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Side Event

New Models for Engaging Local Communities in the Stewardship of Protected Areas: Lessons from World Heritage

GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP)

Date and Time
16 October 2012 18:15 - 19:45

Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 11)

High profile protected areas, World Heritage sites and Biosphere Reserves may serve as “learning laboratories for sustainable development” and demonstration sites for new ways to sustain ecosystems, species and genetic diversity. This workshop will feature models that make a practical local-to-global connection, building networks among successful projects and linking to financing options. Engaging local communities in stewardship of these globally recognized landscapes is key to ensuring resilience by building support for conservation, tapping traditional knowledge, and opening the door to innovative governance arrangements with a broad array of actors across the landscape. For the past decade, the Community Management of Protected Areas Conservation Programme (COMPACT) has been testing an innovative model for engaging communities in conservation. An initiative of the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP), COMPACT has been working with communities near eight current and proposed World Heritage Sites in countries of Africa, Asia, Meso-America and the Caribbean. Case-studies will illustrate a variety of issues basic to resilience of the landscapes/seascapes of World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves including: ridge-to-reef conservation, techniques of community engagement, traditional ecological knowledge, trans-boundary cooperation, food security and community-led management of water resources. On the occasion of this 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention in 2012, workshop participants will explore how this experience might guide our thinking about World Heritage and sustainable development as part of the Aichi 2020 targets.