The theme for the Rio Conventions Pavilion (RCP) on Monday, 12 December, was Protected Areas (PAs): Partnerships for improving natural wealth for achieving global targets and for addressing global challenges. The session provided a forum to discuss the status of implementation of Aichi Target 11 (protected areas) and national “roadmaps” of prioriy actions; how the roadmaps contribute to achieving the Target; and helping countries in implementing their roadmap in order to achieve multiple benefits.
The EU, UNDP, Japan Biodiversity Fund, UNEP-WCMC, Governments of Germany (BMZ/GIZ) Republic of Korea, India, Mexico, Brazil, GEF, Birdlife International, IUCN, IFDD, REDPAQUES and Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) were co-organizers.
Sarat Babu Gidda, CBD, summarized work on Aichi Target 11, including preparation of “country dossiers” providing data, identifying gaps, and convening regional capacity building workshops to help over 100 countries prepare roadmaps of priority actions. Going forward he stressed the need for work on aligning funding to the roadmaps and building support networks.
Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary, CBD, observed that several countries have recently enacted legislation recognizing new PA governance modalities, opening collaboration opportunities for IPLCs and the private sector.
Stefan Leiner, European Commission, explained how the EU is supporting the work on PAs in three ways: within the EU through Natura 2000, the world’s largest PA network; development cooperation at national and regional levels; and support to the CBD Secretariat, including facilitation of regional capacity building workshops.
Matthias Krause, Germany, commended efforts towards improving PAs management, but said that challenges remain on achieving the qualitative aspects of Aichi Target 11.
Neville Ash, UNEP-WCMC, highlighted the World Database on PAs (WDPA) as the most comprehensive global data set on PAs, stressing that surpassing a percentage of areas covered by PAs target is not enough, and that more is needed for effective, quality management.
Highlighting PA benefits, Jamison Ervin, UNDP, said they are one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways of achieving the SDGs.
Trevor Sandwith, Director, IUCN, commended work on global targets and, on the ground, where “conservation happens, biodiversity is conserved, and communities benefit.” He noted IUCN’s focus on the park, people and planet nexus, and the CBD’s Conference of the Parties’ recognition of IUCN’s Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas. He called for further work on the rights-based approach, including the equitable distribution of costs and benefits, and on enhancing institutional and human capacities involved in PAs management and governance.
ASIA AND PACIFIC REGION
Ignacio March, Mexico, moderated the session. Vinod Mathur, India, presented on partnerships that aim at improving natural wealth for achieving global targets and for addressing global challenges. He explained that 20% of his country’s terrestrial area is designated PAs and that improving governance is now an area of focus. He noted a move away from a PA centric approach to a landscape focused strategy, with eco-sensitive zones being designated beyond PA buffer zones to regulate activities that could impact on the PAs.
Eleni Tokaduadua, Fiji, discussed her country’s status and roadmap for achieving Aichi Target 11. She noted that more than 80% of land and sea territory is collectively owned and that by 2020, at least 16% of all land area will be under PA status. She added that the aim is to bring 30% of inshore and offshore marine areas under PA status by 2020. On the roadmap, she noted the need for work on: delineating Fiji’s territorial waters and reviewing the status of ecological or biologically significantly marine areas (EBSAs); community awareness and empowerment through partnerships; sustainable financing mechanisms for PA systems in Fiji; and endorsing and adopting PA maps for priority action.
Stuart Chape, SPREP, presented on support for Pacific Island countries to achieve Aichi Target 11, emphasizing that the region has one of highest rates of species loss and that native forest cover disappears at a rate of 4% per annum. He highlighted the Framework for Nature Conservation and PAs 2014-2020. The Framework provides guidance for the region on key priorities for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management with clear linkages to the global Aichi Biodiversity Targets and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs). He explained that SPREP was involved in Biodiversity and PA Management Programme (BIOPAMA), in partnership with IUCN, and noted work in Papua New Guinea with partners on reviewing the current status of PAs in the country.
Roberto Oliva, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, discussed how the ASEAN Heritage Parks Programme (AHPP) have helped ASEAN member States protect 14% of terrestrial and 2.3% of coastal and marine areas under 38 ASEAN Heritage Parks. He said AHPP developed a regional action plan in 2016 outlining priority implementing actions for achieving Target 11. He said the ASEAN countries should be able to achieve the terrestrial and marine targets by 2020.
Claudio Maretti, IUCN-WCPA, moderated this session. Thanduxolo Joel Mkefe, South Africa, reported milestones in his country’s work on PAs. He said that when taking into account formal forms of protection, combined with conservation areas, South Africa exceeded the terrestrial target in 2016, and noted that plans to create 22 new MPAs should allow it to meet the marine target. He also discussed the six existing transfrontier parks in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and plans for new ones.
Aggrey Rwetsiba, Uganda, presented his country’s PAs coverage by categories and threatened species according to IUCN’s Red List categories. He discussed the status of Aichi Target 11 implementation in the country, identifying the need for mapping wetlands and water resources, forests, private and community conserved areas, and ecological zones. Underscoring potential corridors, he noted the need for landscape planning and management, and policy harmonization and transboundary collaboration. On species management, Rwetsiba underscored efforts to reintroduce rhinos in the country.
