Manas National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in Assam province of Northeast India and is world renowned for its outstanding natural beauty and presence of a rich biodiversity that includes several endemic, rare and threatened wild animal species that are found nowhere else in the world. The park also witnessed more than 15 years of armed conflict that led to massive destruction of the Park infrastructure and decimation of wildlife population in recent history.
Build political will
In Uganda, the government uses the National Development Plan (NDP) planning framework to achieve medium and long-term development goals in country. All sectors have to mainstream their sectoral plans and programmes into the NDP. The National Biodiversity Strategy and Action (NBSAP) has also been mainstreamed into the NDP, so that it is part of and contributes to the country’s medium and long-term development process in Uganda. Communicating the value of NBSAPS outside of the Ministry of the Environment was critical to the success of the project.
Making biodiversity conservation and protected areas relevant to business demands an integrated approach. It must integrate methods for measuring business impact and dependencies on nature, include clear communication on what this means for a business in terms of risk and opportunity, and involve collaboration to identify actions and define approaches that will underpin the business’s contribution to conservation.
One of the possibilities for recognizing the interdependence of humans and nature is through values and a framework of ethics. In the case of freshwater in New Zealand, various legal solutions have been proposed to settle Maori interests in water. One solution is the vesting of water as a ‘person’ in law, as in Whanganui and Te Urewera. The proposed sale of a hydroelectric company's state assets triggered a Maori claim to activate recognition of Maori interests in fresh water. The case took the argument that sales cannot proceed until Maori interests are settled.
Fishermen are more likely to support marine protected areas (MPAs) that are designed to promote fishery benefits, integrated with other fishery management measures, and monitored to demonstrate fishery results. By linking investments in MPAs and fisheries, fishermen are incentivized to support and push for marine protection. Three examples from California demonstrate the benefits of empowering fishermen in design and adaptive management of MPAs.
Australia’s National Landscapes programme was inspired by the need to make Australia’s wealth of protected areas digestible for visitors, to differentiate the best natural and cultural destinations and improve the delivery of their experiences. It provides a framework for regional partners to collaborate in considering new tourism projects, infrastructure needs, conservation impacts and marketing.
Recently, a lengthy process of negotiation between timber and conservation interests led to a significant change in a decades long conflict over the use of public forests in Tasmania. An agreement was reached to protect significant additional areas of forest through industry consolidation, with support from all parties. After years of costly and divisive conflict through social, political and market lobbying and campaigning, an alternative approach of direct negotiation between the main stakeholders was undertaken.
The University of Helsinki, Metsähallitus Natural Heritage Services, the Finnish Environment Institute, and the Finnish Forest Centre formed a collaborative project aimed at finding protected area (PA)network expansions priorities in southern Finland. Zonation, software for spatial conservation prioritization, was used to identify the most suitable sites for additional forest conservation. Zonation analyses accounted for the ecological quality of habitats and landscape-level connectivity.