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Tb eNEWS - 11 - October 2017

IN FOCUS: Saxon-Bohemian Switzerland in the heart of Europe

A conservation atlas for transboundary conservation areas

Restoration of the Rio Bravo-Grande

POLICY >> Resolutions >> IUCN World Parks Congress
IUCN World Parks Congress

IVth IUCN World Parks Congress, Caracas, Venezuela, 1992
 Caracas Action Plan
 Action 1.3 Plan Protected Areas as Part of the Surrounding Landscapes [Global]
 Recommendation 4: Legal Regimes for Protected Areas [Global], [Regional]
 Recommendation 8: Protected Areas and the Sustainable Use of Renewable Resources [Global], [Regional]

Vth IUCN World Parks Congress, Durban, South Africa, 2003
 Message of the Vth IUCN World Parks Congress to the Convention on Biological Diversity
 Durban Accord [Global]
 Durban Action Plan
 Rec 5.11 A Global Network to Support Transboundary Initiatives [Global]
 Rec 5.06 Strengthening Mountain Protected Areas as a Key Contribution to Sustainable Mountain Development [Global], [Regional]
 Rec 5.13 Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas [Global]
 Rec 5.15 Peace, Conflict and Protected Areas [Global]
 Rec 5.17 Recognizing and Supporting a Diversity of Governance Types for Protected Areas [Global]
 Rec 5.21 The World Heritage Convention [Global], [Regional]
 Rec 5.22 Building a Global System of Marine and Coastal Protected Area Networks [Global], [Regional], [Site]
 Rec 5.27 Mobile Indigenous Peoples and Conservation [Global]
 Rec 5.30 Africa’s Protected Areas [Regional]
 Rec 5.31 Protected Areas, Freshwater and Integrated River Basin Management Frameworks [Global]


IVth IUCN World Parks Congress, Caracas, Venezuela, 1992

Caracas Action Plan
Action 1.3 Plan Protected Areas as Part of the Surrounding Landscapes [Global]

Recognize the landscape scale – incorporating one or more protected areas and sufficient surrounding lands of maintating the integrity of the region’s ecosystems – as the level at which the benefits of biodiversity and biological resources can be provided to local communities, and ecosystem services can be protected and managed.
Develop buffer zones around protected areas, and corridors joining them.
Develop means appropriate to local communities to ensure that any use of wild resources is sustainable both within and outside protected areas.
Promote the restoration of degraded ecosystems in protected areas and extend restoration activities to adjacent regions.

Recommendation 4: Legal Regimes for Protected Areas [Global], [Regional]

Protected areas require a mutually reinforcing system of international and national environmental law for their establishment maintenance and management. International treaties establish a harmonized set of obligations with regard to areas within national jurisdictions and activities having effect beyond national jurisdictional boundaries. These obligations must be reflected in national legislation; otherwise, the treaties cannot be implemented. In turn, innovative national legislation provides a basis and impetus for further international law. The dynamic interaction between the two levels is thus conducive to further progress.
Both the international and national, as well as the sub-national, systems of environmental law must be strengthened if designated protected areas are to be managed effectively.

International Conventions
Several international conventions in support of protected areas have been adopted and implemented. The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) and the World Heritage Convention are the two major global treaties for protected area establishment and management, but many other conventions, especially regional ones, also provide for establishment and management of protected areas. In October 1991, for example the Antarctic Treaty Parties adopted a Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty which designated the whole of Antarctica as a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science”.
Despite these initiatives, gaps remain in the international system for protected areas. The two global conventions do not cover all habitat types and at regional level large areas of the globe are as yet without nature conservation conventions. Furthermore, certain of the existing conventions have not yet been provided with adequate machinery and resources to develop their full potential.
In view of this situation, there has been the recognition of the need for a new global treaty for the conservation of biological diversity, mostly through in situ conservation measures in protected areas with adequate financial and institutional arrangements, including independent scientific advisory services, as a major means for conserving biodiversity.


The IVth World Congress on National Parks and Protected Areas, therefore, RECOMMENDS that:
     (a)  all states which have not yet done so adhere as soon as possible to conventions important for protected areas, including the Ramsar and World Heritage conventions, regional conventions and protocols;
     (b)  the World Heritage Convention criteria be amended to take account of natural/cultural landscapes/seascapes and living cultures which are an harmonious blend of nature and culture;
     (c)  national legislation be prepared and financial allocations be made to implement these conventions;
     (d)    international agencies and non-governmental organizations give stronger support to developing countries to assist them to implement conventions important for protected areas, including support to promote greater public awareness of the conventions and the public they serve;
     (e)  international convention secretariats develop cooperative mechanisms to help coordinate activities carried out under conventions important for protected areas;
     (f)  states seek mechanisms to develop better transboundary cooperation in the establishment and management of protected areas which extend across national bordrs;
     (g)  the Antarctic Treaty Parties take steps to ratify the Protocol on Environmental Protection at the earliest opportunity, and in the meantime observe its provisions on a voluntary basis; and establish an administrative secretariat to the Antarctic Treaty which is essential to the effective implementation of the Environmental Protocol; and
     (h)  IUCN Members and other relevant non-governmental organizations, including SCAR, contintue to promote the comprehensive environmental protection of Antarctica through participation in appropriate Antarctic Treaty fora and by keeping the public informed of developments in Antarctic conservation.


