The objectives of the World Heritage Convention are the identification, protection, conservation and presentation of the world's natural and cultural heritage and ultimately, the successful transmission of them to future generations. UNEP-WCMC and IUCN have undertaken a range of global and regional studies to support State Parties to the Convention in the selection of potential sites, and to assist in the evaluation of nominations.Resource Type: Reports
The United Nations List of Protected Areas is an essential reference document for all who want to understand the progress made in responding to the challenges of biodiversity loss and other environmental threats around the world. It is a record of extraordinary human achievement over 125 years - a commitment by nations, peoples, groups and individuals to safeguard areas of land and sea from destruction. Protected areas represent human ideals at their best - they express a long term vision and a broad sense of responsibility towards people and nature.
This version of the list is the twelfth in a series, each recording steady expansion in the total area protected. There are now some 12,754 areas in the UN List, covering almost 8% of the land surface of the world (a far smaller proportion of the oceans is protected). Compared to the previous, 1993 edition of the of the UN List, this report includes 2,933 more sites covering 3.9 million more square kilometres. At the end of the century it can be said that practically every country has protected areas; some have a very sophisticated network of sites.Resource Type: Reports
The success of protected areas as a tool for conservation is based around the assumption that they are managed to protect the values that they contain. To be effective, management should be tailored to the particular demands of the site, given that each protected area has a variety of biological and social characteristics, pressures and uses. Achieving effective management is not an easy task – it requires adopting appropriate management objectives and governance systems, adequate and appropriate resourcing and the timely implementation of appropriate management strategie and processes. It is unlikely to be achieved fully without an approach to management that is inquiring an reflective – that seeks to understand how effective the current management regime is and how it could be improved. Information on management effectiveness is thus a cornerstone of good management.
Aquilaria spp. are the main source of gaharu, one of the most valuable non-timber products harvested from tropical forests. In order to assess the impact of gaharu harvesting on populations of Aquilaria spp. in Indonesia, the activities of gaharu collectors were assessed by accompanying them on collecting expeditions.
Given current harvesting practices, it is unlikely that gaharu is being sustainably harvested at present. The results suggest that the gaharu trade may have had a substantial impact on the population size of Aquilaria spp. in Indonesia, and their implications are discussed in the context of setting harvest quotas for regulation of trade, as required by CITES.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Over the past 10 years a number of studies and consultations have been carried out to develop and refine the Global Strategy for achieving a balanced, representative and credible World Heritage List that reflects the world’s diverse heritage. This review is an important addition to that process, focusing on the inter-related elements of biogeography, habitats and biological diversity that underpin much of what we consider ‘natural heritage’.Resource Type: Reports
The importance of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) to rural income was examined in a highland community in the Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve, Jalisco-Colima, Mexico. Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) techniques were used to interview 70 of households in the community of El Terrero. Of the nine plant species identified as NTFP sources, the two principal species traded by the community were tila (derived from the flowers and fruits of the tree Ternstroemia lineata), and blackberry (Rubus spp.). Collecting and selling of NTFPs was almost exclusively undertaken by women, with 80 of respondents participating. NTFP sale ranked as the most important source of cash income for 30 of women interviewed, and either second- or third-most important for the remainder. The research examined harvesting impact on populations of T. lineata, an understory tree species characteristic of cloud forest, which this was assessed in the four most-frequented collecting sites. Our results suggested that current harvesting approaches appear to be sustainable, although 95 of the women interviewed reported a decline in resource availability within the last 15 years, apparently resulting from illegal cutting. Suggestions are made with respect to the sustainable development of NTFP resources to help alleviate poverty within the Reserve.Resource Type: Journal Papers
In the past few years, a number of analyses have been undertaken to measure progress towards the 2010 and 2012 CBD targets. This report demonstrates how the measurement of progress is influenced by decisions on which protected areas are included (for instance, whether internationally designated sites, or sites without an assigned IUCN category are included) and which biogeographic datasets used (for instance which mountain dataset is chosen), and highlights the need for standardised methods and datasets.Resource Type: Journal Papers
UNEP-WCMC and IUCN, with support from UNESCO, compile information sheets for all properties inscribed on the World Heritage List for natural or mixed (natural and cultural) reasons. These sheets are usually prepared following the inscription of a property on the World Heritage List. The sheets are updated from time to time. The latest available sheets are published on this webpage.Resource Type: Reports
Two recent analyses have measured protected area coverage for each of the world’s realms, biomes and ecoregions - UNEP-WCMC, 2008 and Jenkins and Joppa, 2009 Expansion of the global terrestrial protected area system, Biological Conservation 142 (2009), pp. 2166–2174, using the WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World.
However, data handling procedures differ between these analyses, resulting in differences in the protection statistics reported. Here we outline differences in the use of datasets, present alternative analyses of the protected area coverage of WWF realms, biomes and ecoregions for 2009, and compare the two estimates of protected area coverage.
Protected areas can act as a case study for REDD: lessons can be learnt from their success or otherwise in reducing deforestation and supporting local livelihoods. Further research into the most effective management and governance frameworks for acheiving goals on carbon emissions, biodiversity and communities, and the extent to which protected areas reduce (or merely displace) deforestation within national boundaries would be useful in informing REDD implementation.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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