IN FOCUS: Saxon-Bohemian Switzerland in the heart of Europe
A conservation atlas for transboundary conservation areas
Restoration of the Rio Bravo-Grande
IUCN WCPA Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group enables its members to present their work related to transboundary conservation issues on this website, and thus contributing to the further development of the Global Transboundary Conservation Network. All those interested in promoting their activities relevant to the scope of work of the TBC SG should contact the Chair of TBC SG, Kevan Zunckel at firstname.lastname@example.org to seek further information.
Europe is a complex continent with thousands of years of human interaction overlaying the natural world. The most manifestations of that history are the many political borders. Nature however, never recognises these artefacts and our Protected Areas represent what is most special across our small, marvellous and populated continent and constitute a “shared European inheritance” of nature protection. Borders create artificial barriers to the management of these valuable natural resources. The places where Protected Areas share a common political boundary bring these management issues into sharp focus and need special consideration.
The EUROPARC Transboundary Parks Programme “Following Natures Design” is a verification and certification system that aims to promote and facilitate transboundary cooperation between European Protected Areas and support a process of mutual understanding and coordinated management, often between countries where history may have created mutual distrust.
It includes four key elements:
EUROPARC Basic Standards for crossborder cooperation verification process by external verifiers formal certification as a “EUROPARC Transboundary Area” renewal every 5 years
The application is open to members of EUROPARC.
The network of the certified areasis called TransParcNet. The members are passionate and idealist managers, very active in supporting each other, in promoting the program and in improving its quality. They meet annually.
In 2019, with the Declarationfor the 30thAnniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, they reiterated their commitment:
“we strongly declare our commitment for peace, dialogue and nature protection and our availability to support, in the frame of our institutional goals and skills, any initiative aimed at fostering cooperation between European states within and beyond the European Union.”
If you like to discover more about the program and the network: https://www.europarc.org/nature/transboundary-cooperation/ and https://www.europarc.org/knowlege-hub/transboundary/.
TheDeclarationfor the 30thAnniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wallis here https://www.europarc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Declaration-30-Years-Fall-of-the-Berlin-Wall-Transboundary-Parks.pdf
Fill free also to contact us. I am delighted to be the person in charge of the EUROPARC Transboundary Parks Program “Following Nature Design” and coordinator of the TransParcNet.
Policy Officer - EUROPARC Federation
The Wildlife Conservation Society in Nigeria and Cameroon are working with host governments and other partners to establish an effective transboundary working collaboration, particularly between contiguous protected areas on the international border.
With ongoing support from the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Arcus Foundation and German Development Bank, important practical successes have been achieved by coordinating regular joint patrols, planning meetings and exchange visits between Takamanda National Park in Cameroon and the neighbouring Cross River National Park in Nigeria. The drafting of a Memorandum of Understanding between the government wildlife services in the two countries is currently in progress and we hope that this will provide the foundation for expanding joint action to other protected areas including Korup, Faro and Waza National Parks in Cameroon and their Nigerian neighbours Chad Basin and Gashaka-Gumti National Parks.
A number of important wildlife species are common to a many of these protected areas. In South-West Cameroon / South-East Nigeria, populations of elephants, chimpanzees, drills and the critically endangered Cross River gorilla disperse between some of these areas. It is only through a transboundary approach that we will be able to protect these populations effectively and tackle the serious threats of bush-meat and timber marketing which are driven by high market demand in Nigeria.
Director, Takamanda-Mone Landscape Project
Wildlife Conservation Society
Dr Anna Spenceley is a tourism specialist and an independent consultant based in South Africa. Her clients include the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the International Trade Centre of UNCTAD, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Columbia University, Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa, and the International Ecotourism Society. In 2009 Anna was the Senior Tourism Advisor and Regional Knowledge Network Leader with the Netherlands Development Agency SNV in Rwanda.
