Putting plans to work: IUCN's commitment to protected areas.

18 October 2010 | News story

“Helping to establish a global network of protected areas has been one of the greatest successes achieved to date by Parties to the CBD” claims Trevor Sandwith, the new Head of the IUCN’s Global Protected Areas Programme, speaking at the Convention on Biological Diversity Meeting of Parties in Nagoya, Japan. “National parks, wilderness areas, biological corridors, areas conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities are the world’s best biodiversity conservation tools and essential for human wellbeing and security”.

“Protected areas lie at the heart of all effective nature conservation strategies. They offer much more as well: clean water, food security, health and wealth; protection against natural disasters; climate change mitigation and adaptation; recreational opportunities; sacred natural sites; homes and employment. But many protected areas are running on a shoestring. We are massively under-investing in one of the world’s most successful sustainable management strategies.” said Nik Lopoukhine, Chair of IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas and former Director General at Parks Canada.

At the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, developing countries have requested further support from IUCN’s Global Protected Areas Programme and IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas to strengthen the implementation of the CBD’s Programme of Work on Protected Areas.

“IUCN is committed to throwing its full strength behind these efforts, building on its experience in delivering guidance and support to developing countries” said Mr Sandwith.

Support provided by IUCN and partners includes setting standards for protected areas management, providing policy and technical guidance, supporting regional workshops and mobilising an extensive set of professionals around the world to assist Parties to meet their commitments.

Releasing a statement that sets out IUCN’s contribution to achieving the CBD’s goals, Mr. Sandwith concluded, “Nature is central to human cultures, societies and economies. Humans need nature as much as the other species who share our planet. We plan to work not only to build systems of protected areas, but also to make sure they are effectively well managed, well governed and supported by surrounding communities and that they bring direct and indirect benefits to both local people and the wider global community”.

Both Trevor Sandwith and Nik Lopoukhine will be available for longer interviews.

For more information or to set up interviews, please contact: Nicky Chadwick (IUCN Comms 41 795283486) or Penny Figgis Penelope.figgis@ozemail.com.au

About IUCN
IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges. IUCN works on biodiversity, climate change, energy, human livelihoods and greening the world economy by supporting scientific research, managing field projects all over the world, and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice. IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,000 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 60 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world. www.iucn.org
 

The IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN WCPA) is the world's premier network of protected area expertise with over 1,400 members. IUCN WCPA helps governments and others plan protected areas and integrate them into all sectors; provides strategic advice to policy makers; strengthens capacity and investment in protected areas; and convenes the diverse constituency of protected area stakeholders to address challenging issues. For more than 50 years, IUCN and WCPA have been at the forefront of global action on protected areas and more recently positioning protected areas as part of a "natural solution" to climate change. www.iucn.org/wcpa