National Legal Strategies
National legal strategies are an essential component of the conservation of protected areas and the preservation of biological diversity. The last decade has seen dramatic growth in the need for and development of conservation laws. In particular, considerable growth has taken place at the sub-national, regional and local level in the establishment of protected areas. The use of innovative legal strategies for the conservation and management of both public and private land for conservation objectives ahs also increased.

Despite these gains, much progress remains to be made. The legal status of many protected areas remains uncertain and in some countries the quality and implementation of protected areas legislation is poor. Existing laws often do not give sufficient attention to societal customs and norms. Regulations where promulgated, are often not enforced. Many countries do not have sufficient staff or resources to enforce the law.


The IVth World Congress on National Parks and Protected Areas, therefore, RECOMMENDS that:
     (a)   national constitutions make it the duty of states to ensure that conservation of natural resources and the corresponding rights and duties of individuals;
     (b)  states establish, improve and maintain, at all levels of government, national legal instruments which: integrate conservation and development; establish protected areas and provide that, once established, they cannot be abolished except by procedures stricter than those required for their establishment; and provide for innovative techniques such as contractual agreements, easements, economic incentives, non-site specific measures, including the protection of habitat types;
     (c)  states ensure that all legislation is consistent with the requirements of conservation;
     (d)  natural resources policy and law take into account indigenous and customary resource management practices and traditional land tenure systems in the design and implementation of protected area strategies;
     (e)  planning laws be established, and the resources provided, to ensure that the requirements of protected areas management are taken into account in all development planning procedures;
     (f)  legal instruments be developed along the lines of the biosphere reserve concept for the conservation and management of multiple use areas as autonomous planning units where activities that are compatible with the preservation of the natural environment remain authorized under the control of the protected area authority;
     (g)  states develop land use planning instruments for the conservation of natural and semi-natural habitats, as well as cultural and landscape features under a zoning system allowing for the control of any human activity which may be detrimental to these areas adjacent to them;
     (h)  states establish effective environmental impact assessment procedures which provide for special requirements for activities which may impact protected areas and areas adjacent to them;
     (i)  states ensure effective public participation in the planning and management of protected areas, by establishing adequate legal mechanisms which enable individuals, local communities and non-governmental organizations to challenge, if needed, administrative decisions and which require the suspension of activities until completion of the review of such decisions by the judicial or other appropriate authority;
     (j)  states make legal provisions for the fiscal needs of each protected area, and explore innovative financing methods such as tax incentives and special funds;
     (k)  the planning and management of protected areas be facilitated and strengthened by ensuring that legislation define clearly the management objective of a range of categories of protected areas, and by increasing the information of possible legal tools and techniques and improving the legal education and training of legal, management and enforcement professionals;
     (l)  states ensure that protected area polices and laws of relevance to these areas are know to national and international aid agencies planning development projects;
     (m)  every effort be made to increase the flow of information on successful legal strategies for area conservation at the global, regional and subregional levels; and
     (n)  international cooperation be increased so as to provide services to:promote environmental legal education and training; prepare, adopt, improve and implement protected area policies and legislation; establish and maintain adequate institutions to implement and enforce these policies and laws; obtain information on case studies of successful legal tools for conservation.

Recommendation 8: Protected Areas and the Sustainable Use of Renewable Resources [Global], [Regional]

A country’s lands (including its rivers, wetlands and territorial seas) are fundamental assets. The imperative of management to meet human needs limits the proportion that can be maintained as truly natural habitats. However; properly managed projects for the sustainable use of wild species can enhance the conservation of those species’ populations and their ecosystems because of economic and other benefits that such use provides. Use of renewable natural resources may be consumptive (such as hunting, logging or other harvesting) or non-consumptive (such as wildlife viewing). Some categories of protected areas prohibit consumptive uses while others permit or promote sustainable use. For many local people, consumptive uses are essential to their welfare and conflicts arise when their access to such resources is limited by protected area regulations. At the same time local people are forced by circumstances to exploit species at levels that cannot be sustained, leading to further impoverishment (with women and children being the primary victims), which threaten the continued survival of resources that are important at national and international levels.


The IVth World Congress on National Parks and Protected Areas, therefore, RECOMMENDS that:
      (a)   monitor the use made of wild species – both within and outside protected areas – so that they are maintained at levels which can be sustained by the populations concerned, without adversely affecting the species’ ecological role or the ecosystems of which the species are part;
     (b)   review current programmes and practices involving use of wild species and modify them to ensure their sustainability and conformity with IUCN criteria and guidelines;
     (c)   create economic and other incentives for the retention, rehabilitation and management of natural habitats, including within protected areas;
     (d)   cooperate with neighbouring range states in the conservation of shared populations of wild species, such as through international agreements;
     (e)   involve local people closely in the monitoring, use and management of wild species and other natural products;
     (f)    work with local botanic and zoological gardens and other organizations to cultivate or breed species which are subject to the risk of over-exploitation;
     (g)   encourage the use of appropriate germplasm from protected areas in breeding programmes; and
     (h)   ensure that the utilization of wild species and other natural products by women is fully understood and their dependence on the sustainable management of these resources is not adversely affected.