Anna is a member of a number of professional associations including the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and the IUCN’s Southern African Sustainable Use Specialist Group (SASUSG). She is the Chair of the IUCN-WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group, and the IUCN-WCPA Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group's Vice Chair for West and Central Africa. She also acts on the Interim Advisory Committee of the Tourism Sustainability Council. Anna is on the editorial board of the International Journal for Sustainable Tourism, the Journal of Educational Travel and also the journal of South African National Parks: Koedoe.
Anna is the editor of "Responsible Tourism: Critical issues for Conservation and Development" and also co-editor of "Evolution and Innovation in Wildlife Conservation". Both books were published with the support of IUCN SASUSG with Earthscan.
Chair, IUCN WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group
Dr. Bram Büscher is a lecturer in Political Economy of Sustainable Development at the Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and postdoctoral fellow with the Department of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy Studies of the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. He has been engaged in research on transfrontier conservation in Southern Africa for over 7 years, with a special interest in how market-based conservation strategies influence the conceptualisation and implementation of Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs). Most of his research dealt with the Maloti-Drakensberg TFCA between Lesotho and South Africa, but he has also published on the Great Limpopo TFCA between Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Bram Büscher is also one of the convenors of the Transboundary Protected Areas Research Initiative (TPARI), hosted by the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. TPARI hosts regular tele-seminars on (transboundary) conservation issues, and recently published a booklet on 'Guidelines for negotiating social research in communities living adjacent to transboundary protected areas: Kruger National Park'. The booklet is available here: http://www.plaas.org.za/pubs/ebooks/guidelines_TPARI.pdf
More information on TPARI or on Bram Büscher's research and publications can be found on http://www.iss.nl/buscher or by contacting him: email@example.com.
Catarina Grilo grew up in Portugal where she studied Marine Biology. In 2004, she got a Masters in Environmental Policy and Management from the Free University in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Her interest in transboundary marine conservation started in 2005 with her collaboration with the TRANSMAP project. Since then, she has been investigating the potential for cooperation between countries in the creation of transboundary marine protected areas (MPAs), now also as part of her PhD thesis at the University of Lisbon (co-supervision from Dalhousie University).
Catarina wants to understand what conditions may be conducive or not to cooperation in the creation of transboundary MPAs in Eastern and Southern Africa, and how these may potentially affect subsequent cooperative arrangements. Her research concerns specifically:
i) the characteristics of marine resources targeted by transboundary MPAs;
ii) the power-, interest-, and knowledge-related aspects of inter-state relations regarding specific marine resources and geographical regions;
iii) the power-, interest-, and knowledge-related influences of domestic actors over inter-state relations regarding these resources and geographical areas; and
iv) how potential inter-state cooperative arrangements may accommodate these three dimensions.
A lateral aspect of Catarina's research addressed how maritime boundary delimitation has affected transboundary MPA creation and management. Parallel to her research, Catarina is also a volunteer with Liga para a Protecção da Natureza, the oldest environmental NGO in Portugal, where she is a member of the Oceans Working Group.
In the future, Catarina would like to explore how local contexts are accounted for in transboundary MPA making. She is also interested in exploring opportunities for cooperation in marine conservation between EU member states as they implement the new Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the new Common Fisheries Policy comes into play.
Grilo, C. 2010 (In press). The Impact of Maritime Boundaries on Cooperation in the Creation of Transboundary Marine Protected Areas: Insights from Three Cases. Ocean Yearbook 24.
Guerreiro, J., A. Chircop, C. Grilo, A. Viras, R. Ribeiro, and R. v. d. Elst. (In press). Establishing a transboundary network of marine protected areas: Diplomatic and management options for the east African context. Marine Policy.
Chircop, A., J. Francis, R. Van Der Elst, H. Pacule, J. Guerreiro, C. Grilo, and G. Carneiro. 2010. Governance of Marine Protected Areas in East Africa: A Comparative Study of Mozambique, South Africa, and Tanzania. Ocean Development & International Law 41:1 - 33.
An international research project TRANSMAP has generated information in support of transboundary marine conservation in the Western Indian Ocean. TRANSMAP has become a reference in the region and its outputs are supporting recent moves towards cooperation in marine conservation.
