Broadscale conservation

The international standards for identification of Key Biodiversity Areas were published by IUCN in late 2016; Nigel was a member of the editorial board. As follow up, we are involved in an IUCN project to develop principles for use of KBAs and guidance for companies and others operating within KBAs, which should be completed in 2017.

We are both involved in an IUCN task force working on guidance for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on the definition of “other effective area-based conservation measures”, the ‘additional’ part of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11, which emerged from CBD negotiations and has puzzled people ever since. The task force has met several times in the UK and Germany and has a meeting planned for early 2017 in Canada, which will hopefully come close to finalising this work.

We also published a short paper describing elements of a landscape approach with WWF late in 2016.

Protected areas

We continue to work with WWF on CA|TS (Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards). Over 30 sites have now signed up for the process. Our work involves helping sites implement CA|TS, developing systems for managing CA|TS, outreach and overseeing the CA|TS Executive Committee.

In spring 2016 we carried out a follow-up mission in Bhutan, working with the Wildlife Conservation Department, competing the development of a Bhutan METT + for assessing the management effectiveness of the country’s protected areas. The trip included interviews with stakeholders in three protected areas around the country and has led to development of a State of the Parks report for the country to be released at CBD COP 13. Working for WWF UK, we assessed fifteen years experience in using the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool in over 2,500 protected areas and produced an analysis and lessons learned in the METT Handbook, published at the World Conservation Congress in Hawai’i. We are also working with the IUCN National Committee for the UK on developing an options paper for a management effectiveness assessment of protected areas in the UK.

Equilibrium provided technical guidance to WWF International on developing responses to climate change in marine protected areas, with project sites in Colombia, Madagascar and the Philippines. The final CAMPA manual was published in 2016. In collaboration with the Luc Hoffmann Institute, CSIRO and the Australian National University, we are involved in a project on ecosystem based adaptation, looking particularly at the role that future thinking with respect to climate change, with field sites in Colombia and three trips to the country during the year.

Nigel is currently chairing a specialist group on Natural Solutions for IUCN WCPA. The work of the specialist group is building on a successful stream on ecosystem services at the World Parks Congress in 2014. A website is under development and several other publications have been produced and others are planned.

Sue has been working with IUCN's World Heritage Programme on adapting the Enhancing our Heritage Toolkit, a detailed management effectiveness system developed for natural World Heritage sites, to cultural sites. The project includes working with all the World Heritage site managers in Switzerland to adapt the toolkit and is part of IUCN's connecting nature and culture programme.

We have also worked with colleagues to publish papers on the role of category V protected areas in biodiversity conservation, biosphere reserves in Vietnam and drivers of biodiversity loss; and we continue to edit the peer review journal for PARKS for IUCN WCPA.

Society and Environment

At the beginning of 2016 we worked with the WWF Living Amazon Initiative to write a book on the state of the Amazon biome, which was published in June. The Living Amazon Report 2016 is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese and involved travel and interviews in five countries in the region, plus inputs from many dozen WWF staff and researchers around the world.

Also with WWF we worked with a team of social entrepreneurs to investigate options for providing economic alternatives to deforestation in the Mekong Basin, Nepal and parts of Indonesia. Impact in the Forests was published in early 2016 and summarises experience to date with the project.

Equilibrium worked with colleagues in Switzerland and Norway to provide input on natural resources to a major report on cities in Africa prepared by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Finally in this area, we are contracted by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification as general editors of the first Global Land Outlook, a major report on the status of land resources throughout the world, scheduled for publication in mid 2017.

Sue and Nigel were both involved in numerous activities leading up to and at the 2016 World Conservation Congress in Honolulu.