One often hears that regional planning is a thing of the past and that, for better or for worse, the current model is one of sectoral planning and the execution of isolated development projects. It is a model that separates conservation and development into opposing and combative groups, and therefore it is one that requires the strictest of environmental evaluations if conservation is to be properly considered.
In January of 1992, Richard E. Saunier and Richard A. Meganck, the editors of this volume, coordinated a workshop on The New Regional Planning at the IVth World Congress on National Parks and Protected Areas in Caracas, Venezuela, in which nearly 50 case studies from Africa, Asia, and North, Central, and South America showed that integrated regional-scale planning is not a thing of the past at all. And it showed that planning of this nature not only designs strategies to integrate development responses to the human needs within a region; it also includes responses to the needs of biodiversity conservation.
The outcome of the New Regional Planning workshop was a preliminary portrait of something that had begun to emerge with the publication of the World Conservation Strategy in 1980 and of the report of the World Commission on Environment and Development published in 1987. This portrait is being further filled in by efforts following the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development to formulate sustainable development criteria and standards. An evolving paradigm suggests that these criteria and standards are not solely an assortment of numbers and limits nor even new institutions and regulations--as important as these may be. Rather, as often discussed in this volume, they are embodied in a process guided by concerns that development be equitable and consensus-driven and that the planning of that development be sectorally and spatially integrated.
This book, then, is a next step in the ongoing characterization of sustainable development. It is a set of conclusions drawn from case descriptions and methods that look at the "why" and "how" of the new regional planning. Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 make the case for the importance of both wild and cultured biodiversity; Chapters 5, 6 and 7 give instructions on how attention can be given to special parts of the overall effort; Chapter 8 links the topic to the recently ratified Convention on Biological Diversity; and Chapters 9, 10 and 11 discuss experiences from the well-known cases of La Amistad International Park in Costa Rica and Panama, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition in the United States, and CAMPFIRE in Zimbabwe as they fit into the parameters of the new regional planning.
We and our institutions are proud to support the publication of this book.
Kirk P. Rodgers Director, Department of Regional Development and Environment Organization of American States
Thaddeus C. Trzyna Chair, Commission on Environmental Strategy and Planning IUCN