Vth IUCN World Parks Congress, Durban, South Africa, 2003

Message of the Vth IUCN World Parks Congress to the Convention on Biological Diversity

Page 2/5
The Congress further calls on Parties to:
As called for in the WSSD Plan of Implementation, take actions to promote the development of national and regional ecological networks, corridors and transboundary protected areas;

Durban Accord [Global]

We celebrate protected areas as promoters of friendship and peace, as the common ground for nations that share in the proliferation of transboundary parks.


Durban Action Plan

   pg 4/40 too often protected areas are not linked into development planning, land use and other resource management decision-making systems beyond their boundaries, and particularly in transboundary situations requiring harmonisation of approaches across political boundaries;

Regional action [Global], [Regional], [Site].
   pg11/40 Regional action plans to be developed to implement the CBD Programme of Work proposed above to ensure representative coverage and management of protected areas in each continent, including collaborative efforts such as transboundary protected areas and  multinational biological corridor programmes such as the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.
   pg12/40 Form networks to support the development of transboundary conservation initiatives.


Specific IUCN-promoted action on biodiversity conservation [Global]

Action: IUCN support for the establishment of a Global Transboundary Protected Areas Initiative. Lead: Secretariat Protected Areas Programme; WCPA Task Force on Transboundary Protected Areas.

International action
The World Heritage Committee in 2004 to give priority to achieving:
  • Encourage nomination of global physiographic, natural and cultural phenomena as large-scale multi-states serial World Heritage Routes to serve as frameworks for national and transboundary World Heritage sites and protected areas.

Key Target 5: all protected areas linked into wider ecological/environmental systems on land and at sea by 2015 [Global], [Regional]

International action
  • Foster an integrated approach to designing PA systems that accommodates the full range of existing opportunities for in situ conservation of species and habitats across all scales, promotes linkages among terrestrial, coastal and marine areas where possible and recognizes the importance of all stakeholders in meeting this challenge.
  • Intergovernmental action in all continents and oceans to establish protected areas in places of highest biodiversity status, focussing on those species and habitats that are poorly represented and face the greatest threat and in terms of the importance of the ecosystem function which they perform. Intergovernmental accords, treaties, convention and other international transboundary instruments should be used and linked, for example World Heritage, the CBD Jakarta Mandate and appropriate elements of UNCLOS, UN-FSA. Ecosystems likely to require most attention include freshwaters, grasslands, tropical dry forests, regional seas, polar regions and the high seas; species groups requiring particular attention are plants (including lower plants, lichens and fungi) and fish (including sharks).
  • Create new and promote existing transboundary protected areas for communities separated by national borders, including corridors of connectivity for mobile indigenous peoples who have traditionally migrated across borders.
  • A priority is to develop a linked, coordinated and consistent system of management, including protected areas, on the high seas, involving international collaboration amongst RFMOs, linked to parallel and complementary initiatives in coastal waters and EEZ seas.
Regional action

  • Countries where there are no regional conventions and where these would provide a framework for international environmental cooperation should formally consider establishing new protocols. Priority should be transboundary cooperation in regional seas, watersheds, mountain chains and shared river basin.
  • Linkages of protected areas across international and intra-national boundaries to achieve  complementary aims and management actions should be a priority of governments where terrestrial and marine transboundary protected areas occurs.


Specific IUCN-led action on linkages [Global], [Regional]

Action: further compilation of methods of linking protected areas with surrounding landscape and seascape compiled and disseminated. Lead: WCPA/CEM joint Task Force.

Action: transboundary protected areas and Parks for Peace initiatives to be established in all continents and oceans. Lead: WCPA Regions supported by WCPA Transboundary Task Force.

Key Target 8: all existing and future protected areas shall be managed and established in full compliance with the rights of indigenous peoples, mobile peoples and local communities.

Key Target 9: protected areas shall have representatives chosen by indigenous peoples and local communities in their management proportionate to their rights and interests.

Key Target 10: participatory mechanisms for the restitution of indigenous peoples’ traditional lands and territories that were incorporated in protected areas without their free and informed consent established and implemented by 2010.

PROMOTE policies to facilitate cross-border mobility and trade in transboundary protected areas by Mobile Indigenous Peoples who have traditionally lived in and used those areas; and


Key Target 13: effective systems of governance to be implemented by all countries [Global], [Regional] International action

• Promote regional agreements and governance structures to support transboundary protected areas and management of transboundary resources, such as river basins, that support protected areas.


Rec 5.11 A Global Network to Support Transboundary Initiatives [Global]

The exponential growth in transboundary conservation initiatives worldwide has resulted in more than 169 transboundary protected area complexes, which involve 666 protected areas in 113 countries.

Transboundary conservation initiatives have the potential to conserve biodiversity and cultural resources at a landscape level, to foster peaceful cooperation among communities and societies across international boundaries, and to engender regional economic growth and integration.

The involvement and investment of many conservation and development agencies in transboundary conservation initiatives worldwide has been very important. Nevertheless, there remains a need for enhanced co-operation among agencies to support and develop transboundary conservation areas and to refine tools for their sustainable effective management.

