Hanoi – IUCN's pioneering Green List edged closer to being fully set in motion in the Asia region last week with an inception workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam, where the new global standard for protected and conserved areas will soon enter an important implementation phase.
Alongside other Asian partner nations including Malaysia, Japan, China, and Korea,; Vietnam will begin to implement the new standard outlined in IUCN's Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas (GLPCA), resulting in the Southeast Asian country strengthening its position in regional conservation efforts.
Visiting experts, government officials and the project's architects from IUCN in Switzerland were hosted by local officials and IUCN Vietnam Country Office in a vital conference where details of the Green List were discussed and finalized.
The German Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) support this initiative through an IUCN-led collaborative project “Protected Area Solutions” from their International Climate Initiative.
Although the Green List had previously seen trials in some countries in 2014, this year marks an important step for IUCN's Global Protected Areas Programme, who are excited to be beginning a global development phase for the initiative.
“We now have a properly defined global standard for protected areas; this will encourage managers, help improve performance and enable delivery of conservation goals.” - James Hardcastle, Project Manager for the IUCN Global Protected Areas Programme.
This year marks an important half-way point for reporting on international targets established by parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). As part of an ongoing strategy to tackle these targets, partners gave IUCN the opportunity to launch a 4-year project called 'Protected Area Solutions'.
Aiming to work with countries around the world who are dedicated to improving protected area management and conservation results, IUCN began work on the Green List; what would become the world's only international standard for managing and evaluating such areas.
Protected and conserved areas applying to join the Green List will navigate through a process of support, mentorship and improvement that will hopefully result in full GLCPA approval. Networks of local experts, mentors and partners will work closely with area managers to help them achieve Green List status and meet their conservation goals.
Candidates who eventually reach Green List status will become recognised as exemplars and inspiration, and encouraged to share and network their experiences; representing an important benchmark for other protected areas to strive towards, and a beacon of hope for conservation in their region.
It Vietnam - an important flagship country for the initiative – increased awareness of water management issues and climate change challenges is fuelling a hunger for improved conservation strategies.
Inspired and enthused by positive examples from previous Green List trials in countries such as France, Korea and China, Vietnamese government officials voiced their support to IUCN's Green List, requesting to begin work on implementing the standard in a few protected areas as soon as possible.