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09 February, 2015

World and European leaders attend major Scottish conservation event

More than 50 delegates will today (Monday) attend a high-profile conference on the role of protected areas and their resilience to change and external pressures.

The conference ‘Protected Areas – Implications of the Global Agenda’ is held at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.

It has been enabled by the UK National Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and its World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA).

The conference will examine the role of protected areas in meeting society’s needs within the broader framework of conservation.

Delegates will hear that protected areas alone cannot ensure the future of our natural world and the many benefits we gain from it.

The role of protected areas in helping us manage the impacts of new and increasing pressures on nature worldwide will form a part of the conference.

Chaired by Stuart Brooks, John Muir Trust chief executive, speakers include Roger Crofts, IUCN WCPA Emeritus; Boris Erg, director of the IUCN Programme Office for South East Europe, and Carol Ritchie, chief executive of EUROPARC Federation.

Susan Davies, SNH acting chief executive, who will host a session on ‘planning the future’ said: “Protected areas have been an important part of nature conservation policy for more than 60 years. To realise the full range of benefits that come from our protected areas - through the contribution they make to the quality of our local environments, our economy and health - we need to work together to strengthen the connection people have with them.

“This conference brings together a range of views to find the way forward in defining a new role for protected areas in society now and for the future.”

Roger Crofts, WCPA Emeritus said: “Scotland can learn from other parts of the world to ensure that its contribution to global conservation of nature is of the highest standard.

“Three particular issues need to be addressed. First, Scotland needs to ensure that its National Scenic Areas are properly protected and pass international standards, as they do not at present.

“Secondly, more effort needs to be put into ensuring that all of the protected areas are managed effectively. And thirdly, we must encourage greater connection of people, especially younger generations, with nature by establishing ‘a day in nature every year’ for all school children.’”


Notes to editors

Chris Mahon, Chief Executive, IUCN National Committee UK Secretariat: 07860 856952

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