In Europe, as in the rest of the world, human activities are causing rapid biodiversity loss. Over the last two decades, the EU has been trying to tackle this in various ways, including through the Natura 2000 Network of protected areas. This includes over 27 000 protected areas, covering over million km2, making it the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world. The Natura 2000 Network creates a framework for mainstreaming conservation into a range of sectors. The European Commission led the development of the Natura 2000 Network.
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There are instances where tourism can support conservation efforts. Environmental certification, if appropriately designed for the Pacific region, could direct tourism development in the right direction. The proposed Blue Star environmental tourism certification is being developed with the Pacific in mind.
What are the solutions – from the perspective of industry?
L’économie des pays ouest africains est fortement tributaire de l’état des ressources naturelles et de la variabilité climatique. Les changements climatiques sont à l’origine des évènements extrêmes (sécheresses, inondations) et de la dégradation des terres qui a affecté les capacités de résilience des systèmes écologiques, économiques et sociaux dans la sous-région.
A protected area’s concession function can help it to achieve many goals, including generating income for protected areas, contributing to economic and rural development, managing overuse and impacts, protecting resources, enhancing conservation, and economic empowerment of people living in and around the protected area.
In order to address the challenge of tourism in protected areas, ISO is providing an international standard, ISO 18065 for Natural Protected Areas Authorities (NPAA) - responsible for ensuring the efficient, sustainable planning and development of tourist services conforming to legal requirements. Risk assessments promote the safety of the visitor and quality assessment of services mitigates impacts upon NPA’s wildlife, flora, fauna and communities. Public use, tourism and recreation can be part of the objectives of a NPA.