CBD COP11: Protected areas are a local and international imperative

Rio Conventions Pavilion TV, CBD COP11 (16/10/2012) – Trevor Sandwith, Director of IUCN’s Global Protected Areas Program, describes the importance of protected areas and the challenges facing them in future.

Sandwith explains that protected areas are those set aside by governments to protect areas of significant natural wealth. He states that they are now present in every nation on earth.

Sandwith outlines the wide variety of different ecosystems that protected areas seek to conserve, such as marine, terrestrial or freshwater ecosystems.

Sandwith gives examples of the ecosystem services provided by protected areas, such as the functional value of an area storing water or the spiritual value of part of the local landscape for a community.

Sandwith also emphasises that some ecosystem services benefit the whole world, such as the sequestration of carbon emissions by forests. He assets that this makes their protection a priority both for the local communities that directly engage with them and for the international community.