Advocacy and stakeholder engagement
As the first step in a comprehensive plan of action aiming to establish a peace park dedicated to the Leopard, a workshop has been held with the goal of introducing the peace park project to the various institutions concerned with the project, governmental and independent alike. The workshop endeavored to provide a platform for suggestions and contributions from the various attending parties, with the aim of laying out clearly the various stages to the execution of the project at its outset. According to the new outline laid out by the IUCN for the establishment of protected areas, the administration of protected areas may be undertaken in a specific number of ways: a protected area may be strictly government run, administered by both government agencies and NGO’s in tandem, privatized or a protected area may be self-administered. In most countries, the model that has seen the most success in regards to both the establishment and the administration of protected areas is the joint administration model, where governmental agencies and environmental agencies specializing in wildlife and birdlife conservation work in cooperation to establish and run the protected areas. It is our goal to implement the joint administration model here in Kurdistan in the administration of our protected areas, with the aim of expanding the number of protected areas in the future thus established and administered. We feel that it is important to make clear to the public that our operations are all independently run and that we value any and all forms of assistance offered to our project from any person, group or organization regardless of affiliations, in as far as such assistance is in the public’s interest, and for the good of protected areas and the locale enclosed within these protected areas. A protected area that is properly established and run, must be a model for harmonious cohabitation of humans and nature. The bulk of scientific research and the experience of many countries with protected areas, shows that the key to the successful administration of a protected area is to establish ways for man and the organisms and natural domain with which he is in contact to coexist harmoniously to the benefit of both. We would like to extend our gratitude to all persons, parties, academics and specialists that attended the workshop and offered suggestions and expressed support for our project.
Photos of the Workshop