World's fastest-growing region to host its first congress on protected areas

The 1st Asia Parks Congress, taking place 13 to 17 November in Japan, will propose new action to address the challenges facing protected areas in one of the world's fastest-growing regions.

Protected areas including national parks, nature reserves and community conserved areas play a key role in tackling global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, natural disasters and food and water security. A third of the world’s largest cities derive drinking water from forested protected areas. Another 10% obtain water from sources that originate in protected watersheds.

The Asia Parks Congress will bring together, for the first time, government agencies, conservation professionals, researchers, NGOs, youth and civil society to chart a future for the region's parks and protected areas.

The event, organized by IUCN and Japan’s Ministry of the Environment, will be hosted in Sendai City which lies in the zone of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. Among the issues discussed will be the Sanriku Fukko National Park, a new protected area that has risen from the devastation of the tsunami.

Other topics being addressed include the role of protected areas in respecting culture and tradition, boosting tourism and environmental education and safeguarding biodiversity.

The outcomes of this event will feed into the IUCN World Parks Congress which will take place in Sydney next year. Held only once every 10 years, the IUCN World Parks Congress is the leading event for protected areas, and sets the agenda for their conservation for the coming decade.

For more information contact:

Jamie Kemsey, IUCN Protected Areas Regional Communications Network Manager

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