USNPS International Affairs

USNPS International Affairs The National Park Service International Program promotes and facilitates collaboration in preserving and understanding natural and cultural heritage throughout the world.
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The 'national park idea,' spawned and nurtured with the creation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872, has contributed to the creation of over 1,200 national parks and equivalent reserves worldwide. They have been referred to as 'Yellowstone's children.' It is not surprising then that many nations turn to the U.S. for advice and assistance on park planning and management and that park staff from around the world come in a regular flow to observe park operations in the U.S. and discuss problems of mutual interest... it is reportedly impossible for the National Park Service to keep up with the demand for American expertise." - "National Parks in the World Community," Parks and Recreation Magazine, 1973 Since that article was written, the number of parks and protected areas globally has swelled to more than 100,000 sites. The National Park Service is recognized by the international community as a leader for its excellence in protecting and preserving America's heritage. In this leadership role, the Park Service has shared its diverse and varied talents, expertise, and experiences in mutually beneficial international partnerships. These partnerships are created to establish, sustain and strengthen parks, heritage sites, and other types of protected areas, both domestically and internationally.

Mission: In its 1997 Strategic Plan, the National Park Service acknowledged its international role with the following mission statement: The National Park Service is dedicated to conserving unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Service is also responsible for managing a great variety of national and international programs designed to help extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.

Operating as usual

For the past several years, the NPS/Office of International Affairs has been working with South African National Parks (...
11/18/2020

For the past several years, the NPS/Office of International Affairs has been working with South African National Parks (SANParks) on a variety of issues, often with a focus on combatting wildlife poaching. Usually when that topic comes up, one would normally think about the protection of rhinos and elephants. But recently during a webinar with SANParks staff, NPSOIA focused on abalone poaching.

A major problem in South African waters, the webinar focused on how abalone populations are ascertained, how the poaching is taking place, what is being done about it and other matters related to abalone management. Two NPS specialists spoke about how the issue affects US NPS units. - Channel Islands National Park (CHIS) marine biologist David Kushner, and Point Reyes National Seashore (PORE) law enforcement ranger John Eleby. Eighteen staff from both park systems joined in the call and many positive comments were shared on how the two countries may be able to collaborate and share lessons learned on this issue in the future.

Yesterday we convened the initial plenary session of our policy council of experts from among the U.S. Department of the...
11/17/2020

Yesterday we convened the initial plenary session of our policy council of experts from among the U.S. Department of the Interior agencies, including the #USFWS, #nationalparkservice, and the #bureauoflandmanagement in support of the #USAIDGeorgia program on national parks and ecotourism coordinated by #DOI-ITAP. The short term goal is to produce universal best practice case studies from the protected area management experience in the U.S.

Today marks two significant dates in global conservation history, the 75th anniversary of the establishment of UNESCO an...
11/16/2020
UNESCO was founded on this day in 1945; read more about the agency on 75th anniversary

Today marks two significant dates in global conservation history, the 75th anniversary of the establishment of UNESCO and the 48th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention - https://www.republicworld.com/world-news/rest-of-the-world-news/unesco-was-founded-on-this-day-in-1945-read-more-about-the-agency-on-75th-anniversary.html

UNESCO was born on this day, i.e, November 16, in 1945 and this year it marks its 75th birthday and 48th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention.

Our staff at the NPS Submerged Resources Center will be eager to work with their colleagues on this new endeavor - https...
11/13/2020
Saudi Arabia Establishes Center To Protect Its Underwater Cultural Heritage

Our staff at the NPS Submerged Resources Center will be eager to work with their colleagues on this new endeavor - https://www.abouther.com/node/33811/people/features/saudi-arabia-establishes-center-protect-its-underwater-cultural-heritage

Spanning centuries, Saudi Arabia’s history is indeed a long, diverse, and rich one, which is why it may come as no surprise that the country is home to an abundance of heritage sites from various periods in history, scattered in every corner of the Kingdom, and unbeknownst to many, some of this ri...

Impressive "once-in-a-generation" investment in tourism to South Australia's national parks - https://www.ausleisure.com...
11/12/2020
South Australia’s parks to receive $17 million boost for nature-based tourism - Australasian Leisure Management

Impressive "once-in-a-generation" investment in tourism to South Australia's national parks - https://www.ausleisure.com.au/news/south-australias-parks-to-receive-17-million-boost-for-nature-based-tourism/

The South Australian Government is planning to deliver a further $17 million investment in the state’s parks in the upcoming State Budget 2020-21 to improve nature-based tourism across South Australia.

