WILD9: The 9th World Wilderness Congress
Merida, Mexico, 2009
In November 2009, WILD9 hosted 1800 delegates from 50 countries in Merida, Mexico, and over 12,000 online participants from 130 countries. Opened by President Felipe Calderon, WILD9 conveyed a an extraordinary atmosphere of hope and enthusiasm. With the central theme of wilderness, people and climate change, the WILD9 process addressed the most imperative environmental issues, resulting in many specific outcomes, available for download (in English & Spanish) and summarized below:
- 44 targeted resolutions adopted, and available online for discussion and reporting on outcomes;
- The Message from Merida (El Mensaje de Merida): An international call to action with specific policy guidelines to integrate wilderness and biodiversity conservation into global climate change strategy. Delivered to Copenhagen with 85 organizational co-signers and still growing.
- The first international agreement on wilderness conservation, initiated by WILD and signed by the governments of Mexico, Canada and the US;
- The first-ever Corporate Commitment to Wilderness, a results-oriented initiative for wilderness, signed initially by 15 corporations, with others to follow;
- Convened the 2nd Native Lands & Wilderness Council;
- New protected areas in Mexico and elsewhere, including: a new private sector commitment of 50,000 hectares in the Carpathian mountains (Romania); the intention to create the first marine wilderness areas in the US and territories; a new coastal, Mangrove protected area in Mexico; and the commitment to significantly increase protected area coverage in the Yucatan;
- Engaging youth and young professionals on substantive issues of wilderness, biodiversity and climate change;
- Creation of six new Intergovernmental Working Groups involving US, Canadian, Mexican, and other government agencies to stimulate ongoing collaboration on conservation matters;
- Extensive Government agency collaboration with NGOs and indigenous partners to strengthen peer-to-peer networks and produce numerous targeted trainings,
- Communications and Conservation – Integrating media, culture, public opinion, science and policy, through many popular and professional outlets;
- The formal launch of the Marine Wilderness Collaborative (MWC)
- Launch of a “New Vision for Protecting the Marine Wilderness of the Gulf of California”
- Announcements by the Government of Mexico on wilderness & water.
- Launch of WILD’s “Nature Needs Half”™ vision – working with world-wide partners to protect at least half of the planet, land and sea, in an inter-connected way.
Learn more about WILD9:
- View the bilingual program
- Download the full summary of accomplishments in English & Spanish
- Read the Mensaje de Merida in English, Spanish, French
- View the 44 adopted resolutions
- View some of our videos on Vimeo
- View images on Flickr
WILD9 is a project of the WILD Foundation, Unidos para la Conservacion, and many collaborating organizations, institutions and government agencies from Latin America and around the world.
WILD9 Proceedings, Science & Stewardship sessions:
The symposium on science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values was the largest of multiple symposia held in conjunction with the Congress. The papers contained in this proceedings were generated at this symposium or submitted by the author or authors for consideration for inclusion in this proceedings, and have been organized into six major topics:
- Empowering young people,
- Promoting involvement of local communities,
- Enhancing transboundary conservation goals,
- Exploring wilderness meanings,
- Monitoring and predicting change, and
- New directions in wilderness stewardship.
Included are papers that address wildland issues in Afghanistan, Antarctica, Canada, Czech Republic, El Salvador, the Gambia, Germany, Honduras, India, Lesotho, Mexico, Namibia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, and the United States.