Notes from WILD9: The End of the Conference

After one long and busy week, WILD9 is coming to and end. Representatives of indigenous communities, foundations, corporations, big international NGOs and small local NGOs, conservation photographers, writers, scientists and academics are gathered in the plenary hall to announce and listen to the resolutions that are coming out of the 9th World Wilderness Congress in Merida, Mexico.

The top three resolutions are: to support the consolidation of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor; to protect old-growth forests for climate stabilization; and to align federal development policies with conservation management plans in areas of influence of Protected Natural Areas in Mexico.

Overall, the emphasis of congress was on the importance of wilderness conservation efforts for both climate regulation and biodiversity protection. The need to incorporate indigenous and traditional communities in conservation management plans was also highlighted. These two aspects are particularly important now that we are only a few weeks away from Copenhagen and approaching 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity and when the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) gathers in Japan.

WILD9 is ending on a positive note and with a take home message: to take the conservation message outside of the scientific circles and reach out particularly to the youth, to engage them and show them the beauty and need to protect the natural world for future generations.

Patricia Yakabe Malentaqui is the Press Officer for Conservation International.

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