By laws of the International Alliance of Protected Areas
(October 2017, Tangjiahe, Sichuan, China)
Article 1. Name
“The International Alliance of Protected Areas,” hereafter called “IAPA”, was initiated at the Changbai Mountain National Nature Reserve in 2014.
Article 2. Purpose
The IAPA unites all kinds of protected areas (PA) throughout the world to promote more effective management and conservation. The IAPA promotes coordination, collaboration and cooperation among PAs at national, regional and international levels, by working closely with existing organizations dedicated to effective management of PA. The IAPA strives to attain a rational and ethically balanced relationship between humanity and nature.
Article 3. Objectives
3.1. Develop cooperation and communication mechanisms among the world’s PA to share advanced conservation technologies and management experiences in order to improve management effectiveness of PA;
3.2. Promote species surveys and monitoring in member PAs by adopting compatible technologies that allow comparative analyses and facilitate information sharing among members;
3.3. Promote trans-regional conservation of migratory species and monitoring actions jointly taken by member PAs, through formulating conservation strategies and an effective survey and monitoring system.
3.4. Promote monitoring and mitigating the impact of global climate change on biodiversity, via establishment of standardized indicator systems, technologies and databases; and promoting management of PAs designed to adapt to the effects of climate change.
3.5. Strengthen conservation publicity and education to enhance public awareness of conservation that will improve the social status and influence of PAs and reduce any negative effects of human activities to PAs.
3.6. Explore development strategies that balance ecosystem conservation with economic sustainability of local communities.
3.7 Promote cooperation with organizations combating environmental crime at site, national and international levels; and coordinate this with other agencies and organizations that are working on the issue.
Article 4. Language
The official languages of IAPA shall be Chinese and English.
Article 5. Members and Observers
5.1. Protected areas from anywhere in the world can apply to join IAPA as institutional members. Relevant professional organizations from local, national, regional or international levels can also apply to join IAPA as observers.
5.2. Joining the IAPA requires the submission of a membership application form or an observer application form to the IAPA Secretariat. After examination and approval, the Secretariat shall send the PA a digital certificate which confirms the formal membership. PA members can withdraw from IAPA upon submission of a written notification to the Secretariat. The withdrawal comes into effect after being approved by the Secretariat.
5.3. If any member PA or observer is absent from the IAPA General Assembly for three consecutive years, and the PA submits no report related to the IAPA work plan for three consecutive years, the Secretariat has the right to cancel the qualification of the member or observer.
Article 6. Rights of IAPA Members and Observers
6.1. Members have rights to vote at the General Assembly. During two consecutive General Assemblies, members may exercise online voting rights if they are unable to attend in person.
6.2. Observers may attend the General Assembly and make suggestions and proposals.
6.3. Members and observers may participate in all activities organized by the IAPA, seek IAPA funds and relative activity information, make suggestions to the IAPA, and exchange PA information with other IAPA members.
Article 7. Obligations of IAPA Members and Observers
7.1. To support and facilitate the purposes, activities and governance of IAPA;
7.2. To help implement relevant IAPA activities and submit work reports on any contribution to the IAPA work plan for presentation to the General Assembly.
7.3. To attend IAPA General Assembly and participate actively.
7.4. IAPA officers, members and observers shall observe strictly the bylaws and other relevant rules and regulations of IAPA. No activity shall be held in the name of IAPA without a written approval from the Secretariat.
Article 8. Organizational Structure
8.1. The Executive Committee (hereafter called “EC”) is the highest standing institution of IAPA. It shall provide guidance and supervision on IAPA’s management and operation.
8.2. EC officers shall include one Chair, two Deputy Chairs, one Secretary, one Chief Scientist, and two to four regular members. The maximum size of the EC shall be an odd number with no more than nine members in total.
8.3. The tenure of each term of EC shall be four years. [Officers of the first session of EC are elected through recommendation]. The EC shall be elected via General Assembly before the end of the previous term. During the term, the protected area hosting annual meetings will become a Deputy Chair of that term.
8.4. Election of officers shall be held by paper ballot or by appropriately secure electronic ballots. The names of candidates for offices shall be published in advance of a mail ballot.
