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SMHRIC President Nominated as the Representative of the WCPA/CEESP Asia Task Force

June 12, 2007
New York

The Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC) is pleased to announce that its president, Enghebatu Togochog, has recently been nominated as the representative of the Asia Task Force on Protected Areas, a cross-cutting initiative of the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) and the Commission on Environment, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP).

The Task Force is a technical forum comprising people acting in a technical capacity as experts in the field of Protected Areas conservation, poverty and social equity.  Task Force members therefore include opinion leaders from international NGOs, the World Conservation Union (IUCN), and other multilateral agencies together with policy-makers, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) delegates and practitioners from Developing Countries, including representatives of indigenous and local communities.  

The process for consensus building that lies at the heart of this initiative is based on two key premises.  The first is that the closer the people get to field level the easier it is to find consensus amongst different interest groups, i.e. the dialogue must engage the global level with national and local levels that are more grounded in reality.  The second is that consensus is more likely if the entry point is equity in conservation, i.e. the way in which people do conservation rather than the question of whether or not conservation agencies should contribute to poverty reduction.  Naturally the Task Force will address the relationship between protected areas, poverty and equity and in so doing will hopefully resolve some of the confusion, and reconcile some of the conflicting viewpoints, that continue to polarise discussion on this issue.

Therefore the main objectives of the Task Force are:

  1. To promote a better and more widely shared understanding of the linkages between protected areas, social equity, including poverty and poverty eradication, and sustainable development.

  2. To strengthen provisions for social equity in regional and global conservation policy related to protected areas, with particular emphasis on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

  3. To achieve more equitable outcome in the implementation of regional and global conservation policy relatedto protected areas, with particular emphasis on the CBD.

The Task Force is sub-divided into three regional groups --- Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and each regional group has a maximum of 18 members so that the total membership of the Task Force at global level will be around 50.  To ensure a range of different perspectives and technical expertise it is proposed that the balance in Task Force membership at regional level be roughly as follows:

  1. One third members from national government agencies (e.g. Wildlife Authorities, Forest Authorities, Ministries of Environment etc) including at least 2 people who have been, and will continue to be, members of national CBD delegations, and at least two who have been involved in international fora on sustainable development.

  2. One third members from international agencies (e.g. Development Banks, IUCN, UNEP, CBD Secretariat, International NGOs, IIED, international tour operators etc) representing a range of different perspectives, including at least one resource person with in depth knowledge of the CBD Program of Work on Protected Areas and the CBD processes leading to its development.

  3. On third members from national or local civil society organizations representing a range of different perspectives, including at least 3 from organizations representing perspectives of communities living in/around protected areas, at least one being from an indigenous peoples’ organization.

The Task Force has three co-chairs Ali Kaka (WCPA Vice Chair for Eastern Africa), Lea Scherl (Theme on Indigenous and Local Communities, Equity, and Protected Areas), and Phil Franks (CARE International).   It is to be constituted as one Task Force, but with regional groups that may meet independently.



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