As today has been a federal holiday, Veterans Day, it's good to remember the work of ABMC - the Amerian Battle Monuments...
11/12/2020
Search ABMC Burials | American Battle Monuments Commission

As today has been a federal holiday, Veterans Day, it's good to remember the work of ABMC - the Amerian Battle Monuments Commission - https://www.abmc.gov/ - which the NPS works with on overseas cemeteries and memorials where American servicemen have their final resting places.

Established by Congress in 1923, ABMC commemorates the service, achievements, and sacrifice of U.S. Armed Forces.

We are proud to announce the launch of a new website, Sounds of Your Park, a project of the #NatureForAll collaboration ...
10/28/2020
Sounds of Your Park | An immersive audio experience of the planet's protected placees.

We are proud to announce the launch of a new website, Sounds of Your Park, a project of the #NatureForAll collaboration between the NPS, #parkscanada, #wcpa, #coloradostateuniversity and the #GeorgeWrightSociety - https://soundsofyourpark.com/ -

We welcome contributions from all our colleagues and partners across the globe to this new endeavor to record the sounds of our parks.

Explore Sounds About Donate Listen Now ; What is ‘Sounds of Your Park’? Sounds of Your Park is a continuously growing global collection of natural and cultural sounds from the planet’s protected places. By slipping on a pair of headphones and giving yourself the time and space to listen closel...

Kudos to colleagues in India for their efforts - https://www.dailypioneer.com/2020/pioneer-exclusive/india-vows-to-save-...
10/27/2020
India vows to save Himalayan abode of snow leopards

Kudos to colleagues in India for their efforts - https://www.dailypioneer.com/2020/pioneer-exclusive/india-vows-to-save-himalayan-abode-of-snow-leopards.html

In a move that would go a long way in the conservation of snow leopards and prevent land degradation of the Himalayan ecosystem inhabited by a large number of locals, India has identified three sets of landscape — Hemis-Spiti across Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh, Nanda Devi-Gangotri in Uttarakhand

Tomorrow we will join an online meeting led by Kansas State University with our colleagues in Argentina.  The NPS and Ar...
10/26/2020
National Parks in Argentina: Scenery or Sovereignty?

Tomorrow we will join an online meeting led by Kansas State University with our colleagues in Argentina. The NPS and Argentina's National Park Administration have a long history of working together, including a new agreement developed in 2018. Here's an interesting article about a study that looks at how one of Argentina's most well known national parks, Los Glaciares (also a sister park to our Grand Teton NP) was established - https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2020/10/23/los-glaciares-national-park/

A new study traces the political and economic forces that led to the creation and development of Los Glaciares National Park in Patagonia.

Egyptian's iconic great pyramids are adapting to changing visitation trends wrought by the pandemic - https://www.thejak...
10/23/2020
Egypt upgrades visitor experience at Giza pyramids site

Egyptian's iconic great pyramids are adapting to changing visitation trends wrought by the pandemic - https://www.thejakartapost.com/travel/2020/10/22/egypt-upgrades-visitor-experience-at-giza-pyramids-site.html

Egypt has unveiled new visitor facilities on the plateau outside Cairo where the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Sphinx are situated, the country's most visited heritage site and the sole remaining wonder of the ancient world.

Our World Heritage still has surprises for us to find - https://www.wionews.com/world/massive-cat-geoglyph-found-at-unes...
10/21/2020
Massive cat geoglyph found at UNESCO world heritage site in Nazca, Peru

Our World Heritage still has surprises for us to find - https://www.wionews.com/world/massive-cat-geoglyph-found-at-unesco-world-heritage-site-in-nazca-peru-336328

A huge car geoglyph has been discovered etched at a world UNESCO world heritage site at Nazca valley in Peru. According to archeologists, the geoglyph, which dates back from 200-100BC, depicts an enormous cat lounging across a desert hillside. The lines etched at the world heritage site at Nazca val...

Here is an update on reconstruction efforts the Royal Chapel in Milot, which is part of Haiti's only World Heritage Site...
10/20/2020
Reconstruction De La Chapelle De Milot, organized by Raina Forbin

Here is an update on reconstruction efforts the Royal Chapel in Milot, which is part of Haiti's only World Heritage Site - https://www.gofundme.com/f/ptwcwy-reconstruction-de-la-chapelle-de-milot?viewupdates=1&rcid=r01-160298598136-37fa50f46ece489b&utm_medium=email&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_email%2B1137-update-supporters-v5b A terrible fire earlier this year completely obliterated the giant dome atop the church building and incinerated everything inside it.

