Furthering protected areas importance to IUCN and its future conservation efforts, protected areas are the most featured theme in the recently released 2012 World Conservation Congress resolutions and recommendations. Protected areas garnered 18 percent of the 183 resolutions and recommendations, with major initiatives of the Global Protected Areas Programme (GPAP) and WCPA all receiving notice. As GPAP begins implementation of its most recent work programme, its five main umbrella themes – protected areas conserving nature, achieving quality, respecting people, developing capacity and offering solutions – are all represented in the resolutions and recommendations.
The resolutions and recommendations recognize the importance of GPAP’s current protected areas work while also promoting progress and a step towards the future. Resolution 041 endorses the new IUCN Green List of Well Managed Protected Areas, in part by recommending the WCPA collaborate with the CEM (Commission on Ecosystem Management) and SSC (Species Survival Commission) on its development and reporting on its progress.
The IUCN Green List is set to officially launch at the next World Parks Congress, to be held in Sydney in 2014. Resolution 038 officially endorses the Congress, recommending that it feature prominently in the IUCN Programme 2013-2016.
Other significant resolutions on protected areas include: the WDPA (World Database on Protected Areas), the Healthy Parks, Healthy People initiative, creation of transboundary forum for protected area managers, increasing the pace of marine protected areas (MPAs) establishment, nature-based solutions on climate change, protected area management guidelines and a certification system for good management practices. Resolution 045 sums up protected areas’ vital importance to achieving conservation goals by calling for broadening awareness on their benefits and relevance.