Preparatory Process Leading up to the Adoption of the Programme of Work on Protected Areas in 2004
To facilitate the implementation of Article 8 and related provisions of the Convention, the fourth meeting of the COP, held in 1998, decided to consider protected areas as one of the three main themes for its seventh meeting (decision IV/16). In preparing for the theme on protected areas, the COP, in decision VI/30(2002), encouraged the active collaboration with the Vth World Parks Congress and established an Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Protected Areas to review methods and approaches for the planning and management of protected areas, including options for appropriate policies, strategies, and practices consistent with the objectives of the Convention. The preparatory process on protected areas leading up to the adoption of the programme of work by seventh meeting of the Conference of Parties is described in Box below.
Preparatory process on protected areas leading up to the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties
“Protected areas” was one of the priority themes of the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties. The preparation process leading up to the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties consisted of a number of steps with the meetings of the ad hoc technical expert groups on marine and coastal protected areas and on protected areas, and the Fifth IUCN World Parks Congress being the major sources of input. Specifically, the following are the main steps in the preparatory process leading up to the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties:
- The Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Marine and Coastal Protected Areas, mandated by decision IV/5 in 1998, concluded its work in 2002. The results of this work were considered at the eighth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) in March 2003 and served as the basis for SBSTTA recommendation VIII/3 B on marine and coastal protected areas. These results provided an interesting and illustrative indication of what is feasible in the wider context of protected areas in general.
- The World Summit on Sustainable Development (September 2002) called, in paragraph 44 (g) of the Plan of Implementation, for supporting initiatives for hotspot areas and other areas essential for biodiversity and promoting the development of national and regional ecological networks and corridors.
- The Open-ended Inter-Sessional Meeting on the Multi-Year Programme of Work of the Conference of the Parties up to 2010, held from 17 to 20 March 2003 in Montreal, requested that the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on Protected Areas, the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice at its ninth meeting, and the Conference of the Parties at its seventh meeting consider the outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development relating to hotspots, ecological networks and corridors and other areas essential for biodiversity in the context of the work on protected areas, taking into account other relevant thematic programmes and cross-cutting issues, in the context of national strategies and action plans, and focusing on biodiversity loss.
- In pursuance of paragraph 4 of decision VI/25, Governments submitted thematic reports on protected areas in May 2003. These thematic reports provide information about national-level protected areas in the context of the implementation of the Convention.
- A strategic roundtable on protected areas, ecological networks and corridors, held in June 2003 in the Hague, provided input to the Expert Group, and to the ninth meeting of SBSTTA, held in November 2003, on the topic of ecological networks and corridors.
- The Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Protected Areas met from 10 to 14 June 2003 in Tjärno, Sweden. The objectives of the meeting included review methods and approaches for planning and management of protected areas; identification of ecosystem and bioregional approaches; identification of mechanisms for stakeholder involvement and options for management of transboundary protected areas. The Group reviewed a number of issues relating, inter alia, to the planning, establishment, and management of protected areas; status and trends of, and threats to, protected areas; stakeholders involvement; and ecological networks. The Group also identified elements of a programme of work on protected areas for the Convention on Biological Diversity.
- The IUCN Fifth World Parks Congress (WPC) was held in Durban, South Africa, from 8 to 17 September 2003. The main outputs of the Congress are the Durban Accord, Durban Action Plan, the message to the Convention on Biological Diversity and a set of 32 recommendations approved by different workshops organized during the Congress. The Durban Accord calls for a fresh and innovative approach to protected areas and their role in the broader conservation and development agenda, and for specific action inter alia on: expansion and strengthening of worldwide systems of protected areas; mainstreaming protected areas within overall development and poverty-alleviation agenda; interests and aspiration of all stakeholders. The Durban Action Plan provides a framework of the detailed actions needed to achieve the commitments called for in the Durban Accord. The message to the Convention on Biological Diversity calls on the Conference of the Parties to adopt a rigorous programme of work on protected areas including specific targets and time tables, and establish effective means of monitoring and assessing the implementation of the programme of work.
- The Executive Secretary convened a liaison group meeting on the World Parks Congress on 18 September 2003 in Durban, South Africa, to analyse the outcomes of the Congress with a view to identifying elements from the Congress that are not fully reflected in the outputs of the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Protected Areas, and which should be drawn to the attention of SBSTTA for possible integration in its advice to the Conference of the Parties at its seventh meeting.
- In response to paragraph 19(d) of decision VI/22 of the COP, the Executive Secretary convened in Montreal from 6 to 8 November 2003, just prior to the ninth meeting of SBSTTA, an international workshop on protected areas as a measure to conserve and sustainably use forest biological diversity. The workshop enabled participants to exchange current knowledge and experience on opportunities and challenges to establishing and ensuring long-term sustainability of protected forest areas. The workshop recommendations were submitted to SBSTTA for consideration.
- The ninth meeting of SBSTTA, held from 10 to 14 November 2003, considered protected areas as one of the themes for in-depth consideration and adopted recommendation IX/4. A revised proposed programme of work on protected areas is annexed to that recommendation for consideration by the Conference of the Parties at its seventh meeting.