First Asia Parks Congress

With the generous support of the Ministry of Environment of Japan, Spike Millington, EAAFP Chief Executive was able to attend the First Asia Parks Congress in Sendai, Japan on 13 – 17 November, 2013.

The Congress brought together 800 representatives from protected area agencies, non-governmental organizations, research institutions and youth and civil society from 22 countries to share experiences, improve networking and communication and set future agendas for protected area management in Asia. Jointly organized by the Government of Japan and IUCN, the outcomes of the meeting will lead directly into the World Parks Congress, to be held in Sydney, Australia in 2014.

Spike participated in the Working Group on International Cooperation for Protected Areas and gave a presentation on the role of Protected Areas in the conservation of migratory waterbirds in the East Asian – Australasian Flyway. He also participated in meetings to establish a Regional Partnership for protected areas in Asia and provided input based on the experience of EAAFP as a multi-stakeholder, regional partnership.

A number of side-events included one on Collaboration for Conservation of the Yellow Sea Ecoregion, organized by WWF Japan and including presentations by WWF Japan, WWF China, Birdlife International and the Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem project.

Congress participants agreed by consensus to “Asia Protected Areas Charter” as a guideline based on Asian experiences for the reconciliation between nature conservation and development in the region. Productive and constructive discussions at six Working Groups also led to the formulation of “Message from the 1st Asia Parks Congress to the IUCN World Parks Congress, Sydney 2014”

For details of the Congress, please visit the APC website

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