The Western Indian Ocean is well known for its marine biodiversity. A variety of marine and coastal habitats and species contribute to regional biodiversity, and provide food and income to the 22 million people living on the coast. However, overfishing, use of destructive gears, mangrove cutting, and uncontrolled tourism development are reducing resource availability.
To address these threats, the EU-funded TRANSMAP project aimed at supporting cooperation in the creation of transboundary networks of marine protected areas (MPAs) in two border regions. It produced biophysical, socio-economic and governance assessments in respect of the marine environment shared by Tanzania and Mozambique, and by Mozambique and South Africa. TRANSMAP project was run by a consortium of 12 institutions, with the University of Lisbon as the lead institution.
TRANSMAP results have supported the designation by Mozambique of an MPA bordering South Africa. Cooperation activities are already underway between this new MPA and a large MPA in South Africa, focusing on law enforcement and sea turtle monitoring. A transboundary marine World Heritage Site is also being considered.
The border region between Mozambique and Tanzania is quite remote, affording TRANSMAP results even greater importance. Bilateral conversations, which had previously involved only provincial authorities on the Mozambican side, are to be extended to national authorities and address the issue of migrant fishers and promote coastal tourism.
The 5.7 million km² of the Coral Triangle is home to the highest diversity of marine life on Earth. This region stretches across six countries: Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste. The Coral Triangle is recognized as an area of global significance, with over 75% of known coral species, 53% of the world’s coral reefs, over 3,000 species of fish, and the greatest extent of mangrove forests of any region in the world. These extraordinary marine biological resources directly sustain the lives of over 120 million people.
Unfortunately, the marine-based natural resources of the Coral Triangle and the economic and social benefits they generate are at risk, threatened by a range of factors. These include over-fishing, destructive fishing practices such as cyanide and blast fishing, coral bleaching and ocean acidification due to global climate change, pollution, and sedimentation from coastal development.
In 2007, President Susilo Bam bang Yudhoyono of Indonesia invited the leaders of the countries of the Coral Triangle to form the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) and in May 2009, the leaders of the six countries endorsed a Regional Plan of Action to tackle threats to the Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security (CFF) of the Coral Triangle.
The Regional Plan of Action is underpinned by the following over-arching commitments:
Designate the sustainable management of marine and coastal resources as a high and urgent ongoing priority on our national agendas;
Mobilize high-level public and private sector leadership;
Achieve enhanced regional collaboration to address important regional problems;
Implement needed economic, policy and legal reforms;
Establish a system of sustainable funding and orient these financial resources towardachievement of the CTI Plan of Action;
Achieve a rapid improvement in institutional and human capacity;
Lead effective, highly participatory multi-stakeholder alliances;
Integrate conservation, management and development;
and Promote public / private partnerships.
The CTI-CFF has five overall goals covering: (i) priority seascapes; (ii) ecosystem approach to managing fisheries and other marine resources; (iii) marine protected areas; (iv) climate change adaptation; and (v) threatened species. Under each goal are one or more time-bound targets and each target has one or more regional-level actions. National CTI Plans of Action have been developed in each country, designed to translate the Regional Plan of Action into specific, country-relevant actions.
The Coral Triangle Initiative Secretariat
The Crown of the Continent is a remarkable place. Spanning the 49th parallel and anchored by Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, it has been the home of Native Americans and First Nations for thousands of years. Today, the stunning scenery, vast wilderness areas, iconic wildlife, and diverse recreational opportunities attract visitors from throughout the world. These amenities support a ring of communities around the Crown. Working landscapes help knit together the natural and cultural fabric of this region.
The Roundtable is an ongoing forum to bring together people who care about this special place. It is based on the observation that the future of the Crown of the Continent is being shaped by over 100 government agencies, non-government organizations, and place-based partnerships. While these various initiatives operate somewhat independent of each other, the Roundtable provides a unique opportunity to connect people that share a common commitment to the region.
