Protecting the Planet Newsletter: Inspiring a new generation
  11 JUNE 2015
More than 250 experts from five continents gathered at the “Little Sydney: Protecting Nature in Europe” conference in the medieval town of Hainburg, Austria, from 28-31 May 2015, to discuss original approaches for protected areas in Europe. Building on the outcomes of the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 and hosted by IUCN WCPA, Little Sydney proved to be the milestone international event on protected areas in Europe this year. With its unique “Natura 2000” network, Europe has a strong basis for advancing the protected area agenda. In an inspiring “Youth Talk”, opening the 2nd conference day, young WWF volunteers shared why they are active for nature conservation.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park © Dr. Anish Andheria
Sanjay Gandhi National park
The majority of the “new generation” to be inspired to (re-)connect with protected areas is living in cities. Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Mumbai, India, provides a dynamic example of an urban park considering and celebrating many conflicting needs at once, including illegal temporary settlements and one of the world’s highest densities of leopards. With 2 million visitors annually, SGNP is also an inspiration and educational model for urban residents globally, and is profiled through the WILD Foundation’s WILD Cities Project.
Max Jenes and colleague © PAMS Foundation
inspiring pEOPLE
A new generation of conservationists
Young people all over the world are active for protecting nature, such as Vedharajan Balaji, who restores mangroves with communities in India. For many of these youth, the IUCN World Parks Congress was a rallying point, such as for 16 Global Youth Ambassadors from Canada. Others received much-deserved recognition for their work, including the winners of the Young Conservationist Award Max Jenes (Tanzania) for bravely fighting poachers, and Tiwonge Gawa (Malawi) for her pioneer work in bird research. Read more about how these young people make a difference!
Andrew Reid with bossie doktors © Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation
inspiring SOLUTIONS

Anything but weeds
“Herbanisation” is an urban street-gardening project for greening, healing and connecting in Cape Town, South Africa. Spear-headed by 27 year old Andrew Reid, the project aims to green streetscapes in economically marginalized areas while contributing to the livelihoods of local Rasta/Khoi herbalists and reconnecting community members with medicinal plants. It relieves pressure on city nature reserves by decreasing illegal plant harvesting. Herbanisation has been promoted as an Inspiring Protected Area Solution through the Panorama platform.

Eric Phu, Juliane Zeidler and Mike Wong © Roxana Bucioaca
Connecting with nature differently
Get inspired by the reflections on the mission to develop new approaches on connecting with nature and reaching out to existing and new audiences, by Juliane Zeidler – the Chair of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC), Mike Wong – one of the leads for Parks Canada in planning and delivering Stream 8 and Eric Phu, communications consultant and CEC leader on “Inspiring a new generation".
IUCN Young Professionals gathering in the Blue Mountains prior to WPC 2014 © Bruno Monteferri
The Changemakers
It is essential that younger voices are empowered to spearhead the changes that will create a more just and sustainable future. Thirty young professionals from 16 different countries gathered in the Blue Mountains, Australia in the lead-up to the IUCN World Parks Congress, outlining ‘Our Pact for People, Parks and Planet’, an Interleadership Tool Kit and a collaborative online platform – the main “products” of the “Inspiring a New Generation” Stream.
Doñana National Park, Green Listed site, Spain © J. M. Reyero, CENEAM
Green list
Greening Europe
Being “one of the biggest successes of the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney”, the IUCN Green List of Protected Areas (GLPA) featured prominently at the Little Sydney conference in Hainburg, Austria. Conference attendees discussed opportunities and challenges for the further-roll out of this global protected area performance standard in Europe, building on the pilot phase in France, Spain and Italy. Application of the GLPA in the European context will also inform the revision of the Standard.
Wadi Al-Hitan © Mohamed Sameh Antar
First intact Basilosaurus fossil in Wadi Al-Hitan
The world’s only intact fossil of a 40-million-year-old whale has been uncovered during an excavation at Wadi Al-Hitan (Whale Valley), a natural World Heritage site in Egypt. The discovery reveals for the first time the creature’s complete skeleton and includes remains of other sea creatures inside its stomach.  Listed natural sites in the Arab region - such as Wadi Al-Hitan, which has a good conservation outlook - were used for pilot assessments to build IUCN's World Heritage Outlook. A new report for the region will be launched at the Committee meeting, 28 June-8 July.
Lucayan NP, Bahamas © BIOPAMA
Building capacity on terrestrial PA management
The upcoming BIOPAMA training course for the Caribbean, delivered by IUCN and CANARI, will take place in Trinidad, 6-11 July 2015. Applications are accepted until 15 June 2015. BIOPAMA’s capacity building efforts in the Caribbean aim to improve the region’s protected area management capacity through the professional development of protected areea personnel and expansion of the network of protected areas professionals.


join up!
Young Professionals Marine Task Force
Passionate about marine conservation and under 35? Join the new IUCN WCPA Young Professionals Marine Task Force (YPMTF)! The YPMTF was established at the WPC in Sydney, and formally recognised at the WCPA Steering Committee meeting in April 2015. The group acknowledges the dynamic synergies that occur when networks of inspired Young Professionals work together and in intergenerational partnership for effective conservation of marine environments. 
Transboundary conservation
Since 1932, when the first officially designated Transboundary Conservation Area was established by Canada and USA (Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park), there has been a rapid growth of transboundary initiatives. The latest publication in WCPA’s renowned Best Practice Guidelines series combines the most current scientific thinking with practices from around the globe and offers new understanding of transboundary conservation principles, supported by 33 practical examples.
Inspiring a New Generation
The ground-breaking leadership of young people at the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney spoke to a generational change in protected areas conservation. The “Inspiring a New Generation” Stream was the answer to Nelson Mandela’s call at the 2003 WPC in Durban to actively engage young and urban audiences in nature conservation and protected areas. Read more about the “Innovative Approaches” proposed by the WPC Stream leaders, or view the Stream fact sheet through the link below.
© UNPFII Photos
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