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Facing The Next Decade Of Industry And Protected Area Challenges: We Are Not Ready


What are the solutions – from the perspective of industry?

  • Degazettement
  • Excision
  • Simply developing
  • Payments and compensation to affected parties
  • Zoning
  • Engineering options
  • Regional No Net Loss
  • New land uses within protected areas What are the solutions – from the perspective of conservation?
  • Engineering options
  • Regional No Net Loss
  • Zoning of land uses and use rights within protected areas

New land uses inside protected areas: this is a solution if it allows a more refined negotiating stance What are our mutual solutions?

  • Much as PAs evolved to integrate humans (such as MAB), PAs can evolve to integrate industry
  • Mutual solutions include: Regional no net loss, engineering options, zoning and new land uses inside protected areas.
  • Advantage of this compared with people is that industry can be negotiated with as a single entity, to reach agreement on goals such as “maintain ecological integrity” and “achieve regional no net loss”
  • IFC PS6 is very useful in this regard as a guidance and precedent setter

What are the barriers and challenges?

  • Industry and govt look at this from an outcomes perspective (how can we fix / resolve this), whereas conservation tends to look at this from a rights-based perspective (what is right / what has already been agreed)
  • Therefore negotiation theory suggests that conservation will lose because rights based thinking is known to lead to retrenched and weaker positions. Outcome based thinking tends to win, even if it is not legal or ‘right’ - simply because it provides a solution
  • Conservationists need to study political science and improve their negotiating tactics if we are to succeed.
Problem, challenge or context: 

The issue

We have been in a golden age of protected areas with unprecedented establishment in number and area. In addition we have identified a vast array of biodiversity priority sites (to be collated as IUCN KBAs). More recently, governments particularly in emerging markets have been designating concessions for development. These include minerals (oil, gas, metals, minerals), agriculture and forestry. These two processes have occurred with very little communication between the govt depts who have designated these land uses. As a result there are now very great potential conflicts between protected areas and industry. The next decade will see unprecedented development within Protected Areas. Even with significant commitments to No GO (e.g. WHS), there is predicted to be an enormous number of cases of development within protected areas.

And no one is ready:

  • No Go is not nationally defined or adhered to (despite signatures to Conventions)
  • Companies are largely avoiding this conference
  • Governments have not developed methods and approaches to resolve the overlaps; ministries insufficiently communicate
  • NGOs are largely opposed to development, and have not developed sophisticated negotiating positions, or solutions
  • Consultancy groups are largely unqualified nor have the networks or credentials to solve this
  • Communities are not empowered or educated on their rights

Land use within protected areas, legislation, and the predicted outcomes of negotiation:

  • Most protected areas do not have the facility to allow development (Govts attempting to follow IUCN categories). This leads to degazettement, due to legal and legislative hard lines
  • Therefore we stop some development, and lose some protected areas due to inflexibility in these PA land uses
Specific elements of components: 

An approach – No Net Loss and negotiation tactics using political science

Key lessons learned: 

Conservationists need to use political science and negotiation tactics to refine their approach to solving the emerging development / protected area conflicts.

Contact details: 
Jonathan Ekstrom, The Biodiversity Consultancy
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