The International Nature Conservation Academy on the Island of Vilm in northern Germany was host to a workshop focused on the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Area over the weekend of 26-27 October. It included the first ever formal meeting of the Green List Committee, chaired by Dr Kathy MacKinnon, which deliberated on all of those sites around the world that are seeking Green Listing. At present 33 countries are involved in preparing sites for Green Listing involving approximately 250 sites.
The Green List Committee’s first task was to re-examine sites that had been provisionally listed in the pilot phase starting in 2014. The adoption by the IUCN Council of the new Green List Standard meant that sites had to re-assess their performance on certain new criteria, and particularly those concerning their social and biodiversity outcomes. Sites that have not yet undergone these revisions had their listings extended until December 2019.
The Committee also considered new sites for listing from eight countries, and will confirm these decisions after queries have been resolved. A Green List Award Ceremony, presided over by Egypt’s Minister of the Environment will take place on 24 November at the Ras Mohammed Marine National Park as part of the 14th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Those who have been following developments since 2014, will know that the CBD at COP13 in Mexico in 2016 requested Parties to the Convention to “promote the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas as a voluntary standard to encourage protected area management effectiveness” (CBD COP Decision XIII/2). This is highly significant because ahieving effectiveness in protected and conserved areas requires that each site delivers not only the coverage of areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, but is also effectively and equitably managed. Although many sites are subject to regular assessments of their management effectiveness, the IUCN Green List Standard for the first time puts in place the required level of achievement.
The IUCN delegation in Egypt will be promoting the application of the IUCN Green List Standard, together with the many countries that have committed to using it. Apart from rewarding the success of these protected areas, the listing of sites is an opportunity to recognize the enormous efforts of the women and men who deliver conservation in sites. We hope to feature many of these sites and these conservation heroes in future editions of this newsletter.
IUCN thanks the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation for hosting the Green List Meeting, and allow the special place of Vilm to provide the unique atmosphere and excellent facilities that have resulted in a very productive meeting.