Through workshops, forums, policy dialogues, and conferences, the Roundtable provides an opportunity to exchange ideas, build relationships, and explore opportunities to work together -- to sustain the natural and cultural heritage of this remarkable landscape. Participation is based on self-interest. People participate for their own benefit and to develop their own work. The Roundtable therefore tends to have fluid membership; people move in and out of the activities of the Roundtable based on how much they personally benefit from participating. As people exchange ideas, learn together, and develop a common sense of purpose, they gradually improve their individual and collective capacity and commitment. It is this capacity and commitment that will sustain the natural and cultural heritage of the Crown.
The advantage of the Roundtable is that it is inclusive, informed, and adaptive. By better understanding the mix of local, regional and sub-regional efforts in the Crown, individuals and organizations will be better positioned to mobilize the civic will and political power to facilitate change. Coincidentally, they will also develop and test new forms of governance and economic self-determination... to think regionally and act at whatever spatial scale makes sense.
Elaine Hsiao is a U.S. Fulbright Student in Uganda doing research on, “The Role of Environmental Law in Promoting Multi-Stakeholder Conservation, Sustainable Development and Just Peace: A Study of the Central Albertine Rift Transfrontier Protected Area Network,” and promoting peace parks or transboundary conservation in other border parks in Uganda. She is also a Fellow (Specializing in Protected Areas) at the Center for Environmental Legal Studies of Pace Law School in New York. Her research and work focuses on the law and policy of establishing and governing transboundary protected areas, transboundary community-based conservation, peace parks and other areas of international environmental law, including international environmental crimes and ecocide.
Elaine's involvement with peace parks began with studies on legal frameworks to create a transboundary peace park in the Choluteca and Madriz border region between Honduras and Nicaragua (www.parqueparalapaz.org). To further this initiative, she co-drafted the IUCN Resolution for the 4th World Conservation Congress in Barcelona on “Establishment of a Transboundary Peace Park between Honduras and Nicaragua,” which became the basis for a draft convention between the two governments on collaborative conservation in that shared mountain forest watershed.
Elaine Hsiao has promoted the concept of Patchwork Peace Parks, or transboundary networks of community conservation areas, in her LL.M. thesis, entitled “Peace Parks for Mountain Forests: The Law and Policy of Transforming Conflict to Stewardship” (http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawdissertations/7/). When a military coup in Honduras paralyzed the peace park process and broke down relations with Nicaragua, she outlined an alternative approach to transboundary conservation based on existing village-level environmental governance structures and cross-border collaboration. Her thesis also includes case studies on the legal frameworks for declaration and management of selected existing transboundary protected areas and some suggested guidelines on developing peace park agreements.
U.S. Fulbright Student
Eric Gilman, Ph.D., is a biodiversity and fisheries research scientist, Associate Faculty with Hawaii Pacific University, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, and Senior Research Scientist with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. Eric’s main disciplines are (i) fisheries science and policy, focusing on mitigating the bycatch of sensitive species groups in marine capture fisheries; (ii) coastal ecosystem responses to climate change and adaptation options; and (iii) designing and applying suites of criteria to identify areas and site networks of high relative value across manifestations of biodiversity.
Of relevance to the TBC Specialist Group, our research team is implementing a project on “Designing Criteria Suites to Identify Sites and Networks of High Value across Manifestations of Biodiversity”. Criteria suites, used to identify sites and networks of high biodiversity value, are a fundamental tool for balancing ecological and socioeconomic objectives of biodiversity conservation in terrestrial and marine spatial planning. In this study, we describe designs of suites of ecological, governance and socioeconomic criteria to comprehensively cover manifestations of biodiversity, from genotypes to biomes; compensate for taxonomic and spatial gaps in available datasets; balance biases resulting from conventionally-employed narrow criteria suites focusing on rare, endemic and threatened species; plan for climate change effects on biodiversity; and optimize the ecological and administrative networking of sites. Representativeness, replication, ecological connectivity, size, and refugia are identified as minimum ecological properties of site networks. Through inclusion of a criterion for phylogenetic distinctiveness, criteria suites can identify sites important for maintaining evolutionary processes. Criteria for focal species are needed to overcome data gaps and address limitations in understanding factors responsible for ecosystem integrity.
