Declarations and position statements from our group
Prior to the 5th World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa in 2003, members of the Mountain PA Network gathered at Didima Camp in the Drakensberg region of Kwa-Zulu Natal for a multi-day workshop. We took informative field trips, collaborated on publications, and discussed ways to protect mountain areas of the world.
At the end of the workshop, members of the Mountain PA Network climbed to the top of Sentinel Peak in the Drakensberg Mountains before the World Parks Congress in 2003 to proclaim the need for international cooperation to preserve mountain regions of the world in our Didima Declaration:
THE DIDIMA DECLARATION
September 6, 2003
We, the 60 delegates to the Mountain Workshop, a component of the IUCN World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa, representing 27 countries, and with the support of the Mountain Club of South Africa and the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) have assembled in the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains between the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa, to draw attention to the continued need for co-operation among nations for the protection of globally significant biodiversity and the pursuit of peace and reconciliation among people.
We are aware of the value of transboundary conservation initiatives to conserve biodiversity at a landscape level, to foster peaceful co-operation among communities and societies across international boundaries, and to engender regional economic growth and integration.
We are conscious of the need and opportunity to promote and maintain peace and co-operation among nations and communities, especially in areas during and following armed conflict.
We acknowledge the particular needs of communities living in border regions who have strong kinship ties across national boundaries and who are often adversely affected by the historical circumstances of their situation.
We recognize not only the involvement and investment of many countries and conservation and development agencies in transboundary conservation initiatives worldwide, such as the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Area between Lesotho and South Africa, but also the need for enhanced co-operation to support and develop transboundary protected areas and to refine approaches for their sustainable effective management.
We therefore declare our commitment to pursuing transboundary conservation initiatives for peace and co-operation; and
Call upon our colleagues, governments, NGOs, development agencies and communities through the 5th World Parks Congress, in Durban South Africa, to support these efforts, and to strive for a just world which secures our shared resources for the benefit of all people through peaceful co-operative efforts which transcend national boundaries.