The IUCN Environmental Law Centre (ELC) participated in the 2013 Joint European Conference on Climate Change and Nature Conservation in Europe convened by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) and the European Network of Heads of Nature Conservation Agencies (ENCA), 25-27 June, Bonn, Germany. The conference brought together experts from science, policy and practice to highlight and debate the importance of adapting to climate change in conservation from an ecological, policy and economic perspective. It also showcased successful conservation partnerships across Europe.
ELC staff lawyer Sarah Lucas and WCEL member Barbara Lausche participated in the conference. Ms. Lausche made a workshop presentation on ‘Legal Aspects of Connectivity Conservation – Key Tools for Nature Conservation and Climate Change.’ The presentation gave highlights from conceptual work undertaken by the ELC during 2011-2012 to analyze legal aspects of connectivity conservation for achieving biodiversity conservation and supporting the goals of protected areas. In light of climate change, the analyses gave special attention to the role of connectivity conservation for building natural resilience of protected areas and biodiversity through climate change adaptation and mitigation. This was the work of a protected areas and climate change expert group directed by the IUCN Environmental Law Centre in collaboration with IUCN’s World Commission on Environmental Law, World Commission on Protected Areas, and Global Protected Areas Program, and supported by a grant from the BMZ. It comprised 5 case studies including one on connectivity conservation legal mechanisms in the European Union, which was also highlighted in the presentation. The project built upon the IUCN Guidelines for Protected Areas Legislation (Lausche, 2011), copies of which were also available.
The overarching conclusion from the project highlighted in the presentation is the need for countries to become increasingly alert to their connectivity conservation needs, undertake connectivity planning, and initiate actions using existing mechanisms and opportunities as much as possible to negotiate and protect critical connectivity areas before they are lost to development. A wide array of different legal instruments and tools already exist in many legal systems to begin to promote and implement science-based connectivity actions in priority landscapes/seascapes and local sites, and these are laid out in some detail in the resulting publication.
Lausche, B., D. Farrier, J. Verschuuren, A. G.M. La Viña, A. Trouwborst, C-H Born, L. Aug. 2013. The Legal Aspects of Connectivity Conservation. Volume 1 – A Concept Paper. Volume 1 – Case studies. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, will be available online at the end of July. A hard copy may be obtained on request.