IUCN Asia Parks Congress Highlights the Role of Protected Areas for Human Well-Being
19 November 2013: The first Asia Parks Congress concluded with a call for greater collaboration to ensure the contribution of protected areas to human well-being in the region. The next International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Parks Congress in 2014, under the theme 'Parks, People, Planet – Inspiring Solutions,' will build on the Asia Parks Congress. to highlight the role that protected areas play in conserving nature while also delivering ecosystem services and contributing to the goals of economic and community well-being in the post-2015 development agenda.
The Asia Parks Congress, which convened more than 800 delegates from 46 countries in Sendai City, Japan, from 13-17 November 2013, adopted the Sendai Charter for Asia's Protected Areas, which highlights that ecosystem based disaster risk reduction and protected areas enhance local resilience in areas at high risk for disasters. The Charter also supports two other meeting outcomes – a youth declaration on protected areas and a message to next year's IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia, calling for action on issues such as disaster risk reduction, human health, sustainable economic development and climate change. The Congress focused also on Sanriku Fukko National Park, a new protected area established in the wake of the devastation from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.