Solutions for well-being and sustainable development: Results of the Third Latin America and the Caribbean Protected Areas Congress

From a new relationship with society, based on the contributions of protected areas, to well-being and sustainable development, the results of the Third Latin America and the Caribbean Protected Areas Congress (CAPLAC III) constitute an important contribution for the next IUCN programme and for post-2020 decisions.

III Latin American and Caribbean Congress of Protected Areas

In 2019, the Third Latin America and the Caribbean Protected Areas Congress was held in Lima, Peru, thanks to the support of more than 3000 dedicated participants, covering close to 1000 activities. 

The work of organising this Congress began in 2017 by the WCPA, in agreement with the IUCN Secretariat in the region. The association with Peru was then agreed through its National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (Sernanp) and its Ministry of the Environment (MinAm), who decided to hold the Congress in Lima. An important role in coordination was also played by RedParques (the collaboration network of the authorities of the national institutions of protected areas) and the United Nations Organisation for Food and Agriculture (FAO).

We have promoted reflections on how society views and understands protected areas and what to do to get it right - on topics such as health, education, recreation, sports, religions, and others. We have evaluated our contributions to global and regional agreements and commitments.

We declare interest in remaining strong as a region to contribute to the well-being of the whole world, including through RedParques, the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), IUCN, and the Latin American Alliance to Strengthen Protected Areas (Alfa 2020), among other networks, groups and institutions. We have recognised and promoted the contributions of protected areas and their systems to mitigation and adaptation to major climate change, to the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Aichi Goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity. We have strengthened our possibilities to act in an integrated, cross-border, or landscape level. We have sought the necessary renovation so that the management of each protected area in particular, and its complexes systems are increasingly well planned and run for the benefit of society. We have recognised that in fact, many groups and social actors already contribute a lot to the success of protected areas and their systems, and we know that these contributions must be strengthened in collaborative conservation. And much more!

We understand that we have had success in organising social interest and activity groups, such as women, youth, indigenous peoples, local or traditional communities, park rangers, analysts, employees and authorities of institutions of protected areas, representatives of the armed forces of the countries of the region, associated with the ICCA Consortium, members of higher control entities, representatives of the private sector, groups of athletes and adventurers (surf reserves, long-distance trails etc.), owners and managers of private reserves, among many others who will be largely responsible for the implementation of the results of the congress.

The principal outcome of the Congress was the Lima Declaration, as a tool for Protected Area monitoring and evaluation of the region, and supported by post.CAPLAC initiatives and networks such as the youth (Rellac-Joven), women (Mujeres en Conservación), and the Protected Areas of Latin America and the Caribbean Celebration Day, the inaugural edition of which will be held on 17 October 2020.

Claudio C. Maretti, IUCN WCPA Regional Vice-Chair South America

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