Of particular significance is management of tourism and visitation in protected areas — a cornerstone of both conservation and economic development. Now when we look at Target 11 of the Aichi agreement from the 2010 Conference of the Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity, we see an enormous task ahead of us.
Target 11 raises the proportion of the terrestrial surface in nationally designated terrestrial protected areas from 12.7% to 17% by 2020. This is, if my math is correct, an area nearly the size of Australia to be added to the globe’s protected area network. Think of it this way, using the average size of protected areas in the World Database on Protected Areas, this requires adding over 55,000 new areas in eight years.
Think of the institutional and political commitment to this. Think of the number of managers and rangers that will be needed to be educated and trained. Think of the stress on current educational institutions to provide the courses and offerings needed for the thousands of people working there. Think of the tourism development challenges and opportunities that tens of thousands of new protected areas offer.
The tourism industry needs to not just engage a discussion here, but also how to lead an authentic critical discussion, which will not only strengthen their industry and its capabilities to be a socially progressive one, but also greatly assist in making it a more desirable working place.
So this made me curious … why haven’t we heard more about the Aichi Targets? Also, what needs to happen to move Steve’s vision forward?
Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society
Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use
Improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity
Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services
Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building