Publications available at:
During the 1990s several different entities and individuals in Syria, Israel, USA and Europe have reached independently the same idea that a Peace Park could be an ideal solution, to enable reaching a just and creative agreement about the future of the Golan Heights, as part of an Israeli-Syrian peace agreement that can be acceptable to both sides, and also take into account the conservation of the unique and globally important biodiversity, landscapes and other natural assets of this very special area, for future generations. Several related articles, documents and other information can be found at the Israel-Syria Peace Society website: http://www.is-peace.org/EN/. A proposal for a Peace Park in the Golan-Heights with a Biosphere Reserve approach (Ron, T., 1998), can be seen at: http://www.is-peace.org/wnDispPage.asp?Item=650. Presentations from a recent conference on the concept are available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzxHKn7rKh8 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlVvBINsgAM
The Mayombe/Maiombe Forest transfrontier conservation initiative
The Mayombe Forest, shared between Angola, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Gabon, forms the south-western boundary of the Congo basin’s tropical rainforest, and contains a large variety of flora and fauna, including species of global importance such as the chimpanzees, lowland gorillas, forest elephants and many others. The Mayombe Forest transfrontier conservation initiative was conceptualized in 2000, in Cabinda, Angola, following our initial conservation efforts there, with the Ministry of Environment (then Fisheries and Environment) of Angola, the Provincial Government of Cabinda, the local non-government organization Gremio ABC, the local communities, and with UNDP-NORAD consultancy support
It became clear that due to the great differences in the status of the forest in these countries, the density of population subjected to extreme poverty, and the weak control and enforcement mechanisms, the protection of the still rich biodiversity in Cabinda, as well as of the highly threatened forest in the Congo and DRC components, must be linked to a transboundary joint protection effort. The transfrontier concept for this area was first presented at the Vth IUCN World Parks Congress (Durban, South Africa, 2003) by Tamar Ron. The Cabinda Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding were signed between the Ministers of the Environment of the three countries in Cabinda in July 2009. A UNEP-IUCN-managed project with the Norwegian Government’s support is operational since December 2009.
Tamar Ron, Ph.D.
Biodiversity Conservation Consultant
Robin Reilly manages Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. This is one of Canada’s oldest parks and protects a vast area of inter-connected pristine lakes. The transboundary aspect of this work involves building collaborative relationships with a mosaic of related agencies on both sides of the Canada/USA (Ontario/Minnesota) border. The adjacent areas include national, provincial and state parks, heritage trails and rivers, national forest, historic sites, aboriginal lands, wilderness areas and managed commercial forests. In total, approximately 2 million hectares are managed for conservation and preservation under a diverse mix of policies. At the core of this area, the million hectares of Quetico Provincial Park and Superior National Forest were together established in 1909 making these arguably the oldest transboundary protected area in the world.
All of these interconnected areas of public land collaborate under the shared label of “Heart of the Continent”. This reflects the location in the centre of North America and the continent’s ancient geological foundation and headwater lakes. The most internationally outstanding elements of this area are the innumerable, pristine, headwater lakes that provide a strong identity for the entire region. The Heart of the Continent Partnership has multiple objectives in topics such as promotion, management, research, and community development. Government and non-government agencies share in the membership and management of this organization through regular meetings and public events. Current project topics include regional community development, aquatic system monitoring, invasive species management, forest fire ecology, moose and sturgeon population dynamics. Upcoming projects will range from climate change monitoring to exploring archaeological and historic inter-connections.
More information can be found at the website www.heartofthecontinent.org.
Text by Robin Reilly, Superintendent of Quetico Provincial Park, Canada
International Peace Park Expeditions runs three types of programs in Transboundary Protected Areas around the world: Experiential Peacebuilding Expeditions, Accredited Academic Expeditions and Professional Trainings. Our first set of programs is in the proposed Balkans Peace Park between Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro in the summer of 2010. Our second set of programs is under development in Parque International La Amistad between Costa Rica and Panama. Extend us an invitation to work with you and your International Peace Park.
