Broadscale conservation

Recent projects include working with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, editing the first edition of their Global Wetlands Outlook, published in autumn 2018 and collaborating with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN on a major report on Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture.

Guidance on “Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures”, a new category emerging from the Convention on Biological Diversity, is now almost complete, the definition having been approved at a CBD Conference of Parties in November 2018 and the IUCN publication in final revision. With WWF, Nigel is advising on a grasslands project running in Colombia and Paraguay.

In 2019, we will be developing our long term involvement on landscape scale conservation with WWF further.

Protected areas

In February 2018 we published the first in a planned series of Equilibrium Dialogues, Protected Areas: Challenges and responses for the coming decade, laying out priorities in the run-up to the CBD Conference of Parties later in 2018 and in 2020 when new global targets will be debated.

Sue continues to be involved in development of Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards (CA|TS), a capacity building and accreditation scheme for tiger reserves; an analysis of management effectiveness in 120 tiger reserves, Safe Havens for Wild Tigers, was published in early 2018 and a Business Plan for rolling out CA|TS between 2018 and 2022 was published in the spring as was a paper describing the development of CA|TS to data. Working with the Wildlife Conservation Network and the Lion Recovery Fund, we are carrying out a major study on the ecosystem services derived from lion landscapes in Africa. UNDP has provided support for a smaller initial project looking at similar issues in jaguar landscapes in Latin America.

Much of our protected area work reflects on ecosystem services, particularly through the Natural Solutions specialist group of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, which Nigel chairs. A workshop in January 2018 Germany helped develop a manual on selection of assessment methods for ecosystem services, published in March 2018, and revised the Protected Area Benefits Assessment Tool, now ten years old and ready for a second edition to be published early next year. We are also working for the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity collecting case studies on financial benefits from protected areas, the work was presented at the CBD COP in Egypt in November 2018 and will be published in 2019.

Protected area categories and definitions continue to be challenging; Nigel has been heavily involved in revising IUCN’s best practice guidance on marine protected area management categories, and has been advisor on categories to the governments of Denmark and Iceland during 2018. We are also continuing to work on Protected Area Management Effectiveness (PAME), running a workshop in Myanmar in December 2018.

Working with Madhu Rao, we have been carrying out a detailed survey and analysis of the protected area portfolio of the Wildlife Conservation Society around the world, due for completion early in 2019.

Sue has been particularly involved in drawing up best practice guidance for privately protected areas with IUCN, published in November 2018, and Nigel is part of the team putting together a technical guide on integration of climate change into protected area planning in association with the Luc Hoffmann Institute and Parques Naturales Nacionales in Colombia. An initial paper on the methodology was published recently in Ambio.

We have both been involved in developing MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) on ecosystem services for IUCN PAPACO - South Africa and protected area management for ZSL. Both will be launched in 2019.

Society and Environment

Nigel was lead author of the inaugural Global Land Outlook for the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, a massive report looking at all aspects of land cover and land degradation around the world. Sue was lead researcher and author of a major report on the wider ecosystem services values of tiger reserves, Beyond the Stripes: save tigers, save so much more, carried out for WWF, was launched in late 2017. And we are currently doing research on the role of pastoralism in natural World Heritage sites, as part of a larger project on transhumance and conservation being coordinated by DiverseEarth.