From local action to global conservation

Working with global partners and the wider WWF Network, the Protected Areas for a Living Planet project (PA4LP) is working to support the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA) and to influence global policy. Key activities include:
  • Supporting efforts to increase funding and political support for protected areas and biodiversity by promoting the benefits of biodiversity to development, national economies and local people;
  • Influencing global biodiversity policy to promote ambitious targets and innovate approaches to strengthen biodiversity conservation;
  • Sharing experience and lessons learned between the five focal regions as well as with other regions around the world such as the Amazon which are also working with partners to support CBD implementation;
  • Building capacity for implementation of the Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA).

Why international policy is important

Decisions by global organisations and Conventions can have a strong influence on government policies and priorities at national level. International decisions often consider new scientific information, experience and best practice from around the world. They also consider how new approaches and initiatives such as the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services to national and regional economies, or TEEB, can be implemented at national level. When governments are committed to ambitious targets, or the use of new approaches, through international decisions, then political will, funding and action on the ground can follow at the national level.

How to ensure international decisions are implemented

Many international decisions remain poorly implemented because governments make commitments at global fora that are often poorly understood by their local electorate and media. So many governments don’t feel accountable. And where governments would like to implement international commitments they often lack the financing, capacity and expertise to do so. If international decisions are to be implemented at national level then they should be:

1. Clear with tangible targets or outcomes
2. Supported by funding and technical support
3. Accompanied by mechanisms to monitor progress
4. Followed-up by civil society advocacy activities in the national context

PA4LP works in all of these four areas to promote implementation of the PoWPA.

Highlights of PA4LP activities include:

Advocating for better decisions

  • Advocating before and at CBD meetings to ensure countries sign up to strong decisions;
  • Ensuring biodiversity stays on the global agenda by advocating at global fora such as the UNFCCC, UNGA and G8;
  • Promoting the economic and other values of biodiversity conservation;
  • Informing global decisions by sharing lessons learned and expertise gained on the ground.

Providing funding and technical support

  • Making the case for increasing funding for biodiversity (see publications below);
  • Providing support for innovative financing through the LifeWeb Initiative;
  • Organizing events to secure support from donors;
  • Taking part in international workshops with the “Friends of PoWPA” to share experiences.

Measuring and showcasing progress

  • Ensuring the PoWPA has strong targets and timelines and that it is measurable;
  • Assessing progress on PoWPA implementation with the WWF scorecards;
  • Producing reports on how PoWPA is nationally and regionally implemented;
Following up on activities at national level
  • Supporting lobbying activities at national level (e.g. regional workshops in Latin America & Africa);
  • Organizing key events to showcase progress and follow up on countries commitments.
COP10, Making it happen side event 
COP10, Making it happen side event


Showcasing strong partnerships to achieve conservation targets at CBD COP10 in Nagoya, Japan, October 2010

Making the case for biodiversity at the Special Session on Biodiversity and Millennium Development Goals Summit, New York, September 2010

Promoting PA Networks during a roundtable discussion in Madrid, Spain, January 2010

A Network effort to ensure strong targets on PAs are adopted at CBD COP10 during preparatory meeting (SBSTTA) in Nairobi, Kenya, May 2010

Making the case for PAs to be integrated into climate change funding programmes at the Climate Change Summit, Copenhagen, Denmark, December 2009

Big Win commitment from Dinaric Arc countries and pledges from 67 governments for Zero Net Deforestation at CBD COP9 in Bonn, Germany, May 2008

Lobbying activities for adoption of IUCN resolutions supporting the CBD targets on PAs at the IUCN World Conservation Congress, Barcelona, Spain, October 2008

The Arguments for Protection Series is a series of five reports that explore the role of Protected Areas in contributing to poverty reduction, mitigating hazards, securing crop genetic diversity, providing drinking water as well as a focus on the links between PAs and faiths and beliefs.

2010 & Beyond: Rising to the Biodiversity challenge
(PDF 1.5 MB)
Future generations face hunger, thirst, disease and disaster if we carry on trashing the environment. This report contains the latest Living Planet Index - the internationally agreed way to measure progress towards the global target of reducing biodiversity loss by 2010 - and which reveals a continuing decline in biodiversity.

Public Funds to Protected Areas (PDF 700KB) by Stephanie Mansourian & Nigel Dudley
Analysis of government funding for protected areas and GDP. The results indicate that in general public funding to protected areas needs to be substantially increased if Parties are to meet their CBD obligations.

Is Europe fulfilling its CBD obligations? (PDF 872 KB)
An analysis of how the Natura 2000 Network meets the requirements of the CBD's Programme of Work on Protected Areas.

Scorecard on the Programme of Work on Protected Areas (PDF 1.70 MB)
A tool for tracking national progress in implementation of the CBD's Programme of Work on Protected Areas.

A Review of Innovative International Financial Mechanisms for Biodiversity Conservation (PDF 1.58 MB) by Pablo Gutman and Sarah Davidson
This report looks at the international financing of developed countries protected areas, as a contribution to ongoing CBD discussions on how to increase flows of international funds to biodiversity conservation.

The 2010 Biodiversity Target in EU Development Cooperation (PDF, 134 KB) By Sally Nicholson
The aim of this paper is to provide a brief analysis of the progress made by the EU towards the 2010 Biodiversity Target in its external development co-operation policy with a focus on policies and programmes for Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and Asia and Latin America (ALA) countries.

The Protected Areas Benefits Assessment Tool (PDF, 1.25 MB) by Nigel Dudley and Sue Stolton
This report is designed to fill an important gap in the toolbox of protected area agencies and conservation institutions, by providing a methodology to collate and build information about the overall benefits from protected areas.

Torey Lakes - Russian part of trilaterail Dauria International Protected Area
© Torey Lakes. Daursky Biosphere Reserve. Russia © WWF / Bart Wickel

Kids at Altamachi Protected Area, Cochabamba, Bolivia (Pre-Andean Amazon).
© Kids at Altamachi Protected Area, Cochabamba, Bolivia (Pre-Andean Amazon). © WWF / Gustavo YBARRA

Marine Protected Areas can help secure the livelihoods for some of the world's poorest people.
© Marine Protected Areas can help secure the livelihoods for some of the world's poorest people. © WWF / Tantyo BANGUN

It is one thing to commit, and quite a different one to deliver. WWF has proved that it not only commits but it delivers, it makes things happen.”

Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the CBD