The new federation of mountain protected areas


A new global alliance of mountain protected areas, the Federation of Mountain Protected Areas (FMPA), was announced at the sixth International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia, on 13 November 2014. Open to organizations that work in mountain protected areas around the world, the FMPA will be a platform to share information, experiences, know-how and best practices to facilitate the management of mountain protected areas.

This initiative is promoted within the framework of the Mountain Partnership, a United Nations voluntary alliance dedicated to the sustainable development of mountains, and by the Ev-K2-CNR Association of Italy, which is one of the key players in the implementation of the Central Karakorum National Park in North Pakistan.

The Federation was officially presented during the event, “Mountain Protected Areas: a Worldwide Heritage”. The idea aroused great interest and very positive feedback from the more than 100 attendees at the event, who represented mountain regions around the world. Speakers at the event included:  Linda McMillan, a Deputy Vice-Chairman of the  Connectivity and Mountains Biome Network of the IUCN`s World Commission of Protected Areas and President of Mountain Protection Commission of International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation; Franco Mari, Ev-K2-CNR Scientific Coordinator and Scientific Advisor to the SEED Project; Eduardo Mansur, Director of the Forest Assessment, Management and Conservation Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); and Ashiq Ahmad Khan, Ev-K2-CNR Representative Pakistan, who led the final round table.

“In the 20th century, land managers focused their mountain protection efforts on finding ways to protect these special places FROM visitors and other mountain stakeholders. But In the 21st century, mountains face new huge global threats such as climate change, global warming, invasive species, and human population growth.  Today, we now understand that long-term mountain protection is only possible when protected area managers focus their efforts on finding ways to protect these special places WITH visitors and other mountain stakeholders. That is the future of mountain protection, and I am impressed with the bold and realistic vision of the Federation of Mountain Protected Areas” said Linda McMillan.   

For Franco Mari “all those who work for mountain protected areas eventually confront two main problems specifically linked to mountain areas. First of all, the need to find common ground between the rules needed to protect natural resources and the needs of local communities that greatly depend on these resources. Secondly, the necessity to find good practices to face the fragility of mountain ecosystems, highly sensitive to climate and environmental changes. That’s why we want to share many different successful solutions that can be adopted--thus the idea of the Federation”.

The Federation was also discussed on 18 November  during the session called “Watershed management – modern approach to parks and protected area management,” led by FAO. “ FAO and the Mountain Partnership Secretariat support the creation of a Federation of Mountain Protected Areas in close collaboration with all the other partners that are involved in the protection of mountain environments. This is a chance to work with existing structures and build upon synergies worldwide” said Eduardo Mansur of FAO. 

Ashiq Hamad Khan underlined that “the idea of the establishment of a platform for the mountain protected areas was specially agreed by the participants and its need was emphasized. However, there were certain reservations on the term “Federation” suggesting the necessity of a name more appropriate and linked to the goals that has to be reach”.

Very important for this initiative the words of Olivier Chassot, Co-Vice Chair, Connectivity Conservation & Mountains World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) – IUCN: “The recent launch of the Federation of Mountain Protected Areas by Mountain Partnership and Ev-K2-CNR is providing a useful new platform for protected areas managers and mountain conservation practitioners all over the world. The prospect of connecting professionals that face common threats and challenges in sometime very different contexts lays the foundation for sharing best practices and lessons learnt. A great number of protected areas are located in mountain ranges in every continent, in many cases covering large extension and providing much needed connectivity across important landscapes. These mountainous landscapes make up for a wonderful opportunity to develop conservation actions that enhance connectivity and enable the adaptation to climate change. In this regard, and in the face of the greatest challenges that the human being has ever faced, it is of paramount importance that mountain protected area managers from every corner of the globe may have a chance to properly network and learn from each other. The WCPA Connectivity Conservation & Mountain is very pleased to witness the raise of the Federation of Mountain Protected Areas and formulates its best wishes for a promising future, and hopes to be able to develop a fruitful collaboration”.

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Photo:Flickr/Jeff Krause


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