Your Connections to Mountains

IUCN/WCPA Mountain Biome Workshop - Ecuador 2006

IUCN - The World Conservation Union
WCPA - World Commission on Protected Areas



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What is Mountain Connectivity Conservation?
What precious resource is disappearing from the Earth even faster than glaciers and polar ice?

Wilderness and other lands that serve as protected habitats and migration corridors for plant and animal species around the world. As these "sky islands" or "life rafts" for species and processes shrink from the pressures of human development, agriculture or resource extraction they become increasingly unable to support their valuable ecosystems.

What can we do to reverse this destructive trend?

Understand and support Mountain Connectivity Conservation:

Preserve, protect, and reconnect existing protected areas (parks, preserves, wilderness, wild lands, etc.) to remaining or reclaimed fragments of these ecosystems to establish larger protected zones and "conservation corridors" locally, nationally, and internationally. Doing so will ensure long-term viability for their plant, animal, and human species and a better chance for survival as we face an uncertain future threatened by global climate changes.

Today, a rapidly growing number of plant and animal species are threatened with extinction because of fragmentation and destruction of their natural habitats.

Now it is becoming crucially important to conserve and re-create physical connections and protected corridors in landscapes around the world. These protected areas will give animals, plants, and Earth's ecological processes the ability escape extinction and destruction by allowing them to migrate successfully from one area to another.

Therefore the concept and practice of Connectivity Conservation has become an important part of environmental protection planning worldwide.

But the task of establishing, preserving, and protecting these type of connectivity in today's rapidly developing world is a huge and growing challenge. That is why our global group of mountain experts, the IUCN-WCPA Mountains Biome Network, has put together a high-level workshop devoted specifically to the development and promotion of Mountain Connectivity Conservation Management.

The workshop occurs November 12-14, 2006 in a village high in the Andes mountains of Ecuador, called Termas de Papallacta, renowned for its geothermal hot springs (termas). We have invited experts from around to the world to come together at this workshop to share their knowledge and experiences in this subject, and produce tangible outputs to increase the world's understanding of Mountain Connectivity Conservation Management in Protected Areas (parks, reserves, refuges, wilderness areas, etc.).

One of the outputs is the development of this web site, which will serve as an informational portal to provide new information and ideas on how to manage Connectivity Conservation in the mountain areas of the world.

Another important tangible output from the workshop will be publication of a new book on mountain conservation connectivity management. Our new book on the subject of Mountain Connectivity Conservation Management in Protected Areas will includes case studies from around the world providing examples, best practices, and information that will be of use to conservationists and protected area managers.

It will contain case studies drawn from research and implementation of best practices on this subject. This book will provide people around the world with updated and important knowledge plus proven examples of ways to successfully reconnect fragmented ecosystems in their regions and countries. It will arm them with updated information and ideas for crafting a vision for species survival as they enter a future clouded by the looming challenges of global climate change.

© 2006 McMillan Associates for WCPA-Mountains Biome