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IUCN UK reaffirms the value of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Tatsfield-540-x-236The National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (NAAONB) today received reconfirmation from the IUCN UK Committee (International Union for Conservation of Nature) of Category V status for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The reconfirmation follows three years of work with the IUCN UK by the NAAONB consisting of input to developing IUCN’s guidance on categorisation (The Putting Nature on the Map Project), open forum discussion and the drawing up of a Statement of Compliance, supported by evidence from across the AONB Family. This statement was accepted by the IUCN panel in June.

Each individual AONB partnership provided further evidence to demonstrate that they meet the high standards demanded by the IUCN.

The NAAONB compiled all evidence and presented this as an accompaniment to the Draft Statement of Compliance to the World Commission on Protected Areas UK Protected Areas Assessment Panel.

Chris Mahon, Chief Executive, IUCN National Committee UK informed the NAAONB today that,
“We considered that the evidence was persuasive and that each manager had demonstrated a full understanding of the IUCN definition of a protected area, fully supported the generic statement and had plans to strengthen the place of nature conservation in future”.

He added,
“We were agreed that all the AONBs had demonstrated to our satisfaction that they should retain their status as IUCN Category V protected areas and will accordingly so recommend to UNEP/WCMC”.

Howard Davies, CEO, NAAONB said,
“This is the culmination of three years’ work by the NAAONB and we are indebted to Paul Tiplady from Craggatak for his pro-bono work on the Statement of Compliance. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty make a significant impact to conserving the UK’s biodiversity and the reaffirmation of their Category V status is a great recognition that AONBs remain the UK’s Landscapes for Life.”

For further information on Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) visit www.landscapesforlife.org.uk