On 27 November 2012, the IUCN Environmental Law Centre (ELC) convened a one day workshop on the “Legal Aspects of Connectivity Conservation” in Bonn, Germany. The purpose of the workshop was to present the results of a two year project entitled Protected areas law at the intersection of biodiversity conservation and climate change and particularly the conceptual work on the legal aspects of connectivity conservation.
Several years ago, the ELC initiated a major effort regarding the law of protected areas, and published jointly with the Protected Areas Programme and IUCN Commissions the updated Guidelines for Protected Areas legislation. These Guidelines provide a background of the technical, management and legal questions which are underpinning protected areas, as well as the generic elements of PA legislation and additional considerations regarding Marine Protected Areas and Transboundary Protected Areas.
Nevertheless in order to create PA systems which are sustainable, it is not sufficient to have an internally sound PA regime. Connectivity is needed. At least the needs for specific protective or management measures outside PAs become as important as those within them. But in this field, even more than in PA law itself, the law has been lagging behind. It is this situation that the project has been tackling and it resulted in the development of a concept paper on the legal aspects of connectivity conservation: its main purpose being to provide an overview of legal tools which can, and are, used in providing connectivity areas with a measure of legal protection. Five case studies to illustrate the Concept Paper were prepared, and will be available as an Annex to the main text. They either describe the legal mechanisms available to effect connectivity in specific jurisdictions (European Union, the Netherlands, Brazil), or explain the legal regime or tools used to create, maintain and manage specific connectivity conservation zones (Australia: Great Eastern Ranges (GER) conservation corridor; South Africa: The Greater Cedarberg Biodiversity Corridor).
The workshop provided an opportunity for the IUCN group of experts involved in the implementation of the project to meet with German, international, governmental and nongovernmental experts involved or interested in connectivity conservation work, to take stock of emerging results and consider future actions.
The concept paper on the “Legal Aspects of Connectivity Conservation” and the case studies will be available early next year.
For more information, please contact the ELC Secretariat.