Emphasizing that BMZ’s financial contribution to biodiversity conservation worldwide has more than quadrupled since 2007, with half of it going to PAs, Matthias Krause, Germany, outlined support for Aichi Target 11 in Africa. On sustainable financing, he underscored the establishment of biodiversity trust funds to provide funding streams for maintaining and managing PAs. Emphasizing equity, he advocated stakeholder co-management to increase benefits from and ownership of the PAs. On connectivity, he discussed the use of PAs in corridors and PAs embedded in the wider landscape, where investments can be centered in order to deliver services to the whole landscape, citing support to biosphere reserves as an example. He also highlighted World Heritage Sites in Tanzania and transfrontier conservation areas such as the Kavango-Zambesi.
Issa Bado, IFDD, highlighted challenges for PA partnerships in the region including language barriers, lack of information and issues around managing transfrontier PAs, in Central and Western Africa. He explained that his organization is focusing on data collection and land restoration.
In the ensuing discussion participants addressed: oil drilling and exploration in PAs; translocation of wildlife; and integrated approaches to community-based conservation
LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN GROUP
Jamison Ervin moderated the session. Ignacio March, explained that PAs now cover 15.9% of Mexico’s terrestrial territory, but that reaching the remaining 2% for achieving Target 11 will be challenging. He said that with the recent establishment of new MPAs, Mexico now has 22.29% marine coverage and noted 57% of PAs have undergone effectiveness assessment. He identified challenges regarding the adoption of advisory councils for all MPAs, PA connectivity and integrated management of landscapes.
Ugo Vercillo, Brazil, outlined milestones in developing PA law and policy in Brazil, resulting in 1.54 million square kilometers coverage, accounting for 17.5% of national terrestrial territory, with 27.3% coverage in the Amazon, but only 1.5% coverage of marine territory. On future challenges, he identified creating new PAs for unrepresented areas, harmonizing measures and integrating planning for different ecosystems, and improving PA effectiveness.
Claudio Maretti presented on REDPARQUES, the Latin-American network of national authorities of PA systems, and the (Pan) Amazon (Conservation) Vision (2011-2020), aimed at the effective administration and management of PAs and Amazon integrity, functionality and resilience. Noting the Amazon is considered the most important watershed of the continent and the largest freshwater ecosystem, he highlighted its role in climate mitigation and adaptation, and agriculture, including for IPLCs and traditional non-indigenous people. He concluded by highlighting the Latin American declarations on ‘PAs and Climate Change,’ presented at UNFCCC COP 21, and on ‘PAs for well-being and Sustainable Development,’ presented at the COP 13.
In the ensuing discussion, participants addressed the integration of PAs into national government plans, including nationally determined contributions (NDCs), and the need to align PAs activities through periodic regional strategic management planning.
Roberto Oliva moderated the session. Marie Thérèse Gambin, Malta, reported on the status and roadmap for achieving Aichi Target 11, explaining that 22% of land and 30% of sea falls under PAs, exceeding the target. On terrestrial management, she cited the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) project aimed at establishing plans and legal provisions for the management of all terrestrial Natura 2000 sites in Malta and increasing awareness of the Natura 2000 network. On the roadmap, she said that Malta is on track, but that ecological representation has to be improved for marine habitats. She added that a monitoring plan is in place for the marine environment.
Klodiana Marika, Albania, said her country now has 16.64% of total surface area and 25% of marine and coastal areas covered by traditional PAs, doubling the number in 2005. She also highlighted Alabania’s Ramsar sites, Important Bird Areas (IBAs), and “areas of special conservation interest” equivalent to the EU Natura 2000 sites. She mentioned projects to develop management plans for all PAs and establish a PA monitoring programme.
Grégoire Dubois, EU Joint Research Centre (JRC), presented on the JRC’s Digital Observatory for PAs (DOPA) aimed at providing free, accessible, comparable indicators, disaggregated by country, ecoregion and site levels. He also highlighted the BIOPAMA helping 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries collect and manage similar data, along with capacity building activities to train ACP officials in how to effectively use the collected data.
PRESENTATIONS BY OTHER PARTNERS
Jamison Ervin moderated the session. Pepe Clarke, BirdLife International, underscored work on, inter alia, the identification of IBAs; and establishment of the World Database of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), a partnership to inform international policy and national progress in PAs. Clarke underscored the role of local conservation group in efforts to monitor and survey local bird sites, and noted the organization’s contribution to the World Database of KBAs and the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool.
Naomi Kingston, UNEP/WCMC, presented the Protected Planet, an online platform on terrestrial and marine PAs, in partnership with UNEP and IUCN. She said it builds on data from national, regional and international partners, as well as from World Heritage and Ramsar sites. Kingston highlighted the ICCA Registry website, an online information platform, where communities themselves provide information and data, producing statistics and analyses on ICCAs around the world.
Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend, ICCA Consortium, explained that the Consortium mainly represents IPLCs from about 75 countries. She detailed how the Consortium’s members work with local communities at the national level to advocate for appropriate legislation and policies, and at the international level to enhance ICCA contributions to issues of concern such as conservation.
Mark Zimsky, GEF, noted that the GEF remains the largest single funding mechanism for PAs worldwide, with about 1,300 projects in more than 155 countries. On lessons learned, he identified focusing on investments to create strong PA systems and identifying sustainable finance mechanisms for PAs.
Trevor Sandwith, IUCN, recalled that the Sydney World Park Congress celebrated PAs around the world and their relevance to the sustainability of the planet. He stressed the importance of international standards for successful PAs, drawing attention to the IUCN Green List of Protected Areas. Highlighting capacity building, management effectiveness and good governance, he presented the Global Register of Competencies for PAs Practitioners.