A strategic global framework for transboundary conservation is lacking, along with an agreed approach towards monitoring and evaluating progress across biological, social, economic, political, legal, institutional and peace/co-operation objectives.

In order for protected area managers to conduct effective transboundary conservation programmes, there is need to harmonise approaches to management, involve communities in conservation and development programmes, develop and jointly apply best practice at the site level and share lessons learned.

The participants in the Governance and Linkages workshop streams, noting these points, highlighted that, despite considerable efforts over many years to provide guidance and support including the development of the World Commission on Protected Areas Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines Series No. 7 on Transboundary Protected Areas for Peace and Cooperation containing both Transboundary Protected Area Best Practice Guidelines and a Draft Code for transboundary protected areas in times of peace and armed conflict, the absence of an international forum to support and develop transboundary conservation initiatives in a coordinated and collaborative manner impedes progress.

They also noted the need for an international register/designation of transboundary conservation areas, which could formalise the status of these areas and ensure that appropriate standards are applied to their establishment and management.

Therefore, PARTICIPANTS in the Stream on Linkages in the Landscape/Seascape and in the Stream on Governance at the Vth World Parks Congress, in Durban, South Africa (8-17 September 2003):

RECOMMEND governments, non-government organizations, international organizations, development agencies, and specifically IUCN – The World Conservation Union, to:
   1.   SUPPORT the establishment of an international forum that will act as a global network for transboundary conservation initiatives where IUCN members, Parties to the CBD, protected area managers, and other audiences can collaborate, share lessons and continue the development of appropriate approaches and strategies;
   2.   DEVELOP and apply an agreed programme to develop tools and mechanisms for transboundary conservation initiatives, translating generic guidance into effective implementation for enhanced conservation at the site level, and especially to advance best practice for target-driven conservation management, for inclusive local governance and for implementing protocols for peaceful co-operation;
   3.   DEVELOP and apply an agreed programme of monitoring and evaluation for transboundary conservation of all types and across biological, social, economic, political, legal, including customary law, institutional and peace/co-operation indices; and
   4.   DEVELOP, with broad consultation, an international enabling framework and internationally recognised designation/register of transboundary conservation areas, and further recommend recognition of such sites through joint nominations to conventions such as Ramsar, World Heritage and the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) program.


Stream: Linkages in the Landscape/Seascape and Governance
Stream Leads
: Peter Bridgewater/Jim Johnson, Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend

Rec 5.06 Strengthening Mountain Protected Areas as a Key Contribution to Sustainable Mountain Development [Global], [Regional]

Mountains and their protected areas provide “Benefits Beyond Boundaries” for a significant proportion of humanity, in both mountain and lowland areas.  In particular, they are the water towers of the world.

The establishment and effective management of an adequate and representative system or network of Mountain Protected Areas are essential ingredients of sustainable development in mountains as well as a paramount means of conserving biological and cultural diversity.  Mountain areas are often along international frontiers where conflict occurs.       

Chapter 13, the Mountain Chapter, of Agenda 21 from UN Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 1992) calls on all countries with mountains to strengthen national capacity for sustainable mountain development, and to prepare long-term mountain action plans.

2002, the International Year of Mountains, provided a remarkable and diverse array of events at local, national and international levels, which placed mountain ecosystems squarely on the global agenda as a priority concern.

The Bishkek Global Mountain Summit (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; October-November 2002), and the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, South Africa; August-September 2002), reinforced these calls for action.

The close relationship between mountain biodiversity and protected areas will be a focus on the forthcoming Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 2004).

With these points in mind a Pre-World Parks Congress Workshop on Mountain Protected Areas, held in South Africa’s uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site (September 5-8, 2003), involving 60 managers, scientists and policy makers representing 23 countries:

   1.   ENDORSE the establishment of an adequate and representative network of Mountain Protected Areas in all mountain regions as a key part of sustainable mountain development, including appropriate conservation linkages to adjacent landscapes and seascapes and working with local communities and land managers;
   2.   WELCOME the support for Mountain Protected Areas from outdoor recreation interests, as expressed in the Environmental Objectives and Guidelines of the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA), published during the International Year of Mountains;
   3.   URGE IUCN – the World Conservation Union, to:
      (a)   Support the Mountain Initiative Task Force as an Inter-Commission group involving primarily the World Commission on Protected Areas and the Commission on Ecosystem Management, with opportunities for other Commissions to contribute as appropriate;
      (b)   Give particular attention to implementing the WCPA 2004-2008 Mountain Strategy, as endorsed by the Mountain Initiative Task Force;
      (c)   Engage fully in the International Partnership for Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions, as a method of implementing Chapter 13 of Agenda 21;
      (d)   Continue to press for recognition, during this International Year of Freshwater and beyond, of the vital role of Mountain Protected Areas in safeguarding water quality and quantity;
      (e)   Provide leadership to highlight the vital relationship between biodiversity, mountains and protected areas as the CBD considers these topics at its 2004 meetings;
      (f)    Give a prominent role to mountains and their protected areas at the 2004 World Conservation Congress; and
      (g)   Provide a forum to discuss and advance transboundary protected areas in contributing to the conservation of regional biodiversity, recognizing the special circumstances of transboundary mountain communities, and resolving regional conflicts through mechanisms such as Peace Parks.


