By Norberto Ovando *
The most important international event on the protection of habitats and species is held every four years on a continent, promoted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) - International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the environmental organization oldest and largest in the world, which is composed of two chambers with the same weight, a governmental one that integrates 20% of its 1,300 members, and a non-governmental one, with the remaining 80% from 160 countries.
This is precisely the motto of the meeting organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for the next ten days: "Planet at the crossroads", in order to show that the conservation of nature and development human.
IUCN President Zhang Xisheng stressed that we are "at a crossroads because we have pushed ecosystems to the limit", which is why "the decisions we make in the coming years" are so important.
With more than 8,500 participants from about 184 countries, representing national governments, international agencies and conservation NGOs, the World Conservation Congress "has managed to attract the entire global community interested in the protection of ecosystems", said Enrique Lahmann, meeting director.
The big difference between the World Conservation Congress and the UN Conference of the Parties (COP) is that deliberations do not only take place at the government level, while civil society is a mere spectator, as occurs in those other appointments, since on this occasion both parties have the same power of decision.
Launch of the Protected Planet 2016 report
Neville Ash, Director of the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Center (UNEP-WCMC), opened the session, highlighting progress in protected area coverage. Nina Bhola, from UNEP-CMCM, synthesized additional key findings, including: recent advances in the protected areas of Hawaii and Chile; improvements in data quality; and the ability of countries to update information. In addition, he highlighted the lack of information on the effectiveness of management and said that the Report is a call to invest in protected areas.
Kathy MacKinnon, World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), praised the collaboration between UNEP and IUCN, calling the report a snapshot in time, and said that the data provides important indicators on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals ( ODS). Marina Von Weissenberg, from Finland, highlighted the science-policy interface and its usefulness for decision makers. With regard to indigenous peoples, he pointed out the importance of effective management and of marine protected areas. Norbert Bärlocher from Switzerland said the report will help his country to achieve its protected area goals.
Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, United Nations Messenger of Peace, and IUCN Sponsor for Nature noted that, “It is already well documented that we are facing the sixth mass extinction on the planet. And there is no doubt that this extinction event has been caused by human activities around the world. For many threatened species, the impacts of climate change, such as increased extreme weather conditions and irregular seasonal changes, habitat conversion, pollution, disease and trafficking are just a few of the many threats that threaten their survival. " That is why we are here in Congress so that we can promote good practices around the world and guarantee a hopeful future for chimpanzees and all threatened species.
Enrique Lahmann stressed that, during the Congress, work programs for the conservation of nature will be established for the next four years: "A series of actions that serve to influence, encourage and help societies of all kinds to conserve biodiversity ".
* Prof. Norberto Ovando
President / Friends of National Parks Association - AAPN -
Expert World Commission on Protected Areas - WCPA - of the IUCN-
Latin American Network of Protected Areas - RELAP -
Source IUCN / AAPN
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