Providing a major boost to IUCN’s Global Programme on Protected Areas, Parks Canada and IUCN are pleased to announce that Dr Stephen Woodley will take up a new position as Senior Programme Advisor on Protected Areas and Climate Change for the next two years.
A member of the IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas, Stephen Woodley has more than 30 years of experience in nature conservation in Canada, and leaves his position as Chief Ecosystems Scientist with Parks Canada, a prominent IUCN State Member to take on his new role.
“We are absolutely delighted with this support”, said Trevor Sandwith, Director of IUCN’s Global Programme on Protected Areas. "IUCN has recently strengthened its commitment to protected areas as a key conservation strategy, drawing on evidence that protected areas not only conserve biodiversity, but that they maintain the integrity of ecosystems critical to human survival. Stephen Woodley will help us to increase the scientific rigour of our arguments that protected areas are vital natural solutions for dealing with challenges like climate change. His scientific and management expertise will support our efforts to achieve appropriate policy, public funding and expertise to harness the true value of protected area systems”.
This assignment complements Parks Canada's ongoing leadership in support of the IUCN's Global Protected Areas Programme. In particular, Parks Canada has been working through the World Protected Areas Leadership Forum to influence the development of a global understanding of the role of protected areas in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Stephen Woodley's work with the IUCN will contribute directly to this strategic goal.
Over the next few years, the relevance of protected areas will be a significant subject of discussion through the IUCN’s World Conservation Congress in 2012, the IUCN World Parks Congress in 2014 and ongoing discussions in the Convention on Biological Diversity. “Stephen Woodley’s role will lead the development of sound global positions around the key challenges of biodiversity conservation and climate change. He is well-positioned to provide key advice to the IUCN on these matters”, said Ron Hallman, Director-General of the National Parks Directorate of Parks Canada.
In addition to pioneering work on climate change, IUCN’s Global Programme on Protected Areas is focusing on a core set of priorities that includes capacity development for management effectiveness, the role of equitable governance and benefit-sharing, sustainable finance and investment, and above all, communicating at global and local levels that protected areas really do work. “I am delighted and feel privileged to have an opportunity to contribute to the critical work of the IUCN", Stephen Woodley said from his base in Gatineau, Canada.