8.5. The Secretariat is a standing executive institution of IAPA and is responsible for IAPA’s management and operation. The Secretariat is located in Changbai Mountain National Nature Reserve. Staff, funds and properties are under the jurisdiction of Changbai Mountain Protection Development Administrative Committee.
Article 9. Duties of the Executive Committee
9.1. The Chair of the Executive Committee shall be responsible for convening IAPA conferences, programs and other relevant meetings, and shall promote practices related to the development of IAPA.
9.2. The Secretary of the EC shall keep records of the IAPA and shall perform other duties as may be necessary or assigned by the Chair. The Secretary shall assume the duties of the Chair whenever that person is absent or unable to act. The Changbai Mountain Protection and Development Administration Committee shall provide necessary office space, personnel and financial support for functional management and operations of IAPA Secretary.
9.3. The Chief Scientist shall solicit and arrange scientific programs for IAPA and shall coordinate programs with other social organizations. The Chief Scientist shall substitute for the Chair in the event that both the Chair and Secretary are unable to act.
9.4. In case any EC officer is not able to continue to execute duties for uncontrollable reasons, the following measures shall be taken: if the Secretary or the Chief Scientist leaves the position in advance, the Chair shall consult with the EC to appoint a Secretary or Chief Scientist to complete relevant work before the next election. If the Chair position is vacant, the EC shall appoint one Deputy Chair to carry out relevant work.
Article 10. Advisory Committee
Members of the IAPA Advisory Committee (AC) are top experts in the fields related to PA conservation and effective management. Former IAPA officers or EC members may become AC members. The IAPA AC shall have a Chair and a Deputy Chair, elected by a simple majority of votes by AC members. The IAPA AC will provide advice to IAPA EC on important issues to IAPA. Its members should take part in IAPA activities and help to promote the development of IAPA.
Article 11. IAPA Meetings
11.1. The IAPA General Assembly shall be held at least once a year to review the IAPA work reports of the Secretariat or working groups and EC members and to organize relevant workshops and training events. The General Assembly will be held by Changbai Mountain National Nature Reserve in every even-numbered year and by other IAPA member protected areas in every odd-numbered year. If a member PA proposes to hold the meeting in an even-numbered year, it shall apply in advance to the IAPA Secretariat. If no member PA is willing or able to hold the meeting, Changbai Mountain Protection and Development Administration Committee shall assume the responsibility to hold the IAPA General Assembly.
11.2. During each General Assembly, IAPA will review achievements and problems in the past year, project future development and trends among PA conservation and set work programme for IAPA for the coming year.
11.3. Special IAPA meetings may be held at other times and places on the call of the Chair. Notice shall be sent to all IAPA members and observers sixty (60) days in advance of any such meeting.
11.4. Commend individuals or organizations that make important contributions to the development of IAPA of the year on the General Assembly.
Article 12. Member’s Newsletter
IAPA publishes a Members Newsletter. The Secretary shall be in charge of Members Newsletter editing and distribution.
Article 13. Website
The permanent IAPA website (www.iapa.pub) serves as a medium for discussion, the preparation of IAPA workshops and General Assembly, and the provision of information useful to members. The site is operated and updated by the IAPA Secretary and will be directly linked to the hosting member of the next IAPA member meeting.
Article 14. Finance and Budget
The running expenses of IAPA shall be supplied by Changbai Mountain Protection and Development Administration Committee. The IAPA Secretariat and IAPA members will seek additional funding together for other costs.
Article 15. Amendments to the Bylaws
Proposed amendments or modifications to the IAPA Bylaws must be originated by the Executive Committee. IAPA members may submit suggested amendments to the Chair of the Executive Committee to be approved. Amendments must be agreed by at least two-thirds of IAPA members present at the General Assembly or by at least two-thirds of the members responding to a mail ballot. Proposed amendments receiving at least two-thirds votes in the affirmative become effective 30 days after the ballots are counted.
Article 16. Others
16.1. IAPA will establish an apolitical mechanism to promote communication that is based on principles of openness, equity, transparency, non-discrimination, while respecting country sovereignty and avoiding interference with domestic policies.
16.2. IAPA shall be organized and operated exclusively for scientific, conservation and educational purposes.