Theme: Mountains
Theme Lead
: Larry Hamilton

Rec 5.13 Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas [Global]

The establishment of protected areas is the result of conscious choices of human societies to conserve nature, biodiversity and areas of special cultural value and significance.

Individuals and communities often use protected areas for spiritual reasons, because they inspire and heal them and/or provide them with a place for peace, education and communion with the natural world.

Many transboundary protected areas have already been promoted and managed as areas for peace and cooperation, thus adding a tangible and valuable dimension of peace-building among peoples, nations and communities.

Protected areas serve as fundamental tools for conservation of nature, and thus are an expression of the highest desires and commitments of humankind for the preservation of life on the planet, and that as such, those areas constitute places of deep reverence and ethical realization.

Many societies, especially indigenous and traditional peoples, recognise sacred places and engage in traditional practices for the protection of geographical areas, nature, ecosystems, or species, as an expression of societal or cultural choice and of their worldview of the sacredness of nature and its inextricable links with culture. They also recognise sacred places as a unique source of knowledge and understanding of their own culture thus providing what could be considered the equivalent of a university.

Sacred places are revered and cared for by indigenous and traditional peoples and are a fundamental part of their territories, bringing significant benefits to local, national, and global communities. In some cases, they are seeking to have them recognised as part of existing protected areas systems.

With these points in mind participants in the Session entitled “Building Cultural Support for Protected Areas” held in the Building Broader Support Workshop Stream, recommended that all protected area systems, recognise and incorporate spiritual values of protected areas and culture-based approaches to conservation.

Therefore, PARTICIPANTS in the Stream on Building Broader Support for Protected Areas at the Vth World Parks Congress, in Durban, South Africa (8-17 September 2003):      

   1.   ACKNOWLEDGE indigenous peoples’ internationally guaranteed rights to, among others, own and control their sacred places, their archaeological and cultural heritage, ceremonial objects and human remains contained in museums or collections within or adjacent to protected areas. These include the following rights to:
      (a)   define and name their sacred places and objects, ancestral remains and archaeological, cultural and intellectual heritage and to have such designations respected as authoritative;
      (b)   Where relevant, maintain secrecy about and enjoy privacy in relation to their heritage, objects, remains and places as described above;
      (c)   RESTITUTION of sacred places, heritage, objects and remains taken without their free and informed consent;
      (d)   Freely exercise their ceremonies, religious and spiritual practices in the manner to which they are accustomed;
      (e)   gather, collect or harvest flora, fauna and other natural resources used in ceremonies and practices that take place at sacred places or archaeological and cultural heritage places; and
      (f)    maintain their responsibilities to their ancestors and future generations;
   2.   THEREFORE RECOMMEND that international institutions, governments, protected area authorities, NGOs, churches, user and interest groups fully recognise and respect the above-mentioned rights in relation to conservation activities;
   3.   RECOMMEND governments to:
      (a)   PROMOTE and ADOPT laws and policies that foster multi-cultural values and approaches to protected area systems;
      (b)   PROMOTE and ADOPT laws and policies that acknowledge the importance of sacred places, particularly those of indigenous and traditional peoples, as valuable for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management;
      (c)   ADOPT and ENFORCE laws and policies with the full and effective participation and consent of peoples and communities concerned, which protect the integrity of sacred places;
      (d)   ADOPT and ENFORCE laws and policies that guarantee the restitution of sacred places as well as effective control and decision-making processes by local communities and indigenous peoples;
      (e)   PROMOTE and ADOPT laws and policies, which recognise the effectiveness of innovative governance models such as Community Conserved Areas of indigenous peoples and local communities to ensure control and adequate protection over sacred areas;
      (f)    PROMOTE and IMPLEMENT effective action to support community protection efforts in areas of cultural and spiritual importance including sacred places; and
      (g)   ADOPT and ENFORCE policies and legal measures, which respect customary use and management of sacred places and ensure access for traditional practitioners in protected areas;
   4.   FURTHER RECOMMEND governments, NGOs, local communities and civil society to:
      (a)   ENSURE that protected area systems, protected area designation, objective setting, management planning, zoning and training of managers, especially at the local level, give balanced attention to the full spectrum of material, cultural and spiritual values;
      (b)   ASSIST indigenous and traditional peoples in obtaining legal and technical support related to protection of their sacred places when requested and in a manner that respects their rights and interests; and
      (c)   DEVELOP and IMPLEMENT public education and media campaigns to raise awareness and respect for cultural and spiritual values and, in particular, sacred places;
   5.   REQUEST protected area managers to:
      (a)   IDENTIFY and RECOGNISE sacred places within their protected areas, with the participation and informed consent of those who revere such places, and to actively involve them in decisions regarding management and protection of their sacred places;
      (b)   PROMOTE inter-cultural dialogue and conflict resolution with indigenous peoples, local communities and other actors interested in conservation;
      (c)   SUPPORT the efforts of such communities to maintain their cultural and spiritual values and practices related to protected areas; and
      (d)   PROMOTE the use of indigenous languages in these matters;
   6.   RECOGNISING the importance of cultural and spiritual values in all protected area categories, REQUEST the IUCN to review the 1994 Protected Area Category Guidelines with the aim of including these values as additional potential management objectives in categories where they are currently excluded; and
   7.   REQUEST the World Commission on Protected Areas of IUCN and its members to plan and implement actions within the protected areas component of the IUCN Programme for supporting the application of the actions recommended above.  


