“In a world beset by conflict and division, peace is one of the cornerstones of the future. Peace parks are a building block in this process, not only in our region, but potentially in the entire world.” (Nelson Mandela)
The World Heritage Convention was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1972. To date, 191 States are Parties to the Convention. Articles 6 (paragraph 1) and 7 enjoin the Parties for promoting international cooperation.
The Convention has been used to influence and resolve country and site specific, and transboundary specific conflicts to achieve conservation in conflict zones including peace. Notable examples are Plitvice Lakes National Park between Croatia and Yugoslavia; Manas Wildlife Sanctuary between Bhutan and India; Virunga National Park in Congo’s.
The Peace Parks Foundation is dedicated to creating transnational parks in Southern Africa.
In recent years, due to increasing interest in this concept, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Peace Parks Foundation, and WWF- International are playing a leading role in promoting and implementing TBPAs and Peace Parks.
However, there is so much to be done on the interpretation, promotion, and application of this concept that it would be difficult for institutions working in isolation to succeed. The PBDI is being developed to play such a catalytic role and promote Peace Parks further.