM): The 20th ISSRM, which also serves as the annual meeting of the International Association for Society and Natural Resources (IASNR), will bring together more than 400 research scientists, government agency managers, graduate students, non-profit employees, and private consultants from the fields of natural resource management, social sciences and environmental planning as well as urban and regional planning, to address the theme, “Challenges of Urban and Rural Transformation.” dates: 8-13 June, 2014 venue: Leibniz University location: Hannover, Germany www: http://www.issrm2014.iasnr.org/
2014 World Conference on Indigenous Peoples: The UN General Assembly approved a resolution to organize a high-level plenary meeting in 2014 (the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in 2014) to share perspectives and best practices on the realization of indigenous peoples’ rights, including to pursue the objectives of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The World Conference on Indigenous Peoples 2014 will be organized as a high-level plenary meeting of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly and supported by the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, to share perspectives and best practices on the realization of the rights of indigenous peoples and to pursue the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). dates: 22-23 September 2014 venue: UN Headquarters location: New York, US contact: Nilla Bernardi phone: +1 212-963-8379 e-mail: email@example.com www: http://social.un.org/index/IndigenousPeoples.aspx
Sixth IUCN World Parks Congress: With the theme “Parks, People, Planet – Inspiring Solutions,” the sixth World Parks Congress will convene in Sydney, Australia as a landmark global forum on protected areas. The Sixth Congress has three priority objectives: to value and conserve nature, by strengthening policy and action commitments for the expansion, connectivity and better management of parks and protected areas; the effective and equitable governance of nature’s use, by fostering equitable governance of parks and protected areas; and to deploy nature-based solutions to global challenges, by exploring and promoting how parks and protected areas can solve challenges such as climate change and food and water security. dates: 12-19 November 2014 location: Sydney, Australia contact: Helen Noble, World Parks Congress Executive Officer email: firstname.lastname@example.org www: http://www.iucn.org/about/work/programmes/gpap_home/gpap_events/gpap_wpc/