Stream: Building Broader Support for Protected Areas
Stream Lead
: Jeff McNeely

Rec 5.15 Peace, Conflict and Protected Areas [Global],

A just peace is a fundamental precondition for the conservation of biodiversity and other natural and associated cultural resources, and one to which all sectors of society should contribute. Protected areas benefit from peaceful conditions both within and between countries, and can contribute to peace when they are effectively managed. Protected areas can also contribute to fostering peaceful cooperation across borders, which led to the preparation of Transboundary Protected Areas for Peace and Co-operation in the WCPA Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines Series.

Many protected areas are however located in politically and socio-economically sensitive regions where the risk of conflict has been historically high, or within countries facing significant insecurity. Protected Areas can be both a focus and source of finance for conflict, and suffer from it. The outbreak of armed conflict can halt and reverse conservation and management efforts and destroy natural resources, lives and livelihoods. Poverty is linked to the cycle of conflict and poor governance.

It is therefore urgent that relevant actors understand, evaluate and address the challenges of establishing and managing protected areas in conflict-prone situations, drawing on international mechanisms such as the World Heritage in Danger listing to apply political pressure and mobilize financial support.


Therefore, PARTICIPANTS in the Stream on Building Broader Support for Protected Areas at the Vth World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa (8-17 September 2003):

   1.   RECOMMEND that governments, non-government organizations, local communities and civil society:
     (a)   RECOGNISE that the establishment and management of a protected area can influence and be influenced by peace and conflict dynamics;
     (b)   DEVELOP the capacity for international rapid response to provide training, mediation and support for field based protected area staff in times of crisis including armed conflict;
     (c)   ENSURE any humanitarian relief efforts minimise negative effects on protected areas;
     (d)   REVIEW, DEVELOP and ADAPT design and management tools, such as Social Impact Assessment, Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment (PCIA), ecological, and law enforcement monitoring (LEM), to systematically monitor and evaluate the impacts of peace and conflict dynamics on protected areas, and the impacts of protected areas on those dynamics, using the results to inform practice;
     (e)   INVESTIGATE and IMPLEMENT international and national instruments to strengthen protection of World Heritage Sites and other protected areas in times of armed conflict and post-conflict reconstruction (Draft Convention on the Prohibition of Hostile Military Activities in Protected Areas), and enhance accountability by all parties for their impacts on, protected areas, and people, including field based staff;
     (f)    ENSURE that post-conflict social and economic development takes into account the importance of protected area integrity and conservation;
     (g)   ENSURE that any parties supporting protected areas in the field in conflict situations are recognised as neutral in that capacity;
     (h)   ENABLE a management presence to be maintained in protected areas in times of armed conflict through contingency planning and other means;
     (i)     ENSURE that protected area field staff are adequately trained, equipped and continually supported to maintain conservation effectiveness, morale and safety;
     (j)     CALL on donors and other supporters to remain and provide continued funding and assistance to protected areas in situations of conflict;
     (k)    PROMOTE continued involvement of local communities in conservation through their engagement in protected area management, capacity building, education, incentives and benefit sharing, and provision of alternatives to exploitation of protected areas in times of crisis;
     (l)     SUPPORT prompt coordinated action to rehabilitate affected protected areas after conflict has ended;
     (m)  INCORPORATE protected area conservation in military and peacekeeping training programmes and operations;
     (n)   URGE countries in situations of real or potential conflict with other countries to explore protected area cooperation as a basis for peace building;
     (o)   ESTABLISH a fund to assist families of protected area staff killed or injured in the line of duty;
     (p)   ADDRESS root causes of violent conflict by promoting respect for human rights, improved governance, the elimination of corruption, poverty alleviation (see WPC recommendation 5.29) and certification of sustainably produced commodities (e.g. Forest Stewardship Council); and
      (q)   INCORPORATE these recommendations into existing IUCN and World Heritage guidelines and best practice, including the Draft Code for Transboundary Protected Areas in Times of Peace and Armed Conflict;
   2.   RECOMMEND, with a view to mobilising action by key parties, that IUCN’s Commission on Environmental Law, Commission on Environmental Economics and Social Policy, World Commission on Protected Areas and other appropriate parties establish a Task Force to:
      (a)   IDENTIFY and REPORT on the forms of international instruments available to enable the capacity for international response (as per clause 5) to provide a neutral status to protected area personnel and to enhance accountability for impacts on protected areas and people including field based staff in situations of armed conflict;
      (b)   COMPILE guidelines and good practice examples of protected area management in times of armed conflict and in post-conflict reconstruction; and
      (c)   MONITOR and REPORT on implementation of this recommendation at regular intervals.

