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.

Conservation is Grand

It seems appropriate that my path to the World Conservation Congress in this Centennial of the National Park Service should take me over one of the icons: the Grand Canyon.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Pres. Obama to Open World Conservation Congress, Create World's Largest MPA

It is a time of superlatives. Barring a global crisis, American President Barack Obama will address the largest global nature conservation meeting, the World Conservation Congress, next Thursday in Hawaii. He has also announced a dramatic expansion of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, making it the largest marine protected area in the world.

photo: Milletseed Butterflyfishes by Greg McFall

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Private Philanthropy Creates a Public Protected Area (Again)

President Barack Obama today designated the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in central Maine, creating America's 413th national park. The 35,400 hectare area is nearly twice the size of Acadia, the other big national park in Maine. The new national monument protects forests tracks adjacent to Maine's largest protected area, Baxter State Park, while allowing tradtional uses of fishing, hunting, hiking, snowmobiling and mountain biking in some sections. The land, plus an endowment to manage it, was donated by philanthropist and entrepreneur Roxanne Quimby. Katahdin joins a significant group of national parks created largely or entirely by donation, including Acadia, Grand Teton, Virgin Islands, and the first, Muir Woods in California.

Video announcing Katahdin Woods and Waters National Park