“Together we aim higher” – this is the outcome of the event organized during the IUCN World Conservation Congress by IUCN Regional Office for Europe and partners to present experiences of regional cooperation on nature conservation in South-Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus.
“IUCN is committed to supporting its Members and partners in South-Eastern Europe in pursuing common conservation goals. We have to make sure that our voice is heard much beyond conservation circles, reaching out the broadest possible range of stakeholders. Only by working together we can expect to meet our objective,“ says Boris Erg, IUCN Director for South Eastern Europe.
The first part of the event was opened by Mrs. Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, Minister of the Environment of Estonia, and followed by a panel discussion comprised of IUCN Members and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Successful examples of cross-border conservation from the new milestone publication “Initiating effective transboundary conservation: A practitioner’s guideline based on experiences from the Dinaric Arc” launched at the event were presented.
The discussion made clear that significant progress on regional cooperation in nature conservation has been made over the past years, yet it revealed numerous obstacles in meeting conservation goals and reiterated the need for better coordination, a stronger commitment of the decision-making community, and strengthened NGO-government interface.
The second part of the event was dedicated to the Caucasus eco-region and the importance of diversely governed and effectively managed protected areas through partnerships in the South Caucasus.
Tamar Pataridze from the Georgian Agency of Protected Areas and newly elected IUCN Councillor said that while various mechanisms such as the Transboundary Joint Secretariat (KfW) and the Caucasus Nature Fund are already in place, “There is need to coordinate efforts with the aim of sustainably financing existing protected areas and planning for the future. Continued support from outside the region is indispensable to build capacities and transfer knowledge.”
IUCN NGO Member representatives from the three South Caucasus countries shared experiences on their work with local communities in the buffer zones of protected areas, and emphasized that all sides would benefit from increased exchange and cooperation at the regional level.
“Regional platforms for enhanced conservation – experiences from South-Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus” was held on 11 September at the 2012 IUCN World Conservation Congress, with the support of the MAVA Foundation. The event was jointly organized by the IUCN Regional Office for Europe and the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) with involvement of KfW’s Transboundary Joint Secretariat for the Southern Caucasus, as well as IUCN Members from South-Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.
For more information please contact: Aleksandra Nesic, IUCN Programme Office for South-Eastern Europe or Marika Kavtarishvili, IUCN Caucasus Cooperation Centre.