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Peru: Countries agree to empower protected natural areas

13:12 | Lima, Oct. 21.

The participating countries at the III Congress of Protected Areas of Latin America and the Caribbean (CAPLAC) —held in Lima last week— agreed to strengthen the systems of protected natural areas and the effective management of those protection spaces.

Likewise, they affirmed that work will be done on the good governance of the territories, landscape connectivity, and ecological representativeness, ensuring inclusion and equity in the management of those spaces and —above all— greater financing.

In the Lima Declaration, participants also committed to accelerating efforts for the recognition and integration of other effective conservation measures and key areas for biodiversity in order to achieve healthy, sustainable, and well-connected territories.

"We make a strong call to give special attention to protected marine areas and oceans in the region, providing strong and sufficient protection through instruments of a binding nature and greater articulation with actors inside and outside national jurisdictions," the document reads.

It added that efforts will be redoubled to ensure respect for the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples, as well as recognition of the contribution of multiple groups.

Closing Ceremony

With about 3,000 participants —among representatives of protected area systems, organized civil society, indigenous peoples, local communities, and the private sector from more than 50 countries— the III Congress of Protected Areas of Latin America and the Caribbean was held. It was an international event that —for the first time— had Peru as its headquarters.

The closing of this important event was led by Prime Minister Vicente Zeballos. He said Peru is a superpower in the world's biodiversity, "a natural wealth that motivates us to feel even more committed and responsible for its conservation and sustainable development."

For her part, Environment Minister Fabiola Muñoz stressed that this congress has represented four extraordinary days of hard work and commitment for the conservation of the region's protected areas, and in which the voices of young people, indigenous peoples, and park rangers have been listened to. In that sense, the government official highlighted the importance of other sectors —such as private companies— joining this type of events.

"We have to be capable of changing the world. We have to be able to promote and value protected areas, especially among those who do not know yet their great importance in the development of all," she emphasized.

As host of the III CAPLAC, Pedro Gamboa, head of the State-run National Service of Protected Natural Areas (Sernanp), affirmed that this event has been a triumph in which participants from more than 50 countries got together by sharing ideas and experiences in areas protected. 

Highlighting the results and commitments of this meeting, the Lima Declaration was presented, underlining the region's leadership and its protected areas to contribute significantly to the solution of global problems such as climate change.

In addition, there was a call to action aimed at increasing the commitment of all biodiversity users, so that —on a daily basis— the dimensions of nature, economy, and society are reconnected through these land and marine areas, which are essential for human survival as we know it today.

Along with the Lima Declaration, the statements by women, local governments, indigenous peoples, park rangers, and youth were also presented.

The emotional moment of the closing event was the declaration of each October 17 as the Day of Protected Areas of Latin America and the Caribbean.

(END) NDP/MAO/MVB

Published: 10/21/2019
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