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Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Protected Areas

1. Introduction

At its seventh meeting, held in Kuala Lumpur in February 2004, the Conference of the Parties adopted in its decision VII/28 a programme of work on protected areas. In paragraph 25 of that decision, the Conference of the Parties decided to establish an Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Protected Areas to support and review the implementation of the programme of work and report to the Conference of the Parties.

2. Mandate

  1. To explore options for cooperation for the establishment of marine protected areas in marine areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, consistent with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and based on scientific information;
  2. To explore options for mobilizing as a matter of urgency through different mechanisms adequate and timely financial resources for the implementation of the programme of work by developing countries, particularly in the least developed and the small island developing States amongst them, countries with economies in transition, in accordance with Article 20 of the Convention, with special emphasis on those elements of the programme of work requiring early action;
  3. To contribute to the further development of "tool kits" for the identification, designation, management, monitoring and evaluation of national and regional systems of protected areas, including ecological networks, ecological corridors, buffer zones, with special regard to indigenous and local communities and stakeholder involvement and benefit sharing mechanisms;
  4. To consider reports from the Parties, academia, and scientific organizations, civil society and others on progress in the implementation of the programme of work on protected areas, compiled by the Executive Secretary;
  5. To recommend to COP ways and means to improve implementation of the programme of work on protected areas;

3. Achievements

The first meeting of the Working Group was held in Montecatini, Italy, from 13 to 17 June 2005. The main outcomes of this meeting included:
  1. the initiation of work to compile and synthesize existing ecological criteria for future identification of potential sites for protection in marine areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, as well as applicable biogeographical classification systems, and recommendations concerning cooperation and coordination among various forums for establishment of marine protected areas;
  2. agreement on options for mobilizing financial resources for the implementation of the programme of work through a variety of funding mechanisms;
  3. an updated list of tool kits for implementing the programme of work, and
  4. identification of areas where more work is needed1

4. On-going and planned activities

To evaluate progress and elaborate recommendations to the Conference of Parties for improved implementation of the programme of work on protected areas, the COP decided to convene the second meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Protected Areas prior to its ninth meeting. This meeting is scheduled for February 2008. Substantive issues before the meeting are:
  1. review of implementation of the programme of work, and
  2. options for mobilizing financial resources for the implementation of the programme of work, including innovative financing mechanisms


Note:
1. The report of the meeting is contained in document UNEP/CBD/COP/8/8 and is accessible here.

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme