Ramsar-related Recommendations of the World Parks Congress, Durban, September 2003


Rec 5.09 Integrated Landscape Management to Support Protected Areas

While protected areas focus on biodiversity conservation, to be effective they must be managed in the context of the broader land/seascape.

Conventions dealing with biodiversity have variously addressed this need, most notably through endorsement of the principles of the Ecosystem Approach (Decision V/6; Nairobi, 2000) by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the adoption of Wise Use Guidance by the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

Several other Multilateral Environmental Agreements, notably the Convention on Migratory Species, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, along with several regional agreements, recognize the importance of integrated approaches to land/seascape management in pursuit of their conservation objectives, including also the cultural landscapes inscribed on the World Heritage List and the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

At the same time, protected area design and management must reflect the structure and condition of surrounding landscapes/seascapes, and in particular must be flexible enough to adapt to increasing unpredictability in rates and directions of global changes.

Therefore, PARTICIPANTS in the Stream on Integrated Landscape Management to Support Protected Areas at the Vth World Parks Congress, in Durban, South Africa (5-17 September 2003):

1. RECOMMEND governments, non-government organizations, local communities and civil society to:

a. ADOPT and promote protected area design principles that reflect those inherent in the world network of biosphere reserves where core protected areas are part of landscapes designed to enhance the overall conservation value;

b. ADOPT design principles for protected areas which emphasize linkages to surrounding ecosystems and ensure that the surrounding landscapes are managed for biodiversity conservation;

c. RECOGNIZE the need to restore ecological processes in degraded areas both within protected areas and in their surrounding landscapes to ensure the ecological integrity of protected areas;

d. RECOGNIZE that the presence and needs of human populations consistent with biodiversity conservation within and in the vicinity of protected areas should be reflected in the overall design and management of protected areas and the surrounding landscapes;

e. RECOGNIZE the importance of participatory processes that link a diverse array of stakeholders in stewardship of the landscape linkages;

f. ENSURE that principles of adaptive management are applied to protected areas; and

g. ADOPT and promote a policy framework and incentives that encourage active involvement of local communities in biodiversity stewardship; and

2. CALL on UNESCO, IUCN and Secretariats of relevant multilateral environmental agreements, to work with Governments, civil society, the private sector, indigenous and local communities and NGOs to:

a. DEMONSTRATE how international law can contribute towards building site-specific, mutually beneficial relationships between biodiversity conservation, protected area management and sustainable development;

b. USE linking protected areas with the surrounding landscape as an opportunity to regenerate cultural landscapes including those shaped by traditional and mobile people, and to revitalize rural communities; and

c. ADOPT and promote the experience and lessons learned in integrated earthscape management of the UNESCO MAB World Network of Biosphere Reserves, the Ramsar Convention and other relevant international agreements in particular to move towards ‘benefits beyond boundaries’.

Stream: Linkages in the Landscape/Seascape

Stream Lead: Peter Bridgewater

Recommendation Title
Rec 5.09 Integrated Landscape Management to Support Protected Areas
Rec 5.10 Policy Linkages between Relevant International Conventions and Programmes in Integrating Protected Areas in the Wider Landscape/Seascape
Rec 5.11 A Global Network to Support the Development of Transboundary Conservation Initiatives
Rec 5.20 Preventing and Mitigating Human-Wildlife Conflicts
Rec 5.28 Protected areas: mining and energy
Rec 5.31 Protected areas, freshwater and integrated river basin management frameworks
The full report and other outputs of the WPC stream on "Linkages in the Landscape and Seascape" are available on the Web site of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM), http://www.iucn.org/themes/cem/linkages.htm.
Back to top
Follow us 
Ramsar Awards 

The Convention today

Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

Ramsar Secretariat

Rue Mauverney 28
CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 22 999 0170
Fax: +41 22 999 0169
E-Mail: ramsar@ramsar.org
Map: click here

Ramsar Forum: subscribe