L’Association Touristique d’Haïti (ATH) organise une levée de fonds au profit de l… Raina Forbin needs your support for Reconstruction De La Chapelle De Milot

Pandemic closures have yielded interest and support abroad for annual efforts to give wildlife and natural resources a b...
10/16/2020
How Covid gives Thailand national parks a chance to recover from damage caused by tourism

Pandemic closures have yielded interest and support abroad for annual efforts to give wildlife and natural resources a break - https://theprint.in/world/how-covid-gives-thailand-national-parks-a-chance-to-recover-from-damage-caused-by-tourism/524042/

Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa has decreed that all national parks in Thailand will close for an annual average of three months, beginning in 2021.

We recently received a request from our counterparts at South Korea's national park agency for the report by our first O...
10/14/2020

We recently received a request from our counterparts at South Korea's national park agency for the report by our first Office director, Dr. George Ruhle, on his 1966 assessment visit. Dr. Ruhle issued a report in 1968, which we were able to unearth from the Research Learning Center based at our Glacier NP. We were happy to provide this to our Korean colleagues.

Our new Superintendent at the World Heritage-designated San Antonio Missions National Historical Park recently spent sev...
10/12/2020
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Gets A New Superintendent

Our new Superintendent at the World Heritage-designated San Antonio Missions National Historical Park recently spent several years overseas working at the American Battle Monuments Commission, bringing an understanding of international connections - https://www.tpr.org/san-antonio/2020-10-09/san-antonio-missions-national-historical-park-gets-a-new-superintendent

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is getting a new superintendent — Christine Jacobs. Interim Superintendent Aaron Mahr said he is excited about her coming.

The Mansfield Fellowship has announced an opportunity for USG staff to live and work in Japan for a year, across 2022-23...
10/09/2020
Attend an information session | Mansfield Fellowship Program

The Mansfield Fellowship has announced an opportunity for USG staff to live and work in Japan for a year, across 2022-23. If you're interested, check out - https://mansfieldfellows.org/overview/attend-an-information-session/

The Mansfield Fellowship Program is a one-year professional development opportunity for U.S. federal employees. Fellows spend a year in the Japanese government learning the country's culture and political processes. The program is executed by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation.

Next Thursday, October 15th there will be a a livecast from the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Robie House in Chicago on th...
10/08/2020
Live from Chicago: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Frederick C. Robie House

Next Thursday, October 15th there will be a a livecast from the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Robie House in Chicago on the topic: "Research and Restoration at a Site Recently Inscribed on
the World Heritage List" - https://usicomos.z2systems.com/np/clients/usicomos/eventRegistration.jsp?event=9&

Live from Chicago: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Frederick C. Robie House Research and Restoration at a Site Recently Inscribed on  the World Heritage List

NPS historians have created this webpage on The Role of the United States in the World Community - https://www.nps.gov/s...
10/02/2020
The Role of the United States in the World Community - Telling All Americans' Stories (U.S. National Park Service)

NPS historians have created this webpage on The Role of the United States in the World Community - https://www.nps.gov/subjects/tellingallamericansstories/roleofunited-states.htm

America has never existed in isolation. While the United States has left an imprint on the world community, other nations and immigrants to the United States have had a profound influence on the course of American history.

Yesterday, the #USNPS participated in a webinar, arranged by the U.S. Embassy in #copenhagen, for officials of the #Gree...
10/01/2020

Yesterday, the #USNPS participated in a webinar, arranged by the U.S. Embassy in #copenhagen, for officials of the #Greenland Government. Speakers included our own Jon Putnam from NPSOIA, NPS National Tourism Program Manager Donny Leadbetter, NPS Alaska Regional official Kelly Chang, and #glacierbay National Park & Preserve Superintendent Philip Hooge. Topics covered included an overview of the NPS, the NPS tourism program, NPS concessions management and management of cruise ship tourism.

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General information

The National Park concept has been described as "America's best idea." Many countries around the world look to the United States as a leader in park and protected area management. At the same time, the National Park Service often learns about innovative practices from other countries' park agencies. In addition, international cooperation is required to preserve numerous species of migratory wildlife that spend only a part of their lives within the boundaries of U.S. national parks, and likewise to help protect park resources from threats that may originate from outside park (and U.S.) borders -- air and water pollution and invasive species, for example. For these reasons, the National Park Service has an Office of International Affairs that for over 50 years has worked to facilitate cooperation between the U.S. National Park Service and counterpart agencies around the globe. The Office of International Affairs provides the overall framework for the Service’s international programs and coordinates the fulfillment of the Service’s mandates, obligations, and responsibilities for international activities. It collaborates and coordinates with the Service’s partners for international programs on major global conservation issues. OIA evaluates requests for assistance to maximize the impact and effectiveness of the Service’s limited resources. Finally, OIA enhances the Service’s ability to accomplish its domestic mission through increased experience and professional growth of its employees derived from their participation in international programs.

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