Advancing Connectivity Conservation through Law

28 February 2012 | News story

The IUCN Environmental Law Centre and Global Programme on Protected Areas, together with IUCN’s Commission on Environmental Law and the World Commission on Protected Areas, are leading new work on legal aspects of connectivity conservation. Fresh from the magnificent IUCN 2011 publication Guidelines for Protected Areas Legislation, they are now focussing on the critical connectivity conservation requirement of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s 2011-2020 Strategic Plan Target 11, which addresses connectivity in the context of increased global PA coverage.

By 2020 at least 17% of terrestrial and inland water, and 10% of coastal and inland waters, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes” (emphasis added).

On 13th and 14th February 2012, the Environmental Law Centre held a two-day meeting in Bonn to review the first comprehensive draft of a document which aims to present and analyse the legal aspects of connectivity conservation. The meeting marked an important step in the implementation of a two-year ELC project on Protected areas law at the intersection of biodiversity conservation and climate change.

The meeting involved lawyers working on the subject from Europe, South Africa, Australia and the United States of America as well as protected areas and connectivity experts from the WCPA Specialist group on Mountains and Connectivity Conservation and the IUCN’s GPAP. The early draft identified the enormous importance of this work to global conservation and the complexity of the conservation and land-use planning laws involved. When completed, it will assist all nations that are implementing Target 11. An advanced draft of the concept paper is being timed for release and comment at the IUCN 2012 World Conservation Congress in Jeju.