Story | 01 Oct, 2021

Governance, Equity, and Rights at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille

The theme of governance, equity, and rights featured strongly across the World Conservation Congress in Marseille, and particularly so when set against the background of the ambitious new targets that are currently being debated by parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The next decade ahead to 2030 will see a huge focus on the quality aspects of effective area based conservation, and the Global Protected and Conserved Areas programme (GPAP) had a number of events focusing on this theme.

Advocating for diversity in area based conservation

A key avenue for recognising and upholding the rights, governance systems and conservation efforts of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities is to recognise and support the territories and areas conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities or “territories of life” or ICCAs. The global partnership supporting the Global Support Initiative for ICCAs (GSI-ICCA) presented work including on national level recognition of ICCAs in a dedicated Vital Sites Forum session GSI-ICCA System level governance assessments . This event was also part of series promoting ICCAs through the presentation of two landmark reports at Vital Sites, highlighting the key roles of ICCAs in global biodiversity efforts.  – Contribution of ICCAs to the CBD 2020 framework and beyond: Presentation of the two global reports on ICCAs/IPLCs lands and territories

Continuing with the theme of diverse area based conservation, the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)’s International Academy for Nature Conservation and IUCN developed a set of training materials on other effective conservation measures (OECMs). The materials are intended to develop worldwide capacity for identifying, recognising, supporting and reporting OECMs, and were presented as part of the WCC conservation campus series of events: Recognising, Supporting and Reporting Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures | IUCN World Conservation Congress 2020. In a second hybrid event on OECMs, the Co-Chairs of the IUCN WCPA Specialist Group on OECMs updated on the materials, films, events and other progress that have taken place under the auspices of the Specialist Group.  Recognising, Supporting, and Reporting OECMs | IUCN World Conservation Congress 2020.

Approaches and Tools for Improving Governance

The IUCN Green List is the standard for effective protected and conserved areas (PCAs), and good governance is the first vital component, squarely placing governance and rights on the agenda for area based conservation in the decades ahead. There was a short clinic at the Knowledge Hub on why good governance matters and how that plays out as part of the Knowledge product info session: IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas | IUCN World Conservation Congress 2020.

An event at the capacity development hub constituted the soft launch of two PANORAMA Solutions in Focus publications: Governance in Protected and Conserved Areas Volume I: Exploring Concepts and Themes and Volume II: Actions and Approaches. The PANORAMA Solutions in these collections come from PCAs including Green listed sites, ICCAs and World Heritage sites from around the world, with diverse values, contexts and governance approaches. Collectively, they highlight considerations for two important, inter-related aspects of PCA governance – diversity and quality, and offer practical approaches to improve governance for readers. They will be published end of October 2021.

The capacity development programme on governance underway as part of the GPAP and BIOPAMA programme was presented during a  Knowledge Café Presentation of the Governance Capacity Development work.

A forum session at Vital Sites showcased SAGE (Site assessment of governance and equity), a tool that has been developed by IIED, IUCN and other organisations for address critical governance issues at the site level including in IUCN Green List candidate sites. SAGE: A new tool for assessing protected and conserved area governance and equity | IUCN World Conservation Congress 2020

 Finally, the governance programme of GPAP contributed to a session led by IUCN CEESP and  the IUCN Natural Resource Governance Framework (NRGF). This dedicated campus session highlighted common threads and opportunities for ways forward to improve governance work across the union including across the NRGF and the IUCN Green List communities. The IUCN Natural Resource Governance Framework (NRGF): An introduction and learning exchange | IUCN World Conservation Congress 2020