Our Experiential Peacebuilding Expeditions combine outdoor experiential education and practical skills training in peacebuilding to foster the development of a community of young leaders capable of catalyzing positive peaceful changes in their communities. The primary goals of these programs are to unite youth from conflict-affected communities to develop relationships across borders; to transform negative attitudes and stereotypes; and to create a core group of young leaders with the skills, tools, and motivation to generate and direct changes in their communities.
Our three-week, three-credit, Academic Expeditions combine traditional academic teaching with proven experiential learning methodologies to create a unique, dynamic expedition that provides students with a strong understanding of the theory and practice of international peace parks. Course readings and lectures provide the academic base, and guest lectures from subject-matter experts working in the field create the bridge; both address sustainable forestry management, biodiversity surveys, eco-tourism plans, development and infrastructure planning, environmental conservation, water resource management, peacebuilding initiatives, and cross-border projects. First-hand experience trekking through the Peace Park, crossing the borders of and living among the local people brings the theory to life.
Our Professional Training Program brings together experts, policymakers, and stakeholders from the International Peace Park region to discuss cross-border cooperation around issues such as ecotourism, biodiversity mapping, and sustainable forestry management in order to improve community participation in environmental management in the peace park region. Participants learn together through creating a Google Earth map to house shared environmental data about project sites in the peace park region. These programs stimulate new and more effective collaboration across borders across multiple levels of stakeholders and create a long term dynamic planning resource for the local communities.
More information is available at http://peaceparkexpeditions.org.
International Peace Park Expeditions
The overall number of ecologically focused Transboundary Conservation Areas (TBCAs) peer-reviewed papers is low. This is significant if resources for conservation are to be maximized. This project’s goal is to investigate the ecological advantages and disadvantages of TBCA through comparing TBCA connected habitat usage by carnivores, humans and invasive mammals with similar unconnected habitat.
The US Government has built over 60 miles of non-porous border fencing through the Sonoran Desert Biosphere Reserve (SDBR) ecosystem (an IUCN classified TBCA). This intermittent infrastructure is designed to limit illegal human activity at the border. However it also provides an opportunity to compare native carnivores, invasive and human activity in a single habitat, both in a TBCA and non-TBCA state simultaneously.
This activity was monitored using Reconyx Rapidfire Covert RXCR60 color infrared Trail Cameras.
Pilot – Coronado National Memorial (CNM) 2008/2009:
Cameras were deployed in non-porous, porous and fence-end zones (within 500m of the end of the fence) and were surveyed before and after fence construction.
Bobcat (Lynx rufus), black bear (Ursus americanus), cougar (Puma concolor) and invasive mammals were observed in limited numbers. Gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), selected skunk species (Mustelidae), coatimundi (Nasua nasua) and human activity were widespread.
Higher richness of carnivore species observed in porous zone Low variation in carnivore species observations in porous zone Rise in human observations in fence end zone Drop in coatimundi and gray fox observations in fence end zone Drop in human observations in non-porous zone Drop in gray fox observations in non-porous zone These results tentatively suggest that the open TBCA zones are advantageous to mid-sized carnivores, but they also encourage human activity which can negatively impact observations of these species
In 2010, three treatments at four protected areas within the SDBR will be surveyed Three cameras will be placed in each treatment zone - a total of 36 cameras The next phase will attempt to clarify these tentative conclusions across broader temporal and spatial scales in order gain further insights into TBCA as a whole
PhD Candidate, University of Bristol
Managing Director, Transfrontier International
Fundraising Officer, IUCN WCPA Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group
Zunckel Ecological and Environmental Services offers a diversity of services that are all aimed at facilitating, supporting and contributing to sustainable decision-making at the project, programme and policy levels, as well as at all levels of government. We will work with clients from all walks of life who are willing to embrace the ideals of sustainability. We will also work with those who are not familiar with these ideals and create awareness of how natural resource management projects of all types can be managed to ensure that the natural resource base remains intact, while both social and economic objectives are achieved.
