IUCN WCPA has prepared two new draft guideline documents for connectivity conservation and is seeking your comment on these important documents:
  1. IUCN CONNECTIVITY CONSERVATION GUIDELINES: PART ONE: “Definition, Connectivity Conservation Area” (Consultation Draft); and
  2. IUCN CONNECTIVITY CONSERVATION GUIDELINES: PART TWO: “Connectivity Conservation Area Types; Criteria for establishment; and Governance Types” (Consultation Draft)
The basis for their development, the process of consultation and your opportunity for input to the further refinement of these important documents is explained here.
IUCN (along with many non-government, private, community and government organisations) has facilitated action on connectivity conservation as an important contribution to biodiversity conservation and as a key natural response to climate change. Conserving connectivity of protected areas to other protected areas and natural landscapes is a fundamental contribution to ensuring the long-term conservation of protected area values and for species conservation. Past IUCN World Conservation Congress resolutions since 1996 have supported connectivity conservation action by IUCN and has guided its work and especially the work of the World Commission on Protected Areas.
IUCN international connectivity conservation action has seen the development of guidance material including Andrew Bennett’s 2003 Linkages in the Landscape book; Graham Bennett’s 2004 book“(…) Lessons Learned from Ecological Networks” and Graeme Worboys and colleagues 2010 WCPA book “Connectivity Conservation Management: A Global Guide”.
WCPA members have also contributed to connectivity conservation research; many expert papers and books; national policy development; on-ground management advice and the running of capacity development workshops.
In 2015, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched a Global
Connectivity Initiative which had three core objectives:
1) Provide and deliver knowledge products on connectivity conservation to national governments, NGO’s and other stakeholder, as a mechanism for strengthening biodiversity conservation and ecosystem service provision;
2) Provide policy and legislative tools and guidance to UNEP member countries for establishing connectivity conservation initiatives based on the identification of best practice cases and lessons learned;
3) Provide technical and capacity support for the establishment of pilot connectivity initiatives
This UNEP work will contribute to the development of a UNEP “Global Connectivity Conservation Strategy”. The initial work plan for the “Initiative” describes the development of a comprehensive data base on the establishment of information about what Connectivity Conservation Areas (CCAs) exist.
IUCN WCPA has worked collaboratively with UNEP-WCMC over many, years and this has included, for connectivity conservation, informal encouragement for WCMC to establish a global data base for CCAs. The concept was for the establishment of a CCA data base that paralleled the World Data Base on Protected Areas. The UNEP Connectivity Conservation Initiative provided such an opportunity and was warmly welcomed by IUCN. To achieve such a global data base, it is necessary to achieve a clearly defined and internationally agreed definition of a CCA along with the criteria used for CCA recognition. This then permits the spatial delineation of CCAs and the recognition and development of a CCA typology. (This is the conceptual parallel to IUCN’s internationally accepted definition of protected areas and the associated six categories of protected area). Given IUCN had undertaken important preliminary work on a CCA definition, on establishment criteria and on different CCA types and their governance, it was agreed by IUCN and UNEP that this work would be completed as a collaboration contribution to the UNEP Global connectivity Conservation Initiative.
As part of this partnership approach IUCN has developed two draft documents for consultation and feedback. They are IUCN Connectivity Conservation Guidelines PART ONE
and PART TWO, the “Definition, Connectivity Conservation Area”; and “Connectivity Conservation Area Types; Criteria for establishment; and, Governance Types” documents.
The “Consultation Drafts” will be made available and circulated to a wide audience, with comments being sought prior to the end of March 2016. This is STEP Two of the process of
consultation and the development of these documents (Figure One).
  1. STEP ONE “Initial Draft” (Completed in November 2015)
  2. STEP TWO – “Consultation Draft”: Improved drafts will be circulated widely for comment from November 2015. Improved Final Drafts will be prepared based on this feedback. (Target completion date: End of March 2016)
  3. STEP THREE – “Final drafts” will be prepared along with supporting documents with review analysis comments. (Target completion date: End of April 2016)
  4. STEP FOUR – “Final IUCN Connectivity Conservation Guideline Documents, Part One and Part Two”. The final documents will be prepared for the 2016 Hawaii World Conservation Congress (WCC). An IUCN Resolution that confirms the formal IUCN status of the definition and criteria documents will be facilitated. (Target completion date: September 2016)
  5. STEP FIVE (IUCN Resolution) An IUCN Resolution at the Hawaii WCC formally endorses the IUCN Connectivity Conservation Guideline documents, Parts One and Two. (Target completion date: End of September 2016)
Your considered comments on the draft IUCN Connectivity Conservation Guideline Documents Parts One and Two would be most welcome. In calling for feedback for the “Consultation Drafts”, it should be noted that the documents carefully maintain and utilise IUCN terms and phrases defined, debated and refined by IUCN’s global constituency since the 2003 Durban World Parks Congress. This ensures that the documents focus on moving forward rather than re-opening historical text editing discussions. It also explains why some terms and text have been used and why some “apparent edits” (to finesse the text) have not been made.
Your comments are encouraged and they may be sent to Dr Graeme Worboys
(Thank you) Email address for returns: g.worboys@bigpond.com


Mountain PAs and Connectivity as a priority:

Over the past decades, the recognized importance of protecting Mountain ecosystems resulted in numerous protected areas in the Mountain Biomes around the world. This success has created an opportunity. The world’s relatively well-developed systems of Mountain Protected Areas can serve as examples of how to address connectivity issues, building ecological networks and applying the ecosystem approach. Mountain protected areas can demonstrate conservation strategies through ecosystem corridors to maintain biodiversity pattern and process in the landscape. Further, as mountain ecosystems are vulnerable to global changes, including the effects of climate change, they can also serve explore adaptation options while generally raising the profile of the issues. As well, there is a need for a clearer understanding of how cultural and spiritual values can be fully recognized and appropriately protected alongside natural ones. There is also a need to recognize and promote the involvement of a diverse range of communities in protected area establishment and management.

WCS, Wild Yak, field work, SOS, 2011A-006, 11A-06-02

Crossing Chang Tang Mountains

Photo: © Wildlife Conservation Society

Dr Graeme Worboys Dr Olivier Chassot

Dr. Graeme Worboys

Olivier Chassot

WCPA Strategic Direction Co-Chair
Tel: +61 419 163126

WCPA Strategic Direction Co-Chair
Tel: +506 2253 3267