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Event | Building on nature: Area-based conservation as a key tool for delivering SDGs

This event marks the launch of a pioneering, action-oriented guidance demonstrating how area-based conservation can help to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across the world.

Monday 31 May
15:00-16:30 CET
Register here


A new pioneering, action-oriented guidance demonstrates how the designation and effective management of protected and conserved areas can benefit sustainable development, playing a key role in delivering Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and supporting the 2030 Agenda globally.

The guidance identifies myriad ways in which effective area-based conservation can be a pro-active tool for delivering SDGs. Furthermore, it documents 30 detailed case studies that illustrate how existing protected and conserved areas around the world are already delivering various SDGs in practice. Finally, guidance and tools are provided to explain how governments, industry and civil society can integrate protected and conserved areas into their SDG strategies and reporting processes.

The guidance has been developed in a global partnership by IEEP, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), UN Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank Group and global leading conservation organisations the Nature Conservancy (TNC), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and WWF.

About the event

This event provides insights on how area-based conservation can become – and in many places already is – a centre piece for delivering wide-ranging sustainability benefits. Drawing from the rich “on the ground” evidence, it delivers a call for action to governments, companies, communities and others to integrate area-based conservation into their SDG plans, and to draw on the benefits derived from protected and conserved areas when reporting progress on the SDGs.

In the run up to the UK-led G7 and Climate COP26 meetings in June and November, and the Biodiversity COP15 in October, the global partners call on the international processes, including the CBD, UNCCD and UNFCCC along with UN agencies and bilateral and multilateral donors, to give more explicit recognition of – and support to – the role protected and conserved areas play in delivering the 2030 sustainability agenda.


Opening remarks by lead author Nigel Dudley, Equilibrium research and IUCN WCPA Thematic Chair on Natural Solutions

First panel: Why is area-based conservation central for delivering SDGs?

  • Dr. Valerie Hickey, Regional Manager for Environment, Natural Resources and the Blue Economy at the World Bank Group
  • Midori Paxton, Head of Ecosystems and Biodiversity at UNDP
  • Dr. John Robinson, Joan L. Tweedy Chair in Conservation Strategy at WCS and Vice President and Regional Councillor for North America and the Caribbean at IUCN

Second panel: How do protected and conserved areas deliver SDGs in practice?

  • Dr. Julia Gorricho, Programme Officer South America, WWF Germany
  • David Wilkie, Executive Director, WCS
  • Louise Stafford, Program Director, TNC South Africa

Moderator: Marianne Kettunen, Head of Programme of Global challenges and SDGs at IEEP and IUCN WCPA Co-chair of Natural Solutions Specialist Group.


  • 15:00 – Welcome
  • 15:05 – Opening remarks and setting the scene
  • 15:15 – Moderated Q&A with panellists
  • 16:25 – Closing remarks and wrap-up

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