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


Rec 5.11 A Global Network to Support the Development of Transboundary Conservation Initiatives

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

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.
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