IUCN World Parks Congress 2014

This week, Luc Hoffmann Institute staff and fellows will present their research at the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 in Sydney, Australia.

Covering over 14% of land and nearly 3% of the oceans, the world’s 200,000 protected areas conserve wildlife and unique cultures, support human livelihoods and are the foundation for a green economy. They provide drinking water to many of the world’s largest cities, keep climate change in check by storing vast amounts of carbon, sustain the burgeoning tourism industry, protect communities against disasters and bring a wide variety of health benefits, from preventing diseases to improving mental health.

The Congress is a landmark global forum on protected areas setting the agenda for protected areas conservation for the decade to come. Building on the theme “Parks, people, planet: inspiring solutions”, it will present, discuss and create original approaches for conservation and development, helping to address the gap in the conservation and sustainable development agenda.

Carina Wyborn is the new research lead for our place-based conservation programme. Carina will present a new four-year global research project on protected areas and climate climate. She will conduct an open
consultation workshop to further develop the project with partners.

Nyeema Harris and David Gill are Luc Hoffmann Institute Fellows and they will be sharing updates on their research projects.

“Protected areas offer endless benefits that go far beyond the conservation of nature,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. “What we hope to achieve at the Congress is to demonstrate the solutions offered by protected areas to our planet’s challenges, such as climate change, health, food and water security. We must place protected areas firmly at the centre of our economies and societies. What better investment could be made for our future than one that involves conserving our Planet’s most beautiful and most precious places?”


Friday, 14 November 2014.

Presenter: Carina Wyborn – Luc Hoffmann Institute
Time: 1:30- 3:00 PM
Room: 3A2 (Climate Change Home Room)

    Session Title:
    Transforming Conservation Objectives under a Changing Climate

    Presentation Title:
    Systematic protected areas planning in response to climate change (SPARC): a global lens providing regional actions to inform GEF investments.

    Protected areas are a critical strategy in maintaining biodiversity. However, the movement of key species and development pressures beyond their boundaries threaten their effectiveness. A regional perspective can provide critical information for protected area planners, managers and policy makers to understand the impact of climate and other landscape changes on biodiversity. However, a number of barriers challenge the ability of protected area managers and policy makers to manage the changes they face, both now and into the future. The SPARC project seeks to provide evidence based assessments to inform national planning and management of terrestrial protected area networks across three continental biogeographic ecozones where terrestrial biodiversity is highest – the Neotropics, Afrotropics, and Indo-Malayan tropics.

    The SPARC project has an explicit focus on identifying the knowledge needs and capacities required to support planning that responds to the current threats and future challenges to biodiversity conservation in protected area networks. We will assess the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems, as well as the synergistic effects on other threats and drivers at a regional scale. Working closely with regional reference groups, SPARC will combine the social and biophysical assessments to support the development of action plans based on the priority areas, goals and objectives of regional and national decision-makers.

Presenter: Nyeema Harris – Luc Hoffmann Institute Fellow
Time: 13:30- 15:00 PM (14:45)
Location: Hall 3A1

    Session title:
    Protected Planet: status and trends of protected area coverage across countries.
    Launch and explanation of the second Protected Planet Report. Where are we as a planet as we move to meet all elements of Aichi Target 11 by 2020? What is the progress of the elements of Target 11 on land and sea?

    Presentation: Dynamics of the Conservation Estate Project.

Date: Monday 17 November, 2014

Presenter: David Gill – Luc Hoffmann Institute Fellow
Time: 10.30am – 12.00pm
Location: Hall 3A1

    Session title:
    Biodiversity outcomes 2: measuring success and failure of protected areas

    Presentation Title:
    Solving the mystery of marine protected area (MPA) performance: linking governance, conservation, ecosystem services, and human well being.

    As awareness of the importance of marine ecosystem services grows, so too does the recognition that better governance of marine social-ecological systems is critical to sustainability. We report on initial results from an interdisciplinary team investigating the links between marine protected area (MPA) governance and ecosystem structure, function, and services. We are testing our central hypothesis that positive ecological outcomes at MPA sites are associated with good governance, namely inclusive decision making arrangements, active and accountable monitoring and enforcement systems, equitable resource user rights and accessible conflict resolution mechanisms.


Systematic protected areas planning in response to climate change (SPARC) – Research project consultation workshop.

Monday 17th November 6-8pm, Waratah Room, Sydney Olympic Park, Hockey Centre.

    Climate change will cause changes to species interactions, distributions and abundances and their supporting ecosystems. Consequently, protected area managers and policy makers are searching for evidence-based frameworks to support adaptation measures that will safeguard biodiversity in a changing climate. In response, the SPARC project seeks to build regional and national capacity to undertake climate-smart protected area planning across continental biogeographic ecozones where terrestrial biodiversity is highest — the Neotropics, Afrotropics, and Indo-Malayan tropics. Within these ecozones, we will focus in-depth analysis on three multi-country regions: Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru; Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and Tanzania; and Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

    As we are in the initial stages of planning this four-year project, we are hosting this workshop to provide the opportunity for protected area professionals to contribute to its development. There is still ample opportunity for input into designing how the project unfolds in the regions and how to best tailor the project to meet the needs of regional decision-makers and WWF offices and programmes. This workshop will seek your input on understanding:

    • Challenges and opportunities to using spatial planning to support climate-smart protected area planning;
    • Capacities required to support planning for transboundary conservation areas in the face of climate change;
    • Funding allocations for biodiversity conservation and climate adaptation (i.e. the GEF, National Adaptation Programmes of Action, and the Adaptation Fund);
    • How to include adaptation in metrics to assess protected area management effectiveness.

For more information on the Luc Hoffmann Institute or speaker at the IUCN World Parks Congress please contact Chris Johnson, Global Science Communication Manager. Email: / Mobile (Australia) +61 437 226 011.

Luc Hoffmann InstituteIUCN World Parks Congress 2014