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Middle East Bulletin

Middle East Bulletin

[Middle East Bulletin] Takeaways From Huge Once-a-Decade Gathering on World's Protected Areas

by | 27-11-2014 03:18 Comments 2 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations



At the World Parks Congress, a once-a-decade global forum on protected areas that drew more than 6,000 delegates from 170 countries to Australia this week, influential voices argued again and again that the typically opposing forces must be linked in tandem.

Forty percent of the global economy is based on natural resources, so the need to maintain natural capital is a no-brainer, various speakers said.

The theme was introduced by Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, who spoke about the need to move past the old paradigm in remarks at the opening of the eight-day congress.

"Traditionally, protected areas have been seen as the last line of defense against an expanding human footprint," Steiner told the gathering, which is organized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Instead, he said that such places should be seen as the "front line in defining a sustained relationship between humanity and nature."

Protecting nature has been seen as a tax on economic development, Steiner said, who argued that protected places offer a strong return on investment in terms of social and economic benefits. He cited the example of Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which he said costs about $50 million (U.S.) to administer while generating more than $5.2 billion from tourism each year.

Yet very few countries include the economic contributions of protected areas in the decision-making frameworks that drive public and private investments.

The relevance of the economic, ecological, and social values of wild nature was articulated as part of the "Promise of Sydney," the congress's roadmap for the next ten years, meant to inform policy and economic decisions around protected areas.

Here are 5 more key themes and calls to action that emerged from the almost one thousand lectures, workshops, discussions, and dialogues held during a week of scorching spring weather in Australia's largest city.

2 Comments

  • says :
    Protecting the environment is the important thing we must do now.
    Posted 27-11-2014 12:05

  • says :
    Thanks for sharing. :))
    Posted 27-11-2014 12:04

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