The thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Cancun, Mexico, saw a significant commitment to protected and conserved areas – in quantity and quality – the latter an important part of Aichi Target 11, which is the key global goal for protected areas.
The new IUCN Green List is a global Standard for measuring and motivating quality in protected and conserved areas. Participating countries can nominate their protected areas for recognition based on their ongoing performance in conserving nature and associated cultural and ecosystems service values.
Mexico joined forces with IUCN and other ‘Green List’ partner countries, including Colombia, Peru, Japan, Vietnam, China, Benin, Kenya and France, to promote their successful protected and conserved areas stories at the COP event.
Firstly, a side-event drew a packed audience to a discussion on Green Listing and the quality elements of Aichi Target 11. Experiences from two IUCN-led BMUB-IKI projects (Protected Area Solutions and Land-use Planning) demonstrated the role of good governance and effective land-use planning in determining success in protected areas.
Discussion focused on how the Green List system can encourage protected area managers by providing positive incentives and international recognition for better management.
Secondly, CONANP, the Mexican protected areas Agency, invited CBD delegates from countries across the globe on a Green-List themed field event to Sian Ka’an World Heritage Area. Sian Ka’an, alongside Isla San Pedro Martir, and Archipiélago Espiritu Santo are Green List candidates for nomination in 2017.
The participants visited a lagoon system and experienced Mayan cultural heritage through local eco-tours, meeting rangers and community representatives, trying out local foods and products.
Back at the auditorium of Tulum National Park, Mexico showcased success stories from their PA system, while Colombia provided case studies from their Green List sites, inspiring questions and discussion from participants.
Commenting on the new protected area figures from the Protected Planet Report Update, also shared at the CBD COP13 in Cancun, the head of UN Environment, Erik Solheim, said: “It is not just about size of the area under protection but also about where these zones are located and how strong that protection really is.”
The IUCN Green List, or ‘Lista Verde’ as it is known in Mexico, will continue to inspire and recognise good performance for equitable governance and effective management of protected areas the world over.
Read more about the IUCN Green List, the Standard and the User Manual.