Experience has shown that biodiversity conservation and the consideration of the natural resource base takes second place to social and economic development agendas. It has also shown that those involved in the promotion of biodiversity conservation, be this on or off protected areas, continue to use arguments that are based purely on facts related directly to the biodiversity features that are being argued, e.g. threat status. While the facts behind these arguments are true, the records will show that they seldom achieve what the proponents set out to achieve, i.e. reduction of the threat and protection of the species and/or habitat. What has shown promise in recent years is where biodiversity features are packaged into an argument that shows that they are part of a system/s that deliver ecosystem goods and services that are strategically important for society and the economy. We believe that this thinking can play a vital role in promoting the ideals of sustainability and we can assist natural resource planners and managers to integrate it into most aspects of ecological and environmental decision-making. In so doing we also believe that we can ensure that conservation and environmental management interventions are not only ecological sustainable, but also socially acceptable and financially viable.
While we are based in South Africa we have experience working in other African countries. However, the principals upon which this thinking is based, are globally applicable and we can facilitate processes with local expertise that provide the support discussed above.
Zunckel Ecological and Environmental Services
The first UNESCO Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (TBR) of the European Union, “Pfälzerwald (Germany) – Vosges du Nord (France)”, which was officially recognized in 1998 by UNESCO - Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB), has undergone a periodic review, jointly carried out by the two National MAB Committees of Germany and France, and in close cooperation with UNESCO’s MAB Secretariat.
In fact, this is the first periodic review and progress-evaluation of a Transboundary Biosphere Reserve globally, thus the first time ever that two national MAB Committees, in conjunction with the two managing bodies of the TBR, jointly develop a common methodology and approach of evaluation, based on the “Recommendations for the establishment and functioning of Transboundary Biosphere Reserves”, elaborated at the ‘Seville + 5’ International Meeting of Experts, in Pamplona, Spain, in 2000.
Forming the largest uninterrupted tract of temperate broadleaf forest in Western Europe, “Pfälzerwald – Vosges du Nord” really makes a difference in a world of dramatically declining forests and increasingly overexploited forest products. A total of 75% of the Biosphere Reserve’s 310.000 hectares is covered by Pan-European Forest Certification Council (PEFC) certified forest, an example of sustainable good practice to the world community.
A large transboundary forest reserve constitutes a core area of the Biosphere Reserve. It is the first cross-border reserve of this kind in Europe and the germ-cell of a step-by-step developing transboundary ecological network of corridors and stepping stones systems, improving connectivity and resilience, not only for the benefit of remaining islands of natural forest and old-growth forest (with important patches of standing and lying dead wood), but also for the improvement of habitat structures of endangered species occurring in the forest which is under close-to-nature management. Likewise, adjacent ecosystems will become part of the cross-border network system.
Roland Stein, M.A. (Ethno-Ecologist)
Coordinator of Transboundary Cooperation and International Networking
UNESCO Biosphere Reserve “Pfälzerwald – Vosges du Nord”
The Micronesia Challenge (MC) is a multi-Government initiative with a bold goal, an innovative approach and diverse implementing partners. As one of the regional commitments by the Chief Executives of the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), the U.S. Territory of Guam and the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), the Micronesia Challenge was launched in 2006 with an ambitious goal to “effectively conserve at least 30% of the near-shore marine resources and 20% of the terrestrial resources by 2020” for the MC jurisdictions.
Covering 6.7 million square kilometers of ocean, the Micronesia Challenge represents more than 20% of the Pacific Island region – and 5% of the largest ocean in the world. The Challenge will help protect at least 66 known threatened species, 10% of the global total reef area and 462 coral species – that is 58% of all known corals.
To meet the general MC goal to effectively conserve at least 30% of the near-shore marine and 20% of the forest resources across Micronesia by 2020, several activities are being implemented in the areas of policy development, fund-raising, communication and conservation strategy development, identifying lead agencies and individuals, developing regional ecological and socioeconomic monitoring frameworks, raising awareness and acquiring support from local, national, regional and international level. All of these activities are focused on two underlying values of the MC jurisdictions: a) ensuring that the limited natural resources are conserved, sustainably used and remain productive; and b) ensuring that the communities that are dependent on these resources continue to receive benefits from these resources.
