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WCS News

Keep up with the latest news from WCS at the World Parks Congress 2014 and around the world.


Fulfilling the Broken Promise of Nature Reserves (Op-Ed)
Ten years have passed since the last International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) global conference on protected areas, the sixth such congress to take place since 1962. During this period, nations have established of tens of thousands of new protected areas on land and in the sea. Unfortunately, at the same time, so many of those areas (an estimated 80 percent) have been poorly managed that progress has now backtracked, a situation discussed in the recent Nature paper "The performance and potential of protected areas." That trend must not continue. 

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WCS’s Karukinka Reserve Celebrates 10 Years of Conservation
Ten years after Goldman Sachs and the Wildlife Conservation Society announced one of the largest gifts of private lands ever given for conservation, Chile’s Karukinka Natural Park is celebrating a decade of accomplishments, from top-notch conservation science, to wildlife and habitat protection, to public education and engagement.  This celebration is taking place as conservationists gather for the 2014 IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia – a once-in-a-decade global forum on protected areas.

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If you are what you eat, then just as true, you are what you buy.

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Scientists Spotlight Top Conservation Themes for Satellite Technology
Scientists from the WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), NASA, and other organizations have partnered to focus global attention on the contribution of satellites to biodiversity conservation in a recently released study entitled “Ten Ways Remote Sensing Can Contribute to Conservation,” featured in the latest edition of the scientific journal Conservation Biology.

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The following statement was released by Dr. Susan Lieberman, WCS Vice President, International Policy at the IUCN 2014 World Parks Congress.

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Parks come in all shapes and sizes, from the neighborhood pocket park with just a swing set and jungle gym to New York’s iconic Central Park to the spacious and picturesque Adirondack Park. The city of Portland, OR, claims to have the world’s smallest park, which is no larger than 2 square feet. At the other end of the spectrum, there is a National Park in Greenland that is nearly 1 million square miles as well as marine protected areas that occupy hundreds of thousands of miles of open ocean.  At the root of all of these parks, big and small, is the desire to conserve a bit of nature for the long-term.

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For millennia, tropical civilizations cultivated their crops through a practice known as slash-and-burn agriculture. In this practice, vegetation is cut down and burned to clear land and improve the soil with the resulting organic matter and nutrients. Fire also kills or drives away pests and encourages the regeneration of grasses in natural pastures.

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WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) has identified a small set of five measures that reflect both desired conservation outcomes and core conservation strategies. These measures use industry standard best practices and can be monitored in an affordable but credible manner at a practical scale and with the frequency necessary to influence conservation actions.

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Scientists Employ Satellite Tags To Solve Whale-Sized Mystery
For the first time, scientists working in the waters of Patagonia are using satellite tags to remotely track southern right whales from their breeding/calving grounds in the sheltered bays of Península Valdés, Argentina, to unknown feeding grounds somewhere in the western South Atlantic. This could eventually provide clues to the cause of one of the largest great whale die-offs ever recorded.

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Dr. James Watson of WCS Lays Out Vision for Protected Areas at IUCN 2014 World Parks Congress
Conservationists gathered at the IUCN 2014 World Parks Congress to think big and act fast in the effort to maintain and expand protected areas that safeguard wildlife, ecosystems, and the services they provide to animals and people alike, according to Dr. James Watson of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

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Five thousand people have gathered in Sydney, Australia, to save the world. Not in some metaphorical or whimsical way but in the real sense. The secret weapon being discussed at the IUCN 2014 World Parks Congress: protected areas.

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The first day of the IUCN 2014 World Parks Congress marked a significant win for the oceans.

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Remarks by His Excellency Ali BONGO ONDIMBA President of Gabon November 12th, 2014 Excellences, My Fellow Heads of State; Distinguished Ministers; Ladies and Gentlemen; I would like to start by thanking our hosts, Australia, for the warm welcome we have received here in Sydney and to IUCN, for inviting me to be the co-patron of the 2014 World Parks Congress. The last congress took place shortly after my father, the late Omar Bongo Ondimba, announced the creation of 13 natio...

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Government of Gabon Announces the Decision to Create A New Marine Protected Area Network -- Covering About 23 percent of Gabon's Territorial Waters and EEZ
The Government of Gabon has announced the decision to create a new marine protected area network of ten marine parks covering more than 18,000 square miles (over 46,000 square kilometres) that will safeguard whales, sea turtles, and other marine species inhabiting the country’s coastal and offshore ecosystems -- a network of marine parks covering about 23% of Gabon's territorial waters and EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone).

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Press Contacts

Mary Dixon
Executive Vice President, Communications
T: +1 718-220-3711
C: +1 347-840-1242
F: +1 718-220-5555
E: mdixon@wcs.org
Skype:
mdixonwcs

Stephen Sautner
Executive Director of Communications
T: +1 718-220-3682
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E: ssautner@wcs.org
Skype:
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Steve Fairchild

Assistant Director, Television
T: +1 718-220-5189
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E: sfairchild@wcs.org

John Delaney
Assistant Director of Communications
T: +1 718-220-3682
F: +1 718-220-5555
E: jdelaney@wcs.org
Skype: john.delaneywcs.org