Stream: Building Broader Support for Protected Areas
Stream Lead
: Jeff McNeely

Rec 5.17 Recognizing and Supporting a Diversity of Governance Types for Protected Areas [Global],

Conservation and sustainable management of areas for biodiversity, ecosystem services and cultural values are dependent on the actions of society as a whole.

Many protected areas are declared and managed by governments. However there is a diversity of additional governance types delivering conservation and addressing other objectives throughout the world, including:
   1.   Decentralized governance by state/provincial or local/municipal government units;
   2.   Co–managed arrangements with local communities and other stakeholders;
   3.   Indigenous or traditional territories governed or managed for livelihood, cultural and conservation purposes by indigenous or traditional communities;
   4.   Protected areas managed by private sector entities under long term contract or outright private ownership; and
   5.   Transboundary conservation areas.

"Governance types" in this recommendation refers to who holds management authority and responsibility and is expected to be held accountable. This authority may be derived from legal, customary or otherwise legitimate rights.

The world is experiencing rapid and profound social, technological, cultural, demographic and environmental changes and governance arrangements that were appropriate in the last century may no longer be appropriate or sustainable in the face of the trends and challenges that countries and civil society will have to contend with in this century. There is also a worldwide trend towards decentralising authority and responsibility for the management of protected areas, including increasing efforts to develop partnerships among different sectors of society and to provide for greater engagement of civil society in decision making related to protected areas.

The Ecosystem Approach endorsed as a basic framework by the Convention on Biological Diversity (Decision V/6) supports a diversity of governance types since it recognises the centrality of social, cultural, economic and institutional factors in promoting conservation, and calls for decentralising management to the lowest appropriate level and stakeholder involvement in conservation.

Recognition of different types of governance is important to help fulfil the requirements of national protected area systems as called for under Article 8a of the Convention on Biological Diversity and in particular to ensure the bio-physical connectivity essential to conserve biological diversity. Thus, protected area systems combining different governance types are likely to be more resilient, responsive and adaptive under various threats to conservation, and thus more sustainable and effective in the long run.


Therefore, PARTICIPANTS in the Stream on Governance: New ways of working together at the Vth World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa (8-17 September 2003):

1.     RECOMMEND governments and civil society
      (a)   Recognise the legitimacy and importance of a range of governance types for protected areas as a means to strengthen the management and expand the coverage of the world’s protected areas, to address gaps in national protected area systems, to promote connectivity at landscape and seascape level, to enhance public support for such areas, and to strengthen the relationship between people and the land, freshwater and the sea; and
       (b)   Promote relationships of mutual respect, communication, and support between and amongst people managing and supporting protected areas under all different governance types;
    2.   REQUEST the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) to refine its Protected Area Categorization System to include a governance dimension that recognises the legitimacy and diversity of approaches to protected area establishment and management and makes explicit that a variety of governance types can be used to achieve conservation objectives and other goals;
   3.   RECOMMEND that this "governance dimension" recognise at least four broad governance types applicable to all IUCN protected area categories:
      (a)   Government managed;
      (b)   Co-managed (i.e. multi-stakeholder management);
      (c)   Privately managed; and
      (d)   Community managed (community conserved areas);
   4.   URGE the Chairs of IUCN’s Commissions to establish an inter-Commission working group on protected area governance with membership especially from the WCPA, the Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP) and the Commission on Environmental Law (CEL), to advance a comprehensive programme of work, including:
      (a)   Research that supports, improves and evaluates the management effectiveness and the good governance attributes of all protected area governance types (especially including participatory research approaches);
      (b)   Analysis of the type and extent of support required in terms of legislation, policies and practices to improve protected area governance;
      (c)   Compilation, analysis and sharing of relevant experiences and best practices; and
      (d)   Capacity building initiatives;
   5.   ENCOURAGE the UNEP/World Conservation Monitoring Centre to expand its data collection and dissemination programme to recognise all governance types, particularly areas of conservation value established and managed outside government protected area networks, such as community conserved areas and private protected areas;
   6.   CALL on the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to:
      (a)   RECOGNISE the legitimacy of all these governance types;
      (b)   ADOPT legal and policy measures to reinforce the management effectiveness and good governance attributes of these governance types; and
      (c)   UNDERTAKE initiatives to strengthen relevant institutional and human capacities, particularly mutual learning among protected area institutions and sites engaged in similar efforts.


Stream: Governance: New ways of Working Together
Stream Lead
: Jim Johnston and Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend (

Rec 5.21 The World Heritage Convention [Global], [Regional]

The UNESCO World Heritage Convention is an important instrument of international co-operation to protect and transmit to future generations the world’s outstanding natural and/or cultural heritage. The global coverage of World Heritage extends across 129 countries with a total of 754 sites on the World Heritage List (582 cultural, 149 natural and 23 mixed sites).
World Heritage sites deserve the highest possible standards of protection and conservation and provide leadership in protected area management.
In addition to a number of prominent conservation success stories, there have been several important advances in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention over the past 30 years including:
   1.   The development of thematic studies on key biomes as part of a World Heritage Global Strategy to fill gaps in the World Heritage List;
   2.   Recognition of outstanding linkages between people and the environment with the inclusion of cultural landscapes and mixed sites on the World Heritage List;
   3.   Greater understanding that many World Heritage sites have traditional, sacred and spiritual values;
   4.   Greater use of innovative approaches to World Heritage conservation including serial and transboundary sites;
   5.   The development of a Global Training Strategy for World Heritage; and
   6.   Added momentum for the Convention’s role in conserving biodiversity particularly through existing and new partnerships and the significant financial support of the United Nations Foundation (UNF).

