By Ana Julia Gómez 

The Celebration of Protected and Conserved Areas and their people, consolidated, in spite of adversity, a window of collaboration and valuation of natural and cultural areas for the well-being of our region. 

The Declaration of the Protected Areas Day for all Latin America and the Caribbean was pronounced at the closing of the III Congress of Protected Areas LAC (III CAPLAC), on October 17, 2019, before 3123 participants from 58 countries. It immediately received the support of its organizers and current members of the III CAPLAC Follow-up Committee: led by the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, and with support from the IUCN regional offices of South America and Mesoamerica, Central America and the Caribbean, the National Service of State-Protected Natural Areas – SERNANP Peru, RedPARQUES, FAO, National Natural Parks of Colombia, IUCN’s Commission on Education and Communication, among others.

Logo for Celebración de las Áreas Protegidas de Latinoamérica y el Caribe

It is thus consolidated as the key support tool for the Lima Declaration and other agreements of the III CAPLAC. In 2020, we have 387 Celebrations registered by individuals, organizations and governments, in 18 countries in our region.

The Celebration of Protected Areas LAC, is recognized as a collaborative window for the valuation and articulation of protected and conserved areas and their people at a local and regional scale (Latin America and the Caribbean). The Celebration has an imprint of intergenerational and inclusive work that allowed for simultaneous integration despite a pandemic.

In its first version, it had a concrete and meaningful impact on all levels of protected area management and on the realities of women, youth, park rangers, indigenous peoples, communities and other stakeholders. The overall social networking reach, exceeded 30,000 people. Their innovative contribution was highlighted in information management options and the integration of valuable, little-known areas, through messages and proposals based on hope.

Some products co-managed are the Celebration Guide, the Map of Celebrated Areas with information and coordinates to interact, the Agenda of the Week of Celebration with events of people, organizations and governments of wide scope, the event of Launching of the Declaration of Lima – one year after the III CAPLAC – and the special transmission of more than 5 hours of music, dance, conservation proposals, yoga and good wishes. These celebrations were mainly promoted by 42 young ambassadors from 14 countries, generating a multilevel synergy that allowed the integration of regional political events, rituals, family meetings and official statements.

 

Drome Palapa – Comisión Turismo RARNAP . Source: www.celebracionareasprotegidas.org

The Celebration of Protected Areas LAC is led by members of the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). His mentor Juan Carlos Pacheco (Fundación Áreas Protegidas -FAP- Chile) and Ana Julia Gómez (Fundación Hábitat y Desarrollo – Argentina). Also by María Augusta Almeida Ferri, Mariana Del Brutto (FAP), Lizbet Granados, Jaddira Flores Red de Jóvenes Líderes de la Conservación LAC (RELLAC-joven), with other active and decisive collaborators detailed in our web www. celebracionareasprotegidas. Org

So far we have the important explicit support of IUCN (regional offices of Mesoamerica and the Caribbean, South America), UN Environment Latin America, RedPARQUES, Natura International in Argentina, RELLAC-Joven, IAPA ProjectAmazon Vision, Sterea and 12 Systems of Protected Areas, which are: Peru. National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (Supreme Resolution No. 030-2019 of the Ministry of Environment).

So far, we have the important explicit support of IUCN (regional offices of Mesoamerica and the Caribbean, South America), UN Environment Latin America, RedPARQUES, Natura International in Argentina, RELLAC-Joven, IAPA Project – Amazon Vision, Sterea and 12 Systems of Protected Areas, which are:

  • National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (Supreme Resolution No. 030-2019 of the Ministry of Environment).
  • National Parks Administration. Declaration of Institutional Interest.
  • Natural National Parks of Colombia
  • National System of Protected Areas
  • National Commission of Natural Protected Areas
  • National System of State Protected Wildlife Areas/National Forestry Corporation
  • National Protected Areas Service Costa Rica. National System of Conservation Areas Uruguay. Ministry of the Environment/National System of Protected Areas
  • National Institute of Parks/Ministry of People’s Power for Ecosocialism.
  • Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development (Resolution No. 281 of the National Government)
  • Ecuador National System of Protected Areas

 

Secretaria CN-RBMA CN-RBMA. Source: www.celebracionareasprotegidas.org

 

This surprising response of integration by natural areas and cultural values for the well-being, inspires us and calls us to Celebrate the Protected and Conserved Areas and its people, with more strength in 2021. It challenges us to add actors, to guarantee spaces for new generations, with collaborative and transforming proposals.

Let’s keep celebrating!