2017 Annual Meeting of the International Alliance of Protected Areas – Training and experience sharing Second day – Sustainable Community Development and Protected Area Management

The second day of the 2017 Annual Meeting of the International Alliance of Protected Areas (IAPA), was held in Tangjiahe National Nature Reserve (NNR), Sichuan Province, China, on the 22nd of October 2017. Experts and IAPA members from 9 countries shared best practices and innovative concepts and discussed case studies through 15 speeches, about Sustainable Community Development and Protected Area Management.

Some speakers for the last two days

 

Several messages emerged from the presentations: poverty and activities harmful to biodiversity are linked and protected areas (SA) can seek to reduce anthropogenic threats faced by biodiversity by improving the livelihood of local communities. Options to raise local income include: compensating farmers for wildlife-induced losses, remunerating providers of ecosystem services (e.g. payments for ecosystem services or PES), selling handicrafts or agri-products produced by local communities, developing eco-tourism, etc. It was highlighted that attention should be paid to ensure these development projects truly benefits biodiversity, for instance by shifting social norms and economic incentives in favour of conservation.

Mrs. Eba Pauline ATTA, Deputy Director of Control and Planning Division, Ivorian Office of Parks and Reserves, Côte d’Ivoire

Examples from development and conservation projects from China, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines, Russia, Thailand (and a speech from a United States speaker) were shared with participants. The Mount Kitanglad Range Natural Park presented a wide range of activities and ideas, including involving and compensating local volunteers to patrol the PA, collecting money from stakeholders benefiting from the PA’s natural resources through resource user fees, developing limited and sustainable tourism and reception activities, etc. Two innovative financing mechanisms were also shared: the use of trust (endowment) funds to provide long-term financing for the PA of Côte d’Ivoire – the financial returns of the capital in the funds cover the operational costs of PA – and a model involving the entrusting of lands to a non-profit foundation – the Paradise International Foundation, in China – for a long period of time, to increase the coverage of PA with private money.

The functions of IAPA’s website were also presented during this second day: maps and presentation of member PA, a portal where members can publish news and communication tools to facilitate exchange between members, including a WeChat group.

Participant PA thoroughly enjoyed the benefits of their IAPA membership through these rich exchanges and their discussions fueled the preparation of the workplan for 2018, which was discussed at the meeting of IAPA’s Steering Committee on the evening of the 22nd. Proposals for the workplan will be presented and discussed at the General Assembly on the 23rd.

2017 Annual meeting of IAPA is held in the beautiful Tangjiahe National Nature Reserve