Draft Motion

Observing protected area norms in the Wild Heart of Europe

WELCOMING the call through UN Sustainable Development Goal 15 for States to protect, restore and promote the sustainable use of ecosystems, to sustainably manage forests, and to preserve biodiversity;

RECOGNIZING that SDG 15 endorses the primary objective of IUCN Category II Protected Areas under the guidelines endorsed by the 5th WCC in Resolution 5.040, to protect biodiversity along with its underlying ecological structure and supporting environmental processes;

CONCERNED that the guidelines are not being uniformly applied in the largest natural forested area in Central Europe, which encompasses national parks Šumava and  Bayerischer Wald at the borders of the Czech Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as the adjacent Böhmerwald-Mühltäler protected area in the Republic of Austria;

AWARE that NP Šumava and NP Bayerischer Wald were declared as Transboundary Parks by the EUROPARC Federation, based in part on the states' mutual commitments to work together towards the objectives of Category II;

TROUBLED by the failure of NP Šumava to implement the recommendations of the WCPA to accelerate its transition to a non-intervention management regime for the predominant part of the park, an insufficient extent of the nature zone being incompatible with its Category II classification;

RECOGNIZING the need for international cooperation in the conservation of transboundary and migratory populations of NP Šumava, NP Bayerischer Wald, and the Böhmerwald-Mühltäler area, as well as in the preservation of wilderness areas to serve as migration stepping stones as a means of adaptation to climate change in pursuit of SDG 13; and

CONSIDERING Article IV of the Bonn Convention, which encourages parties to conclude agreements for the benefit of all transboundary populations, in conjunction with the objective of Category II Protected Areas to contribute to the protection of wide-ranging species, regional ecological processes and migration routes;

The World Conservation Congress, at its 6th session in Honolulu, United States of America, 1-10 September 2016:

1.    CONGRATULATES the Czech Republic and Bavaria on their commitment to manage NP Šumava and NP Bayerischer Wald in accordance with IUCN’s Category II classification for protected areas;

2.    CALLS ON the range states of the migratory species and transboundary populations found in NP Šumava, NP Bayerischer Wald, and the Böhmerwald-Mühltäler area to cooperate with the Bonn Convention to establish measures to sustain these populations, species and their migration routes;

3.    ENDORSES Resolution 22 adopted by the 10th World Wilderness Congress in Salamanca, which emphasizes the international importance of wilderness conservation in NP Šumava and calls for the implementation of WCPA recommendations for its management;

4.    AFFIRMS that, to adhere to Category II criteria, the Czech Republic must, at a minimum, implement past WCPA recommendations by:

a.    extending the non-intervention management zone to 30% of the park extent immediately; and
b.    setting out a binding timetable for its further extension to at least 50% of the park extent by the year 2030, in strict accordance with scientific recommendations; and

5.    REQUESTS the IUCN Director General and the Chair of the WCPA to confer with those responsible for the NP Šumava and NP Bayerischer Wald as Transboundary Parks to ensure that this Resolution is understood and that they have unambiguous guidance as to the uniform application of the Guidelines for Applying Protected Area Management Categories.