In a move that will better connect protected areas management and tiger conservation, IUCN’s Global Protected Areas Programme and WWF’s Tigers Alive Initiative signed a mutual cooperation agreement on the development of the IUCN Green List of Protected Areas today at the 1st Asia Parks Congress in Sendai, Japan.
The IUCN Green List of Protected Areas aims to recognise successful conservation endeavour by providing benchmark standards for equitable governance and effective management of protected areas.
A coalition of partners, represented by WWF, will in turn apply the IUCN Green List criteria in the accreditation process for high-performing tiger protected areas in tiger range states. This initiative is called the ‘Conservation Assured – Tiger Standards’ (CA/TS) programme (www.conservationassured.org).
The IUCN Green List of Protected Areas recognizes sites for their achievement in demonstrating success according to a compiled benchmark of global standards. Sites which meet the benchmark will be accorded ‘Green List’ status. Evaluation against the Green List criteria will consider the local context and variation, and supplementary value will be placed on innovation, resourcefulness and inspiration in the face of adversity. The IUCN Green List is currently being developed in collaboration with pilot countries and jurisdictions, including Korea, but also Colombia – Amazonas, Kenya, Italy, France, and New South Wales in Australia.
Conservation Assured is a new conservation tool that sets minimum standards for effective management of target species, and encourages their assessment. Tigers are the first species selected for the initiative. WWF and its partners are managing CA/TS through their Tigers Alive Initiative. The Initiative’s vision is for a doubling of tiger numbers by 2020, and ultimately for all tiger protected areas to receive CA/TS accreditation.
The IUCN Green List and CA/TS collaboration will be implemented in Nepal in 2014, where the first Park to be assessed against the standards will be Chitwan National Park.
“We are eager to measure our progress and pride in Chitwan against international benchmarks for success through CA/TS and the IUCN Green List,” says Megh Panday, Director General of the Department of National Parks & Wildlife Conservation of Nepal. “We want to highlight that we are serious about conservation of biodiversity – and the various and vital services that protected areas provide – in addition to showing that we are exceeding expectation against the Convention on Biological Diversity targets and other international commitments to which Nepal is a party.”
The results from collaboration in Nepal, and elsewhere under the Green List Initiative, will be presented at the next Convention on Biological Diversity COP (Conference of Parties) in Korea in October 2014, before a full launch in November 2014 in Sydney at the IUCN World Parks Congress.
“I am looking forward to a close working partnership with the CA/TS initiative, and am encouraged and gratified that we have more partners working in support of the IUCN Green List of Protected Areas,” says Trevor Sandwith, Director of IUCN’s Global Protected Areas Programme. “It shows that we are on the right track with ‘Green Listing’ in recognising success and achievement, highlighting the exemplary areas as a motivation for all, providing a message of hope to those at the frontline of conservation – the managers and rangers of the world’s leading protected areas. In this way we can help shift to the focus on good governance and quality in management of protected areas worldwide.”
The Asia Parks Congress brings together, for the first time, government agencies, conservation professionals, researchers, NGOs, youth and civil society to take action for the future of parks and protected areas in one of the world’s fastest growing regions. New action to address the challenges facing Asia’s protected areas will be proposed, such as disaster risk reduction and recovery, respecting culture and tradition, boosting tourism and environmental education, increasing international cooperation and safeguarding biodiversity. The Congress runs from 13 – 17 November in Sendai City, northeastern Japan.