Participants at the Vth IUCN World Parks Congress (WPC) met in 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. Workshop streams met in break-out and plenary sessions to address their respective issues, synthesize outcomes, and approve WPC recommendations. Side meetings, special events and discussion groups on the WPC recommendations were held throughout the day. A special information session on the Durban Accord and the Message to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was held in the evening.
This report focuses on a joint session of the streams on governance, linkages in the landscape and seascape, and building support, and on plenary sessions on: developing the capacity to manage PAs; linkages in the landscape and seascape; and building comprehensive PA systems. It also addresses the session on the Durban Accord and the Message to the CBD.
JOINT SESSION ON GOVERNANCE, LINKAGES AND BUILDING SUPPORT
COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT FOR CONSERVATION: Key conditions for effective community conservation: Taghi Farvar, Center for Sustainable Development, and Fergus McKay, Forest People Programme - UK, co-chaired the session. Maria Fernanda Espinosa, IUCN, outlined the relation between decentralization and the recognition of indigenous territories in Latin America, stressing the need to institutionalize direct indigenous participation, and address operational difficulties.
Kai Schmidt-Soltau, German Society for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), addressed forced resettlements for conservation in Central Africa. Noting the risks associated with uncompensated forced displacements for PA creation, including landlessness, food insecurity, impoverishment, and impacts on biodiversity, he called for either improving or phasing out forced resettlement practices.
Discussing key governance powers, Marshall Murphree, University of Zimbabwe, stressed that centralized and devolved management are not mutually exclusive if ecological requirements and legitimacy are respected.
Calling for moral justice, Dan Brockington, Oxford University, UK, said that, because of communities’ oppression, "unfair PAs" will remain.
Juan Mayr, former Colombian Environment Minister, presented on the linkages between conservation, cultural identity and human rights, and called for an integrated, ethically responsible management approach.
During a panel discussion, McKay stressed the need to bridge the gap between human rights and environmental fora. Farvan said people’s oppression and nature conservation can co-exist, noting that colonial practices still influence conservation models.
Stressing the need for accountability, Madhu Sarin, Society for Promotion of Wasteland Development, said the majority of people displaced in India belonged to the most marginalized, but culturally richest, groups. Ken MacDonald, University of Toronto, Canada, noted that devolution will not help unless inequality is addressed at the local level, and stressed the need for institutional reflexivity.
Participants addressed, inter alia, poverty eradication as a prere-quisite for conservation.
Synthesis session: Mayr and Michel Pimbert, International Institute for Environment and Development, co-chaired the session. A representative from the group on poverty and PAs stressed the need for: tenure as the foundation for integrating conservation and development; incentives for stewardship, including empowerment through community participation and rights; and government accountability.
A representative outlined recommendations from the group on co-managed PAs, including: linking responsibility and authority; ensuring legitimate representation; establishing appropriate legal frameworks; and integrating social, environmental, economic and cultural aspects.
Summarizing the outcome of the group on mobile peoples and conservation, a representative concluded that nomadic pastoralism is a form of cultural identity, can enhance conservation, and needs legislative recognition and support.
A representative from the group on community conserved areas (CCAs) said benefits from CCAs include: biodiversity conservation; restoration of degraded lands; economic benefits; and regaining pride and identity.
In a panel discussion, Janis Alcorn, World Resources Institute, welcomed the sense of global solidarity among communities. Patrick McConney, Caribbean Conservation Association, noted that internationally used terms may not have credibility at the community level. Pimbert stressed the need for organizational transformation and for a rights-based approach in the recommendations. Participants agreed to include in the Congress Proceedings HIV effects on communities’ capacity as an emerging issue, and to call for the protection of cultural diversity.
DEVELOPING THE CAPACITY TO MANAGE PROTECTED AREAS
SYNTHESIS SESSION: Kishore Rao, IUCN, introduced the session. Regarding capacity for site planning, a group’s representative emphasized the need for adaptive management to enable practitioners to respond to contextual factors, and foster ground level initiative.
The group on policy and legal instruments recommended public access to information and standardized national procedures to enable participation. Its representative said PA staff should develop conflict-solving capacities, and adopt an intercultural view.
On institutional options for systems level planning, a representative noted an excessive centralization in PA management and planning, and that PA concerns must be incorporated into regional land-use planning.
On human resources, the group called for adequate long-term staffing, allocating PA revenues to capacity development, and the adoption of global competency standards for PA staff.
The group on developing capacity through networks called for: strengthening existing networks; establishing sub-regional communication channels; and improving access to information for PA managers.
In a panel discussion chaired by Julia Carabias, former Mexican Environment Minister, Jim Taylor, Wildlife Environment Society of South Africa, stressed the need to build on community knowledge, avoid the alienation of communities through militant approaches, and respond to development needs. Carlos Castaño, Parks Foundation of Latin America and the Caribbean, highlighted the requirement for a strategy to enhance capacity building among communities, managers and policy makers. He noted that PA managers must be socially sensitive administrators, and show political leadership in involving society. Angelita Meniado, Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources, noted the need to develop teaching and learning materials and diffuse techniques for PA management.
John Hough, UNDP, said capacity development is about achieving more results with fewer resources. Effendy Sumardja, Indonesian State Ministry of the Environment, called for balancing conservation goals, and involving all stakeholders in management. Daan Vreugdenhil, World Institute for Conservation and Environment, said senior staff should be financially rewarded to ensure their long-term commitment, and training should address ranger illiteracy.
Carabias noted that capacity building not only involves training but also legal frameworks, policies, and participation mechanisms, and called for developing a capacity-building strategic plan. David Gutiérrez, National Commission of Natural PAs in Mexico, presented recommendations for the CBD COP-7.
