Sustainable Developments

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Participants at the Vth IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) met in seven workshop streams to address: linkages in the landscape and seascape; building broader support for protected areas (PAs); PA governance; developing the capacity to manage PAs; evaluating management effectiveness; building a secure financial future; and building comprehensive PA systems. All workshop streams held concurrent break-out sessions throughout the day. Side meetings, special events and discussion groups on WPC recommendations were also held.

This report focuses on selected sessions addressing: communities and equity; marine protected areas (MPAs); and evaluating management effectiveness.


PA GOVERNANCE: Community Conserved Areas: Panel on issues of governance and state recognition: Neema Pathak, Kalpavriksh, introduced the panel. Highlighting the recognition in Australia of indigenous people’s capacity to establish their own PAs, Chels Marshall, Nambucca Community Negotiations, outlined the conditions of, and process for, declaring an indigenous, community-governed PA. John Chester, Aboriginal Lands Trust, presented the Nantawarrina indigenous PA in Australia, which is governed by a community council and an aboriginal land trust, noting its successes regarding environmental restoration and economic stability.

Inayat Ali, Shimshal community representative, spoke of the Shimshal community in Pakistan, stressing: local ethics of nature stewardship; threats to the community’s livelihood by externally-established national parks; and the Shimshal Nature Trust, which formalizes community nature stewardship efforts.

Rodolfo Aguilar, Coron Island representative, and David de Vera, Philippine Association for Intercultural Development, presented the Coron Island case in the Philippines, underscoring conflicts with the local government and the community’s success in obtaining legal recognition of their rights over ancestral lands and waters.

Dermot Smyth, James Cook University, Australia, called for trusting indigenous structures and stewardship systems. Ken Macdonald, University of Toronto, Canada, stressed that PAs can be as much a threat as a promise. Participants discussed the interlinkage between environment and cultural values, and the variety of livelihood models described as community conservation areas.

BUILDING A SECURE FINANCIAL FUTURE: Communities’ role in sustainable PA financing: Smyth introduced the panel. Presenting on community benefits and revenues from PAs in Nepal, Krishna Oli, Forum for Promotion of Environmental Law and Justice, outlined relevant legislation, financial support from donor agencies, and evolving community management systems. Gehendra Gurung, King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation, presented case studies on the management of non-timber forest products and revenue generation, underscoring the importance of awareness raising, community participation, and transparency in income and benefit sharing.

Marshall and Chester addressed indigenous PAs in Australia. Marshall outlined: funding from Environment Australia and other partners; a community development employment programme; and revenue from tourism and pastoralism. Chester highlighted the strong economy of the Nantawarrina indigenous PA, noting development of cultural tourism and benefits related to employment, youth training and capacity building.

Oscar Castillo, Kaa-Iya National Park, Bolivia, said that the park was established as proposed by the region’s indigenous people. He said that an international NGO and the Bolivian government established a trust fund to provide sustainable funding for the indigenous PA, by developing a partnership with gas companies. He underscored the need for legitimacy, governance and long-term, large-scale management schemes.

Fanny N’golo, Côte d’Ivoire, described how pilot projects on community-based natural resource and wildlife management in Côte d’Ivoire are funded through a foundation, financed by the GEF and other donors, the board of which represents private and public interests.

Altaf Hussain, WWF, introduced conservation funds and community financing projects in Northern Pakistan, describing their local structure and management to, inter alia: promote ecotourism and research; implement conservation plans; and follow court cases regarding poaching.

Gurung presented the Annapoorna Conservation Area project in Nepal, noting that it achieved sustainability through the generation of internal income from: earmarking entry fees for management; collecting fees on timber and non-timber forest products use; the commercial use of natural resources; and intellectual property rights.


LINKAGES IN THE LANDSCAPE AND SEASCAPE: Benefits of MPA networks for fisheries and endangered species: Ghislaine Llewellyn, WWF, and Kerry Marshall, New Zealand Conservation Authority, co-chaired the session. Presenting on the effects of MPAs on fisheries, Callum Roberts, University of York, UK, noted that MPAs help increasing overall catches, and that protecting 20-40% of the seascape would maximize fishery benefits.

