IUCN and WWF announce new partnership to expand and strengthen protected areas

19 November 2015 | News story

IUCN and WWF have joined forces to enhance and promote the role of protected and conserved areas in achieving sustainable development over the next ten years.

Under the new partnership, WWF and IUCN will:

• Expand the number of protected areas reaching IUCN Green List quality standards to at least 1000 protected areas in 50 countries, by ensuring that these areas meet the Green List criteria;
• Seek the application of $2 billion of new investment finance in the enhanced performance and sustainability of these protected areas;
• Generate at least 20 new ambitious protected area commitments for biodiversity and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from communities, governments and other organisations.

“This partnership will help ensure that critical forests, wetlands and marine habitats are protected for future generations," says Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International.. "Stronger efforts to create and maintain protected areas are crucial to achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals and securing a climate resilient future.” 

The partnership was announced on the first anniversary of the IUCN World Parks Congress, which took place in November 2014 in Sydney. The Congress culminated in the Promise of Sydney, that included the commitment to invest in protected areas, which help to halt biodiversity loss, mitigate and adapt to climate change, reduce the risk and impact of disasters, improve food and water security, and promote human health and dignity.

“One year on, the Promise of Sydney continues to push the protected areas agenda from strength to strength," says Inger Andersen, Director General of IUCN. "By combining the complementary efforts of IUCN and WWF, this commitment brings us a step closer towards achieving the SDGs and other ambitious global goals”

“The Promise of Sydney calls for a rebalancing of the relationship between human society and nature," says Rod Taylor, Director, WWF Global Forest Programme. "The new partnership between WWF and IUCN responds to this call in its drive for stronger, fairer and better financed protected area systems on land and sea.” 

The 10-year partnership aims to make the case for direct investment in protected areas and protected area systems that demonstrate enhanced conservation outcomes. The partnership will look at how challenges faced by protected areas such as poaching, illegal logging and other destructive activities can be addressed through new financing and investment.

The anniversary of the Congress was also marked by the Congress receiving the Award for Best Meeting or Conference at the Australian Events Awards 2015 ceremony in Sydney.

For further information, contact:

Trevor Sandwith, Director, Global Protected Areas Programme, IUCN, +41 799427668, trevor.sandwith@iucn.org

Alexander Belokurov, Manager, Landscape Conservation, WWF, +41 79 4773566,
abelokurov@wwfint.org