David Sheppard, WPC Secretary General, and Sejal Worah, WWF, introduced recommendations for strengthening institutional and societal, and individual and group capacities.
In a panel discussion, Katrina Brandon, Conservation International (CI), stressed the need to demonstrate the effectiveness of training in terms of conservation outputs to donors. Konrad Ritter, The Nature Conservancy, recommended directing resources into a global strategy for capacity building. Stephan Amend, GTZ, said proposals for PA capacity building should be made more attractive to donors by including poverty reduction strategies. Alfredo Guillet, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called for better use of existing resources for capacity building, rather than requesting additional resources. Natarajan Ishwaran, UNESCO, recommended forging links between capacity building for PA management and for other related fields. Mario Ramos, Global Environment Facility, underscored the need to: sustain capacity after initial training; integrate national policies for environmental management; encourage South-South interaction; and enhance local communities’ capacity to participate.
LINKAGES IN THE LANDSCAPE AND SEASCAPE
SYNTHESIS SESSION: Participants heard reports from the stream’s break-out groups. On IUCN Categories V and VI and World Heritage Cultural Landscape, a group’s representative recommended the protected landscape/seascape approach as a framework for sustainable development.
Regarding adaptive response to climate change, a representative called for: adaptive management for conservation strategies; management at the landscape, seascape and river basin levels; and a focus on the delivery of ecosystem goods and services.
On linkages design and restoration, a representative stressed that many PAs exist as fragments in degraded landscapes, which affects PAs’ ecological integrity and the sustainability of livelihoods.
Regarding planning linkages in the landscape, identified gaps included: linkages between freshwater ecosystems and seascapes; institutional linkages; maintaining the ecological functions of corridors; and addressing invasive alien species.
On freshwater, a representative noted that freshwater systems stand at the nexus of multiple interests and stakeholders, and are under-represented in the global PA network.
Regarding implementing marine PA networks, a representative suggested focusing on establishing a global system of marine and coastal PA networks by 2012.
On the international game board, a representative stressed: PA integration into the land- and seascape; the revitalization of rural communities; and the development of informal links between conventions.
Pertaining to the co-existence between humans and wildlife, it was suggested to address all aspects of human-wildlife conflicts, and to establish an international network on the issue.
On the communities’ role in sustaining linkages in the landscape, a representative stressed the role of nomadic and pastoralist peoples.
Regarding integrating biodiversity conservation and mining into land-use planning and management strategies, a representative stressed the low level of trust between constituencies.
Participants stressed ecological restoration as an emerging issue for inclusion in the Congress Proceedings. They reviewed recommendations on: integrated landscape management to support PAs; policy linkages between PAs and relevant international conventions and programmes; transboundary PA initiatives; preventing and mitigating human-wildlife conflicts; biodiversity and mining; and PAs, freshwater and integrated river basin management.
Participants then debated the recommendation on biodiversity and mining, which recognizes the division between elements of both the conservation and mining communities that are in favor of, and those that are against, a dialogue between them. Text recommending that the IUCN Council keep the issue under review was bracketed and will be referred to the Recommendations Committee.
BUILDING COMPREHENSIVE PROTECTED AREA SYSTEMS
SYNTHESIS SESSION: Gustavo Fonseca, CI, chaired the session. Roger Sayre, The Nature Conservancy, stressed the importance of large-scale planning, and described a resource guide that seeks to facilitate inter-institutional collaboration and enhance global priority setting.
Thomas Brooks, CI, presented on global targets and regional priorities, and elaborated on: global habitat assessment; identification of key biodiversity areas; and global PA gap analyses.
Noting the link between climate change and habitat fragmentation, Lee Hannah, Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, and Miguel Araujo, Evora University, Portugal, introduced recommendations from the group on area selection and PA design, including the need for: expanded PA networks; ecological corridors; land management beyond boundaries; strengthened NGO scientific capacity; focused monitoring programmes; and reduction in carbon-intensive energy production and consumption.
Participants considered, inter alia, methods to communicate key findings, and cooperation between research and implementing institutions.
Addressing the costs of comprehensive PA systems, Aaron Bruner, CI, noted a major shortfall in funding, notably in developing countries, and recommended: clearly communicating PA benefits; increasing financial data availability; and developing budget monitoring guidelines.
Tom Lacher, CI, spoke on monitoring biodiversity in the global system through the TEAM model, a framework for site-specific monitoring and data management.
Participants addressed the creation of legal mechanisms for North-South transfer of funds for biodiversity, and the complementarity between site-specific and global monitoring.
Bob Pressey, New South Wales National Parks Service, Australia, presented the streamï¿½s conclusions, including: completing PA networks; considering biophysical change, including climate, when establishing a comprehensive global network; being strategic when selecting PAs; and designating and managing PAs in a regional networks context.
Participants then discussed the WPC recommendations on building a comprehensive and effective PA system, and on global change and PAs.
PLENARY: INFORMATION SESSION ON THE DURBAN ACCORD
Mayr chaired an evening plenary session, which reviewed the drafts of the Durban Accord, Action Plan and Message to CBD COP-7.
Roger Crofts, Chair of the Durban Accord working group, noted that the Durban Action Plan will be a powerful political statement, and stressed the need for priorities, partnerships, and implementation. Peter Schei, Chair of the Message to the CBD working group, outlined key aspects of the introduction of the Message, and noted that targets, timelines and demanding language had been incorporated into the recommendation to address several challenges, including benefit sharing and technology transfer. John Scanlon, IUCN, presented the links between key WPC outputs.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: Plenary will convene at 9:00 am in the Main Hall to address "Global Partners for PAs." Participants will hear panel discussions on "Tourism, Business and PAs" and "Extractive Industries and PAs." It will reconvene at 2:00 pm for a special session with a focus on Africa.
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