7 September 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
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.