Protecting the Planet with a focus on  Mesoamerica
  20 March 2014
Governments unite to conserve iconic Sargasso Sea
The governments of Bermuda, the Azores, Monaco, United Kingdom and the United States have signed a declaration committing to the conservation of the Sargasso Sea – a vast patch of mid-Atlantic Ocean known for its unique floating seaweeds that harbour rich biodiversity. This is the first time an international alliance has been formed to protect this unique haven of marine life.
iucn world parks congress 2014
The sky's the limit
Find out more about how IUCN is planning to reach its conservation goals Click here. Registering now for the IUCN World Parks Congress will allow you lower rates and better hotel facilities. The call for content is now closed and close to 2,000 proposals were received. The proposals are being reviewed at the moment, but side events are still open. To book one Click here
Barba Amarilla, Green Hope Reserve
inspiring places
Empowering local communities while protecting local natural resources – Esperanza Verde Natural Reserve, Nicaragua
Esperanza Verde is a haven where eco-tourism, a wildlife sanctuary and diverse restoration projects, and employment of the local community has been made possible. Situated in the South of Nicaragua, the reserve is part of a larger protected area, los Guatuzos, designated a Ramsar wetland of international importance and a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
Jon Hutton, UNEP-WCMC
inspiring people
Jon Hutton
Aiming high: Can we reach global conservation goals?
In 2010 the international community set 20 conservation targets. They include the goal that 17% of the earth’s terrestrial area and 10% of marine and coastal areas are conserved by 2020. Is this achievable? Dr Jon Hutton, Director of the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre responds.
An elephant in Linyanti, Botswana © IUCN Sue Mainka
inspiring solutions
Tackling wildlife crime
Issue 20.1 of IUCN WCPA’s Journal PARKS will be published shortly and the following paper on community involvement in anti-poaching efforts in Tanzania gives you a quick preview. The recent Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference and subsequent London Declaration highlighted the need for practical steps to end the illegal trade in rhino, tiger and elephant; protected areas are a vital element in addressing this challenge.
respecting people
Recognise innovative and inspiring people through the Kenton Miller Award - deadline for nominations is
2 May 2014.

Innovation and dedication are keys to progress in our national parks and protected areas’ conservation objectives. The Kenton Miller Award celebrates individuals who are taking bold steps in protecting these most valued resources by recognizing their invaluable and innovative work with a 5,000 USD grant and accompanying citation.
Forests of the Cedar Gods, Lebanon ©IUCN Jim Thorsell
world heritage
Cultural landscapes and protected areas: Unfolding the linkages and synergies
World Heritage cultural landscapes embrace diverse tangible and intangible expressions of human interaction with the natural environment. Their connections with protected areas encourage holistic approaches to the conservation of the world’s intertwined cultural and natural heritage, writes Gunnar Finke.
Grethel Aguilar, IUCN Regional Director for Mesoamerica introducing BIOPAMA ©Gabriela Diaz Musmanni

BIOPAMA asserts a vision for Caribbean protected areas
In an event that brought together a diverse set of conservation agencies from throughout the Mesoamerican and Caribbean regions, BIOPAMA presented its vision for the Caribbean at the Fourth Mesoamerican Congress on Protected Areas, held in San José, Costa Rica from 18 – 21 March. BIOPAMA will contribute to the IUCN World Parks Congress through its initiatives in the Caribbean and the three other BIOPAMA regions.

Mountain lion (Puma concolor) overlooking Los Angeles from a protected area in the Santa Monica Mountains. Credit: Steve Winter/National Geographic Society.  ©2013 NGS
"Urban Protected Areas in 2,000 Words" explains the growing importance of protected areas situated in or at the edge of larger population centres. Although they are important for many reasons, such as giving urban people opportunities to experience nature and providing ecosystem services, one reason has special significance: Urban people are critical for nature conservation, nationally and globally. More than half of humanity lives in urban areas and this proportion is growing rapidly. Wealth is concentrated in cities, as are communications and the media. Conservation depends on support from urban-based voters, donors, media and communicators.
save the date
World Heritage Committee
The 38th session of the World Heritage Committee will be held in Doha, Qatar, from 15 to 25 June 2014. Register before 1 May 2014 to attend as a delegate or an observer. IUCN is the advisory body on nature to the World Heritage Committee. The Committee is responsible for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. It has the final say on whether a property is inscribed on the World Heritage List. 
Rhino at Chitwan National Park, Nepal
following up
Nepal celebrates ‘zero poaching year’ for rhino, tiger and elephant
Nepal recently marked a successful year of species conservation where not a single incident of rhino, tiger or elephant poaching had been recorded. While the year leading up to World Wildlife Day had been marked by huge increases in elephant and rhino poaching worldwide, Nepal’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), an IUCN Member, stated that the last reported incident of rhino poaching in the country was on February 16, 2013.
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