Describing global trade in marine aquarium organisms, Rezal Kusumaatmadja, Hawaii Marine Aquarium Council, discussed trade-based incentives for establishing MPAs, and advocated a certification scheme for aquarium organisms.

Carlos Moreno, University of Chile, presented MPAs as a tool for fisheries conservation in Chile, highlighting the management areas system, in which a fisherman is allocated a specific area to manage according to a plan approved by national authorities.

Noting that Vietnam follows a nature-based economic development model and that fisheries contributed to a doubling of the gross domestic product, Chu Hoi Nguyen, Vietnamese Ministry of Fisheries, introduced his country’s efforts to create a representative MPA system. He identified increasing inshore fisheries and destructive fishing practices as main threats to marine biodiversity, and said that challenges include a weak legal and institutional framework.

Gary Larson, Bahamas National Trust, outlined MPA network development in the Bahamas, highlighting local commitment, eco-tourism benefits, increased fisheries yields around MPAs, and endangered species protection.

Participants discussed: stock assessments; endangered species recovery; trade control by importing countries; incentives for MPA establishment; and raising local community awareness.

Roger McManus, IUCN, stressed the need to shatter the myth that marine species are abundant, cannot go extinct, and recover rapidly from exploitation, and called for: expanding the red list of marine species; identifying conservation priorities; accelerating data assessment; and setting an agenda and schedule for establishing domestic and international MPAs.

Filemon Romero, Mindanao State University, the Philippines, introduced joint efforts with Malaysia to create the transboundary Turtle Islands Heritage PA. He highlighted the development of a joint management plan, joint research programmes and ecotourism guidelines, and said challenges include: information gaps; inadequate human and financial capacity; and managing impacts on local communities.

Mabel Augustowski, World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), presented on MPA management, species conservation programmes and the ecosystem approach, noting that ecosystem-based management is adaptive, drives inter-agency cooperation, and considers human values.

Benjamin Kahn, IUCN, described management activities in the Indo-Pacific marine corridors of Indonesia. Advocating a site-based and multi-species habitat approach, he noted that challenges include: data deficiencies; the absence of legislation in adjacent high seas; and implications of traditional whaling practices.

Participants discussed monitoring traditional catch; religious reasons for not acknowledging extinction threats, and protecting migratory routes.

PA GOVERNANCE: MPAs and sustainable fisheries: Wendy Craik, Australian Fisheries Management Authority, chaired the session. Presenting on local communities, MPAs and fisheries in Tanzania, Eric Verheij, IUCN, described a case of MPA establishment through a participatory process, concluding that community involvement in management, monitoring and enforcement has measurable positive impacts.

Drawing on the European experience, Despina Symons, European Bureau of Conservation and Development, stressed that MPA establishment without stakeholder participation is counter-productive, and called for accountability, transparency, partnerships and cooperation between ministries.

Etty Agoes, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia, presented her country’s experience, stressing the value of strong political will, and highlighting some impediments, including: limited domestic resources; powerful vested interests; development needs; and restricted access to resources in MPAs.

Rebecca Lent, US National Marine Fisheries Service, described the US area-based management of living marine resources, highlighting area and time closures. She noted challenges, including: enforcement; understanding fisheries’ dynamics; and constituency resistance.

Participants discussed: the need to clarify the difference between MPAs and fishery management areas; the concept of local communities and stakeholders; and regional cooperation for management.

A panel consisting of Charles Atkins, Irvin and Johnson Fishing Company, South Africa, Donna Petrachenko, Canadian Department of Oceans and Fisheries, and the speakers further discussed the session’s topic.

They addressed: including non-representative and other marine areas in WPC recommendations; making MPA benefits available to fishermen and compensating them for closures; involving the fisheries sector in decision making; specifying the legal implications of MPA establishment; enforcing legislation; assessing fisheries’ impact at the ecosystem level; using environmental indicators to assess the state of world marine protection; and expanding the FAO code of conduct for fisheries.


