Protecting the Planet Newsletter: Inspiring conservation success 
  27 February 2015
A unique participatory method of mapping rainforest Aboriginal knowledge which was dreamed up by the elders has helped reconnect Indigenous communities throughout Australia. The method captured the imagination of delegates at the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 in Sydney.  Over several days of the Congress, six Mandingalbay Yidinji Traditional Owners from the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage area used paint, pushpins and strands of wool to map their knowledge about the country onto a 3D scale model. 

Buffalo in National Park, Africa © Agni Boedhihartono
Protected areas need more support
A study has found that governments need to step up their efforts to expand protected area networks if they are to meet targets set in 2010 to conserve 17% of land and 10% of sea by 2020, especially those places of particular importance for nature. With five years to go, research by 40 authors from 26 institutions led by IUCN Member BirdLife International shows that the current system is still failing to cover all key sites, species and ecosystems.

Gran Paradiso National Park
© James Hardcastle
Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy
Have you ever visited this beautiful corner of Italy? Well, with the excitement still in the air following the launch of the Green List of Protected Areas at the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 in Sydney, Italy's Gran Paradiso National Park was one of the first European sites to make the list. Tucked away in the north-western corner of the country, this wilderness was Italy's first designated national park and provides a great escape from city life. Find out what the excitement is all about!
Álvaro Ugalde
© Eduard Müller
Costa Rica says farewell to protected areas pioneer
A sense of sadness swept through the national parks of Costa Rica this week with the passing of 'conservation crusader' Don Álvaro Ugalde, known as the father of Costa Rica’s world-famous national park system. Ugalde was an environmental leader who co-founded this park system which now covers 25% of the country's land surface and is of profound importance to its economy.
Indigenous trackers in Namibia
© Friedrich Alpers (IRDNC)
Indigenous skills strengthen conservation
The true value of Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge was well illustrated in the Bwabwata National Park in Namibia, where indigenous park trackers and rangers of the Khwe ethnic group were recently certified for their wildlife management skills. The skills assessment methodology follows international standards, and is coupled with training on GPS and tracking technology. The programme has not only instilled pride in traditional knowledge, but has also created sustainable employment and strengthened conservation in the park.
Participants in the first MEET project © Tyre coast reserve team
Would you like to make a difference?
This is your chance to share your knowledge and sign up for the MEET project which runs its second round of ecotourism test tours between April and June 2015. Come and test up to 14 ecotourism packages in Mediterranean Protected Areas! Contact us and help us create a more sustainable tourism for the Mediterranean.
Hiroshima © Freedom II Andres CC BY 2.0
Are you involved in a World Heritage nomination?
Enhance your understanding of the World Heritage Convention, its Operational Guidelines and values-based management at this workshop. The United Nations Institute for Training and Research workshop on ‘World Heritage Nominations: Protection and Management Requirements Training Programme’ is aimed at site managers, conservation specialists, government officials and academics. It takes place in Hiroshima, Japan from 20-24 April and the registration deadline is 9 March.
Showcasing the impact of the European Commission's investment in protected areas at the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014
The Biodiversity and Protected Area Management (BIOPAMA) programme made a huge contribution to the protected area event of the decade. With the support of the European Commission and the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Secretariat, BIOPAMA achieved important results at this global event. 

Turtle on Ascension Island © Simon Vacher
Plans for largest marine protected areas in the world
IUCN has teamed up with a coalition of leading marine conservation organisations to urge the British Government to safeguard the maritime zones of the UK’s overseas territories by creating three of the largest marine protected areas in the world. The Great British Oceans campaign hope to secure the large-scale protection of the waters surrounding Ascension, Pitcairn and South Sandwich Islands.
Futures of Privately Protected Areas
Do not miss out on this fascinating report.  Featuring 17 commissioned country reviews, the report explains that Privately Protected Areas are an essential component in achieving the CBD’s Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 on completing ecologically representative protected area networks around the world. The report introduces a comprehensive new analysis of this type of protected area.
Traditional knowledge saves lives
The Shish Bayli, a Qashqai tribe of Iran is engaged in protecting the Chartang-Kushkizar wetland, crucial for their nomadic livelihoods as well as the survival of many birds who depend on this unique resting place in their trans-continental migration. For more information on the World Parks Congress stream on Respecting Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge and Culture, read their proposed innovative approaches here.

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