“Effective and equitable governance of nature’s use” is one of three pillars identified in the draft IUCN program of work for 2013-2016. Under this program area, IUCN “will consolidate its experience of working with people and institutions, addressing how public and private decisions on nature and ecosystems affect biodiversity and livelihoods. This will lead to a set of principles, standards and tools for nature-related rights, responsibilities, governance and equity.” Work on these governance issues is fundamental for achieving IUCN’s dual objectives of biodiversity conservation and improved human well-being. It is fundamental that mechanisms of good governance be in place because without them the poorest and most marginalized people around the world will not have access to nature’s vast range of benefits, both material (food, fibres, clean water, etc.) and spiritual (recreation, cultural values, etc.).
At the IUCN WCC numerous events will touch directly and indirectly on governance issues because of their prominence in the IUCN program of work for 2013-2016, and other policy spheres such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In this context, this interactive workshop will focus on two main areas. First, it will provide conceptual guidance that will set the stage for how to move forward and consolidate protected area governance work within IUCN. Second, we will consolidate experience, and provide examples of governance best practice in a diversity of protected areas including Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs), private protected areas, and World Heritage Sites. We will hear from a range of initiatives that engage indigenous and local communities in protected areas, including the “Improving Natural Resource Governance for Rural Poverty Reduction” Project (IUCN’s Social Policy Unit), and the Community Management of Protected Areas Conservation (COMPACT) initiative (UNDP/GEF Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP).