REDPARQUES Declaration, from national commitments to international interventions

REDPARQUES
Published: 14 November 2017
Last edited: 15 November 2017
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Summary

The Latin American Technical Cooperation Network on National Parks, other Protected Areas, and Wild Flora and Fauna- also known as REDPARQUES -adopted a Declaration on protected areas as natural solutions to climate change.

During COP 21 of the UN Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC), 18 Latin American countries highlighted the role of protected areas (PAs) for implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation, by providing the "green infrastructure" required. This declaration is based on the interrelation between biodiversity and climate change. 

REDPARQUES Declaration states that PAs offer the opportunity to stabilize the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere, to guarantee the sustainable use of ecosystem services, to reduce the vulnerability of communities and to meet the necessary conditions for adaptation processes. 

Lastly, the Declaration recognizes the importance of the Amazon as an ecosystem that secures ecosystem services and communities' resilience.

 

Classifications

Region
Caribbean
Central America
North America
South America
Ecosystem
Agro-ecosystem
Agroforestry
Beach
Coastal desert
Coastal forest
Coral reef
Cropland
Deep sea
Desert ecosystems
Estuary
Forest ecosystems
Freshwater ecosystems
Grassland ecosystems
Hot desert
Lagoon
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Pool, lake, pond
River, stream
Salt marsh
Seagrass
Temperate deciduous forest
Temperate evergreen forest
Temperate grassland, savanna, shrubland
Tropical deciduous forest
Tropical evergreen forest
Tropical grassland, savanna, shrubland
Wetland (swamp, marsh, peatland)
Other ecosystem
Political structure
Theme
Adaptation
Disaster risk reduction
Legal & policy frameworks
Mitigation
Outreach & communications
Protected area governance
Protected area management planning
Scale of implementation
Multi-national
Aichi targets
Sustainable development goals

Location

Peru | Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Panama, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Challenges

Environmental:

-Deforestation and ecosystem degratation is contributing to climage change by releasing greenhouse gases and halpering delivery of kew ecosstem services for adaptation to climate impacts and disaster risk reduction. PAs help reduce emissions and support continued provision of ecosystem services.

 

Social:

-The stakeholders involved in nature protection, including through PAs, lack sufficient visibility and power within the climage change arena in the region, in order to effectively support countries' mitigation and adaptation efforts.

-Bringing together leaders of 18 different Latin American Systems of Protected Areas for a common goal.

 

Economic:

-Climate change strategies requiere financing on the part of governments of the region, which have limited capacities to provide it. Nature-based strategies, such as PAs, are particularly appropriate in this context because are cost-effective, socio-economically viable and represent a low risk financial investment.

Beneficiaries

-Local: communities living inside and from PAs

-National: PAs Agencies and CC authorities of 18 Latin American Countries

-Regional: REDPARQUES

-Global: PAs networks of the world and the international communities affected by climate change

How do the building blocks interact?

The policy analysis made as part of an NGO project resulted in the identification of gaps at a regional scale. This project proposed a Declaration that needed a stronger institutional structure in order to become a reality.

REDPARQUES is an institution working on the protected areas' and climate change's issues. REDPARQUES member's have background working on the matter and saw the necessity of making such commitments. This institution was opened to work and adopt that Declaration.

The previous work and experience of REDPARQUES gave the Declaration the necessary power and strength it required to be visible for leaders and PAs agencies of all the world.

Now the Declaration is a model to be replicated at a global level.

 

Impacts

  • Several signatories included PAs as climate change strategies in their Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement (e.g. Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico)
  • New environmental policies and laws of the signatory countries recognize the role of PAs as cc strategies (e.g. Ecuador's Organic Environmental Code)
  • PAs Agency's authorities have been included for the first time in their countries' official delegations to the UNFCCC's COPs (e.g. Colombia, Ecuador, Peru)
  • CBD COP13 Decision mentions regional initiatives and the contribution of PAs as natural solutions to climate change
  • Stating the relevance of the Amazon under an international declaration facilitates its protection and helps the process of mitigating and adapting to climate change.
  • PAs can be used to meet other international conventions and targets, such as the Aichi Targets, Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and REDD+. 
  • The Declaration shows the importance of having PAs integrated for planning of climate change agendas and for financial regimes.
  • The Declaration endorses the commitment of countries for protecting biodiversity and to meet climate change agendas. It is a force required to boost the commitment of other countries. 

Story

REDPARQUES

On August 2015, members of the Latin American Technical Cooperation Network on National Parks, other Protected Areas, Flora and Wild Fauna (REDPARQUES) met at Lima, Peru. In order to strengthen the cooperation and improve the managment capacities of 19 different countries. Leaders discussed the importance of signing a Declaration about protected areas (PAs) and climate change (CC). The result was "REDPARQUES Declaration", a document in which 18 countries recognize the role of protected areas for mitigating the effects of climate change, and for helping communities and ecosystems to adapt to its effects.

 

The Declaration was officially submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat and presented at side-events and a press conference at COP21, with a total of 200 government and civil society  attendees. 

 

The activities at COP21 in Paris resulted in the inclusion of PAs as a CC stategy in the discourse of high level environmental authorities (governments, multilateral institutions, civil society and academia) at SNACC events and press conferences, as well as in other COP21-related events and the inclusion of PAs in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, as part of their strategies and commitments to face CC. 

 

After COP21, several activities took place to continue positioning the REDPARQUES Declaration. For example, there was a contribution to Issue 22.1 of IUCN WCPA’s peer review journal, PARKS, by co-writing an editorial on the role of PAs as natural solutions to CC and on the REDPARQUES Declaration (published online on 14 March 2016).  In May, responding to a request from WCPA's Natural Solutions Specialist Group, the Declaration was resented at the WCPA Steering Committee meeting, achieving the official support of WCPA President, Kathy MacKinnon, and the interest of some of the vice chairs of different regions in replicating the Declaration. At the World Conservation Congress (Hawaii, September, 2016) several events took place where the Declaration was discussed by different stakeholders in order to present progress on implementation, and explore the possibility of replicating it in other regions of the world. REDPARQUES also promoted its declaration at CBD COP13. 

Contributed by

Valeria Petrone

Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas

Contributors

Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas de México (CONANP)