Assessing Ecological Integrity: Nik Lopoukhine, Director General, Parks Canada, and Jeffrey Parrish, The Nature Conservancy, chaired the session. Lopoukhine presented on the concept of ecological integrity (EI). He stressed that, because PAs are part of a greater ecosystem and are affected by activities in their surroundings, measuring their EI extends beyond park management interests. He said that achieving biodiversity conservation requires EI. Parrish noted that EI evaluation is an under-addressed aspect of PA management effectiveness, and that its benefits include: identifying threats to conservation targets; setting quantifiable objectives to measure progress; developing and prioritizing monitoring plans; identifying data gaps; and raising awareness on the status of the natural world. He noted that EI evaluation requires the identification of focal species, key attributes and indicators, and stressed the need to rate indicator status and to integrated ratings into EI assessment.

Stephen Woodley, Parks Canada, emphasized the need to understand PA ecosystems and identify vital components of EI. He outlined a measurement system based on several indicators that capture biodiversity, ecosystem function and stressors, and emphasized the need to monitor and manage PAs at multiple spatial and temporal scales. He noted the importance of communicating results to PA managers and to the public. Roger Sayre, The Nature Conservancy, and LeAnne Alonso, Conservation International, presented on measuring EI in remote areas where data is lacking. Alonso described the Rapid Assessment Programme, which measures biodiversity in terrestrial, aquatic and marine areas in order to highlight conservation priorities. Sayre outlined the Rapid Ecological Assessment, an accelerated survey of landscapes, their biodiversity, existing threats, and long-term viability. Regarding the techniques’ utility for measuring EI, he said they help to identify baseline targets, key ecological attributes, and indicators and their natural variation.

Unsustainable hunting for subsistence and trade: Chair Elizabeth Bennet, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), presented on hunting in tropical forest PAs. Noting that hunting practices in most tropical PAs are no longer sustainable and that PAs are becoming "empty forests," she said reasons include: population increase; isolation of PAs; modern weaponry; commercialized hunting; and political instability.

Tom Milliken, TRAFFIC, presented a study on bush meat carried out in the East Southern African region. Noting that a broad cross-section of society is involved in the wildlife meat business, he stressed the need for legal and sustainable alternative sources of protein.

Melvin Gumal, WCS, described actions taken by a pro-conservation local government to reduce hunting pressures in Malaysia, including: restrictions on gun and cartridge ownership; a wildlife trade ban; enforcement; education; community participation; and tourism promotion. Antoine Moukassa, WCS, described hunting consessions in the buffer zone surrounding a PA in the Republic of Congo, including seasonal hunting zones for nomadic and local people, and fully protected zones.

Helder Lima de Queiroz, Mamiraua Institute, presented on options for managing hunting on Mamirau� and Aman sustainable development reserves in the Amazon State, Brazil.

David Kpelle, Conservation International, presented on the use of traditional belief systems in reducing bush meat hunting in Ghana. He recommended: the revision of wildlife laws to recognize the role of traditional belief systems; improving the capacity of traditional authorities; education and awareness campaigns; and building partnerships with, inter alia, the media and research institutes.

Callum Roberts, University of York, UK, outlined lessons from fisheries, including the need for an ecosystem approach and no-take zones.


WORKSHOP STREAMS: Workshop streams will meet in break-out groups and plenary sessions to continue considering their respective issues, synthesize outcomes and review WPC recommendations.

CROSS-CUTTING THEMES: The cross-cutting themes on MPAs, world heritage, and communities and equity will be addressed throughout the day during workshop stream sessions.

EMERGING ISSUES: Issues of significance identified during workshop discussions should be approved by the workshop plenaries for inclusion in the Congress Proceedings.    

Sustainable Developments is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin �. This issue is written and edited by Paula Barrios, Nienke Beintema, Catherine Ganzleben, Charlotte Salpin, and Elsa Tsioumani. The digital editor is Leila Mead. The Team Leader is Elsa Tsioumani <>. The Editor is Lynn Wagner, Ph.D. <>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services (including Sustainable Developments) is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI <>. Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the IUCN. The authors can be contacted at their electronic mail addresses and at tel: +1-212-644-0204. IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in Sustainable Developments are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or IUCN. Excerpts from Sustainable Developments may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of Sustainable Developments are sent to e-mail distribution lists (ASCII and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <>. For further information on Sustainable Developments, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <>.