Leadership in Conservation: Save The Waves & Partners Attend IUCN Conference

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Save The Waves traveled to Lima, Peru to attend the III IUCN Latin America Protected Areas Conference with several of our coalition partners, including Conservation International, Fundacíon Rompientes, Conservamos Por Naturaleza, Aprender Ecologia, and the World Surfing Reserves of Huanchaco and Guarda do Embaú. This event brought together thousands of people and hundreds of organizations and governments all over Latin America to discuss effective strategies and policies regarding effective implementation of protected areas and set the agenda and conservation strategies moving forward.

This was an extremely important moment for coastal conservation, as governments and organizations have come to the realization that a dramatic increase in the protection of coastlines around Latin America is desperately needed in order to protect biodiversity and fight climate change. Both new and unconventional methods are needed to achieve conservation outcomes.

Save The Waves and our partners organized a side event at the congress focused on how Surf Protected Area Networks can significantly scale coastal conservation. Ultimately, the convening of so many coalition partners working on this concept resulted in the formation of an alliance in Latin America dedicated to the protection of surf ecosystems through a transdisciplinary approach that emphasizes cross-collaboration among stakeholders and uses surf to also improve community well-being. Together, the alliance requested that the IUCN create a task force to discuss and realize strategies so that surf can be an effective tool and innovative approach to coastal conservation.

It was clear at this conference that the global conservation community is hungry for new and innovative ways to protect nature and Surf Protected Area Networks offers an innovative way to protect waves and the ecosystems that surround them, all while providing significant benefits to local communities.  

The alliance that was created at this conference puts Save The Waves in the position to lead, coordinate and support the work of our coalition partners in Brazil, Peru, Chile, Mexico and beyond and puts us on track to reach the ultimate goal of protecting 1,000 surf ecosystems around the world. 

As the concept of surf ecosystem protection begins to crystallize as an innovative and effective legal strategy to protect the coasts at the highest level of international policy, the global effort to protect our waves and the places we love grows stronger.