The Micronesia Challenge, Palau
The Migratory Wildlife Network are a focused group of conservation professionals dedicated to supporting conservation NGOs, wildlife scientists and wildlife policy experts who seek to coordinate and progress migratory wildlife conservation.
Members of the Network work loosely together to advance insitu species and habitat conservation for wildlife who cross political boundaries; to increase coordination on these species across the biodiversity cluster of Multilateral Environment Agreements (MEAs), as well as through the United Nations Environment Programme Major Groups Process. The Migratory Wildlife Network pays specific attention to progressing policy and conservation through the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).
Since the CMS’s entry into force, its membership has grown steadily to include more than 116 Parties from Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
Migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I of the Convention. CMS Parties strive towards strictly protecting these animals, conserving or restoring the places where they live, mitigating obstacles to migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them. Besides establishing obligations for each State joining the Convention, CMS promotes concerted action among the Range States of many of these species.
Migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention. For this reason, the Convention encourages the Range States to conclude global or regional Agreements. In this respect, CMS acts as a framework Convention. The Agreements may range from legally binding treaties (called Agreements) to less formal instruments, such as Memoranda of Understanding, and can be adapted to the requirements of particular regions. All work to a similar conservation agenda. The development of models tailored according to the conservation needs throughout the migratory range is a unique capacity of CMS.
CMS is now moving to the fore as a mechanism through which to negotiate ecological networks and wildlife corridors across many jurisdictions. At the 10th Conference of the Parties, held in Bergen, Norway (21st-25th November 2011) Resolution 10.3: The Role of Ecological Networks in the Conservation of Migratory Species was adopted, laying the ground work for CMS to increase its role in the establishment of transboundary and multi-jurisdictional ecological networks of protected areas for migratory wildlife.
Margi Prideaux, Ph.D.
Policy and Negotiations Director
Migratory Wildlife Network
With over 800,000 km2 shared by 81 million people in 19 countries, the Danube river basin is the most international basin worldwide. Evidently, transboundary aspects are quite prominent for natural resources management, such as nature conservation.
When starting his work at WWF Austria in Vienna in autumn 1989, Alexander Zinke had the privilege to set up - a few months after the fall of the Iron Curtain - one of the earliest transboundary conservation initiatives, named “Ecological Bricks for our Common House of Europe”. It documented 24 most valuable border areas from Finnish-Russian woodlands down to the Black Sea coast threatened by fast and dirty economic exploitation. It succeeded to draw wide public and NGO support, such as by CSFR President Vaclav Havel. After 1993, this work was further successfully developed by EuroNature and others via the Green Belt network http://www.europeangreenbelt.org .
One of the key cross-border conservation projects was soon realised along the Lower Morava and Dyje rivers (Czech Republic - Austria – Slovakia): Here, Zinke coordinated NGOs and public institutions (state water and forest companies) in their integrated design and pilot field work to restore floodplain forest and meadows and fish routes (see http://www.zinke.at/wetlands.htm). The results motivated the three governments to set up the first trilateral Ramsar site world-wide, as acknowledged by the Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award in 2002.
In recent years, new cross-border efforts were started to fully(!) restore the former meandering rivers. There are good prospects to soon accomplish this in the frame of implementing the EU Water Framework Directive.
There are various other cross-border conservation successes to report, such as from the Lake Neusiedl – Fertö NPs (Austria – Hungary), the Aggtelek karst NP (Slovakia – Hungary) or the Danube Delta BR (Romania – Ukraine). The Danube basin map gives some hints where cross-border conservation is at stake.
One of the most ambitious initiatives even at global scale is the establishment of the 800,000 ha transboundary BR along the 700 km Danube-Drava-Mura river corridor (Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Serbia). WWF presented a road map, drafted by A. Zinke, that the new governmental Coordination Board adopted on 28 October 2011: It aims at opening in 2013 the world’s first five-country protected area and Europe’s largest protected river region. See http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/black_sea_basin/danube_carpathian/our_solutions/freshwater/floodplains/drava/
Zinke Environment Consulting for Central and Eastern Europe, Vienna
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