However, the current World Heritage List continues to have significant gaps in its coverage of the world's key terrestrial, freshwater and marine biomes of outstanding universal value. There are also a number of World Heritage sites that are “In Danger”, and many others face serious threats and management challenges. War and lack of security are particularly intractable causes in some regions.

Therefore, PARTICIPANTS in the World Heritage cross-cutting theme at the Vth IUCN World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa (8-17 September 2003):
    1.   DECLARE their wholehearted support for the World Heritage Convention as a highly effective international instrument, which provides invaluable international reinforcement for local, national and regional efforts to protect the world’s outstanding natural and cultural heritage;
   2.   ENCOURAGE countries that have not yet joined the World Heritage Convention to do so at the earliest opportunity;
   3.   NOTE with appreciation the action of the International Council on Mining and Metals and Shell in declaring that they will treat World Heritage sites as ‘no-go’ areas for their exploration and extractive activities and calls on all other members of the mining, oil and gas industries to make the same commitment;
   4.   CALL on the international community to give special protection to World Heritage sites in regions affected by war and civil unrest;
   5.   URGE the international community, including the private sector, to recognise and respect World Heritage sites for their international legal status and for their global significance to this and future generations, ensuring in particular that they do not promote or support activities that threaten them;
    6.   CALL on the World Heritage Committee, the States Parties, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, IUCN (and the other Advisory Bodies, International Council on Monuments and Sites and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and
Restoration of Cultural Property, as appropriate) to:
      (a)   COMPLETE the assessment of potential World Heritage natural sites around the world giving priority to the identification and nomination of outstanding natural and cultural heritage in key terrestrial, freshwater and marine biomes;
      (b)   Further support work to identify outstanding places that may merit consideration for World Heritage nomination;
      (c)   ENCOURAGE the preparation of regionally harmonized lists of potential World Heritage sites;
      (d)   Ensure that all sites of outstanding universal value are nominated for inclusion in the World Heritage List and ensure that all stakeholders with relevant expertise are able to participate in the process;
      (e)   Promote the identification, nomination and protection of World Heritage serial and transboundary sites and large biological corridors, Biosphere Reserves or other bio-regional scale initiatives to include World Heritage areas;
      (f)    REINFORCE the goals of the World Heritage Convention, the governance, effective management and conservation of World Heritage sites by:
        i.      Involving local expertise in all World Heritage activities;
        ii.     Establishing appropriate public, private and community partnerships for the benefit of the local communities living in and around World Heritage sites;
        iii.    Enhancing the standards of protection and monitoring;
        iv.    Strengthening national and international commitment for their conservation and monitoring;
        v.     Mobilizing additional financial and technical resources for priority measures; and
        vi.    Building capacity at national and local levels;
      (g)   Work with governments, civil society, and the private sector to demonstrate how World Heritage status can contribute to effective partnerships between global, national and local stakeholders to ensure environmental, economic and social benefits within and beyond the boundaries of World Heritage sites; and
      (h)   RECOGNIZE and Promote the special status of World Heritage sites at the national and international level to lever additional resources for conservation for these sites and the broader system of protected areas;
   7.   URGE the global donor community to follow the leadership given by the UN Foundation and consider giving greater special support to World Heritage sites in recognition of their outstanding universal value to present and future generations; and
   8.   CALL on UNESCO, secretariats of other multilateral environmental agreements and IUCN, to seek further international, regional and national synergies and integration between the work of the World Heritage Convention and other regional and international conventions dealing with terrestrial and marine biodiversity and protected areas, in particular the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Possibilities for joint work programmes to benefit World Heritage conservation should be explored.


Theme: World Heritage
: N. Ishwaran

Rec 5.22 Building a Global System of Marine and Coastal Protected Area Networks [Global], [Regional], [Site].

The 17th IUCN General Assembly (San Jose, Costa Rica; 1988) adopted Recommendation 17.38 (Protection of the coastal and marine environment), which called on international bodies and all nations to establish a global representative system of marine protected areas (MPAs) to provide for the protection, restoration, wise use, understanding and enjoyment of the marine heritage of the world in perpetuity. Also, delegates attending the IVth World Parks Congress (Caracas, 1992) adopted Recommendation 11 (Marine Protected Areas), which called for the establishment of a global network of marine protected areas.

And, more recently, the 8th meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the convention on biological diversity noted in March 2003 that “… the data available indicate that regionally and globally, marine and coastal protected area networks are severely deficient, and probably protect a very small proportion of marine and coastal environments." The SBSSTA also recommended that the goal for marine and coastal protected areas work under the Convention should be the “establishment and maintenance of marine and coastal protected areas that are effectively managed, ecologically based, and contribute to a permanent representative global network of marine and coastal protected areas, building upon national networks”.

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands has made a significant contribution to the establishment of marine and coastal protected areas. The Convention also has site criteria in relation to the fish habitat