Following the January 2006 meeting on the Convention on Biological Diversity's (CBD) Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA), six of the largest nature conservation NGOs and other partners have produced a joint statement charting how they are best positioned to support the implementation of the PoWPA in World Heritage sites.

The statement includes a list of indicative activities that are intended to assist State Parties implement components of the PoWPA in World Heritage sites, which will then act as models for national Protected Area systems. The statement was presented recently at the 8th Conference of the Parties of the CBD.

One of the most important commitments made in the statement is to develop large-scale initiatives suitable for external financing in recognition that the implementation of the PoWPA in many World Heritage sites will require significant external assistance. As such the signatories, with the participation of the World Heritage Centre, are prepared to focus their collective expertise in order to jointly develop, fundraise and implement a large-scale initiative focusing on assisting State Parties to improve the management of their World Heritage sites. This project will be specifically  based on lessons learned in the successful "Enhancing our Heritage" project funded by the United Nations Foundation. 

Since the January meeting, the World Heritage Centre has secured funding to help prepare the groundwork for the rolling out of management effectiveness training to a wider range of World Heritage sites. Over the next several months, an intensive "train the trainers" workshop will be organized, and World Heritage site managers will be invited to learn more about Management Effectiveness training, in the lead up to developing a large-scale project focusing on several World Heritage sites.  

Two of our partner's websites are currently featuring articles on the Joint Statement:

IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas
http://www.iucn.org/themes/wcpa/newsbulletins/indexnews/indexnews.htm 

International Model Forest Network Secretariat
http://www.idrc.ca/imfn/ev-96245-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html

Click on the link below to visit the Convention on Biological Diversity website, which includes the text of decisions taken at CoP 7 and the complete programme of work on protected areas in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian.

http://www.biodiv.org/decisions/default.aspx?dec=VII/28

The complete text of the joint statement can be downloaded below.