Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Networking on Networked Governance

Dr. Terence Hay-Edie, UNEP-GEF-Small Grants Programme and WCPA Governance Specialist Group
Dr. Ray Sauvajot, Associate Director for Natural Resource Stewardship and Science, US National Park Service

Dr. Gary Tabor, Executive Director, Center for Large Landscape Conservation
I organized a session on networked governance in conservation at the Protected Planet Pavilion that was well-attended.
Climate change, habitat fragmentation and globalization require that conservation work at ever-larger scales. As we “scale up” to system-level planning and connectivity conservation, we must complement a focus on site-level management to accommodate and even embrace a multiplicity of ownerships and interests across landscapes of diverse and competing land uses. Our current treatment attempts to understand governance of protected areas of such landscapes by delineating four basic types (government, shared, private and indigenous/conserved). But in practice this typology can appear to introduce division whereas large-scale conservation requires integration.
We concluded that networked governance merits further study by the World Commission on Protected Areas, not that a global institution would have a direct role in networks that best evolve internally and organically, but so that multi-laterals not act in ways counter to effective networks.

Friday, September 2, 2016

NAWPA Launch

US National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis

Alejandro del Mazo Maza, CONANP National Commissioner, Mexico

Launch of the NAWPA Committee Report, Conservation in North America: An Analysis of Land-based Conservation in Canada, Mexico and the United States. NAWPA = North American Intergovernmental Committee on Cooperation for Wilderness and Protected Area Conservation

Thursday, September 1, 2016


129 nations — 9,000+ participants

The World Conservation Congress opened this morning in Honolulu, Hawai’i. The recent announcement of the expansion of Papahānaumokuākea into the largest protected area in the world lent the event a celebratory mood. The host country greeted participants to epic traditional hula dances describing the history and nature of the Hawaiian islands. Unfortunately, President Obama was not in attendance. He’d spoken to  a smaller group the night before at the East-West Center but had to move on to Midway Island. We had his greeting read out by the IUCN President,  Zhang Xinsheng. Later, Erik Solheim, Director of the United Nations Environment Program, quipped that the proclamation “reminds me how much we will miss this President when he leaves office.”

Hawaiian words were often employed during the event to express ideas, sometimes in fuller terms than can be used in English. Other than aloha and mahalo, the most common word was kuleana. Translated to mean responsibility, a quick scan of online sources suggests that kuleana is something much deeper, extending to the value of responsibility. It seems kuleana is not just about accepting responsibility, but seeing it as a privilege. The word resonates for me with our notions of stewardship.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was introduced as the “Steward-in-Chief…of approximately 20% of the United States.” She responded that, “every day I think of my work as being in the forever business.” She recognized the Centennial of the National Park Service, and later pointed to “evidence that we are beginning to plan and think and work at a broader landscape scale…the path to our sustainable future means pulling up to a larger landscape level.”

The President of the Republic of Palau, Tommy Remengesau, set the bar high for future conservation targets. He described how his country has set aside 80% of its Exclusive Economic Zone as no-take marine reserves. Returning to the theme of Papahānaumokuākea he said, “Good start, President Obama. When you protect 80% of your EEZ, then the United States will be ready to join the big leagues!”

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Program of Work

Next week IUCN members will approve a program of work for the next four years, a broad vision modified slightly from the current plan, and cross-referenced with the United Nations Development Goals. The Steering Committee of the World Commission on Protected Areas spent a long morning Wednesday walking through a more detailed program of work on PAs through 2020. (This is also the end date of the current targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity, critical to the protected areas agenda.) The Commission program marries strategic ambitions to practical realities of human and financial resources. The basic framework was set at the World Parks Congress two years ago, but some new issues came up today:
  • Replicating work on Key Biodiversity Areas to identify areas needing protection for the ecosystem services they provide;
  • Growing concern about and activism against those protected areas that do not respect the rights of indigenous peoples, and the need for WCPA to address the issues directly and equitably;
  • Need to look beyond 2020 and setting of new targets for global conservation.
The protected areas program of work will be finalized a few weeks after the World Conservation Congress.

The World Commission on Protected Areas has over 2,700 expert members worldwide. It works though 24 specialist groups and task forces supported by a small staff at the IUCN Global Protected Areas Programme.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


The stage is being set for the planet's biggest nature conservation conference, the World Conservation Congress. #IUCNCongress.