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Five steps for the protection of the parks

Is it possible to have cases of environmental degradation in protected areas such as national parks? If yes, how can we uncover the possible causes and develop appropriate solutions?

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), an independent Canadian research centre that promotes environmental sustainability through technological innovation, communication and partnerships, has drafted a manual providing 5 guidelines for rapid and effective interventions in conservation areas: a toolkit to evaluate risks and generate resilient solutions.

IIDS, collaborating with various partners, has developed “CRiSTAL Parks” to help conservationists and protected areas administrators to better integrate risks into strategic planning, improve climate change adaptation strategies and identify the major challenges that have to be faced in the different protected areas. “CRiSTAL Parks” projects have been carried out by Peru’s National Service of Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP) in the Nor Yauyos Cochas Landscape Reserve – where glacier melting, hail and intense rainfalls have worsted climate risks – as well as by Mexico’s National Commission of Protected Areas (CONANP) at Loreto Bay – where warmer winters and droughts have severely degraded a vast territory.

 

The five steps included in the IIDS’ toolkit are:

 

Step 1

Describe the conservation, livelihoods and climate context

 

Step 2

Analyse climate risk and identify the Protected Area’s potential to mitigate these risks

 

Step 3

Revise existing project or management plan activities

 

Step 4

Design new project or management plan adaptation activities and action plans

 

Step 5

Identify key elements for your monitoring and evaluation framework

 

According to the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), an archive charting all the protected areas worldwide, Mexico counts 1188 protected areas, covering a terrestrial surface of 280 thousands km² (the 14.3% of its entire territory), and marine space of 74 thousands km² (the 2.3% of its national waters). Peru has ‘only’ 244 protected areas, roughly covering the 21.3% of its territory and the 0.5% of its waters.