New book highlights world's borderless conservation areas

October 03, 2005

Nature knows no borders, according to a new book released today by CEMEX, Conservation International, and Agrupación Sierra Madre.

"Transboundary Conservation: A New Vision for Protected Areas," describes in detail new strategies of shared environmental responsibility for keeping important wilderness areas intact, even across national borders.

Stunningly illustrated, the book represents the work of 50 conservationists, scientists, and professional photographers. It focuses on 29 transboundary parks around the world, from the El Carmen--Big Bend in North America (located between Texas and Coahuila and Chihuahua, Mexico) to Southern Africa's Kavango-Zambezi "Four Corners" Transboundary Conservation Area--exploring the history and increasing popularity of protecting some of the most biologically rich territory on Earth.

"This new book shows how transboundary conservation areas have a very special role in international conservation," said Russell A. Mittermeier, Ph.D., president of Conservation International and one of the book's authors. "It examines the importance of protecting land across borders as well as the impact on human populations if these areas of rich biodiversity are degraded or lost."

The title, "Transboundary Conservation," defines the new terminology for international efforts to protect ecosystems in their entirety. From the first transboundary protected area established in 1932, when Montana's Glacier National Park was joined with Canada's Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta to form the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, the concept has expanded to more than 100 parks and protected areas throughout the world.

Transboundary conservation areas, or TBCAs, offer multiple benefits, both internationally and at regional and local levels. They can reduce tensions between countries and help rebuild peaceful cooperation. Peace parks celebrate historically good relations along with a shared commitment to managing precious natural resources.

"Transboundary Conservation: A New Vision for Protected Areas" was produced in partnership with CEMEX, one of the world's largest cement producers, Conservation International and Agrupación Sierra Madre, with the collaboration of IUCN-The World Conservation Union and the International League of Conservation Photographers.

"Transboundary Conservation is the 13th in our series of conservation books," said Armando J. Garcia, executive vice president of development, CEMEX. "Similar to its predecessors, this book illustrates methods on how to protect the world's biodiversity and works to promote a culture of environmental awareness within our communities and our society at large."

CI President Russell A. Mittermeier, Agrupación Sierra Madre President Patricio Robles Gil and CI staff and volunteers including Christina G. Mittermeier, Cyril Kormos, Trevor Sandwith, and Charles Besançon edited the book. CI Chairman and CEO Peter A. Seligmann wrote the foreword, and the preface is by Valli Moosa, president of IUCN-The World Conservation Union.
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CEMEX is a growing global building solutions company that provides products of consistently high quality and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries throughout the world. The company improves the well-being of those it serves through its relentless focus on continuous improvement and efforts to promote a sustainable future. For more information, visit www.cemex.com.

Conservation International (CI) applies innovations in science, economics, policy and community participation to protect the Earth's richest regions of plant and animal diversity and demonstrate that human societies can live harmoniously with nature. Founded in 1987, CI works in more than 40 countries on four continents to help people find economic alternatives without harming their natural environments. For more information about CI, visit www.conservation.org.

Agrupación Sierra Madre is a Mexican conservation organization, founded in 1989, that works to promote conservation initiatives that protect biodiversity and wilderness on the planet. Sierra Madre has published more than 20 titles in conjunction with conservation organizations worldwide such as Conservation International, IUCN, World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and Wildlife Conservation Society. For more information, visit www.sierramadre.com.mx.

Conservation International

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