Committee Overview

about-nawpa-committee_yellowstone-national-park-wyoming-montanaidaho-usa-credit-david-restivoThe mandate of the NAWPA Committee is prescribed by the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation for Wilderness Conservation signed by seven North American government agencies at WILD9, the 9th World Wilderness Congress (WWC), in Mérida, State of Yucatán, Mexico on 7 November 2009:

  • Parks Canada Agency of the Government of Canada
  • Mexican National Commission for Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) of the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT)
  • National Park Service (NPS), Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) of the U.S.Department of Interior
  • Forest Service and Office of Ecosystem Services & Markets (now Office of Environmental Markets) of the U.S.Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The MOU is a voluntary framework and the first international agreement dedicated to wilderness, and as decided subsequently by the NAWPA Committee in May 2011, it now extends to protected areas. The MOU heralds a growing global understanding of the importance of wilderness and protected areas in the 21st century – and the critical role it plays in response to climate change, the extinction crisis, quality water shortages, and other environmental decline.

Composition of the NAWPA Committee

NAWPA Committee Partner
  • Director of USGS

The NAWPA Committee chairmanship rotates annually among agency heads:

Ernesto Enkerlin, CONANP National Commissioner 2009-2010
Alan Latourelle, Parks Canada CEO 2010-2011
Jonathan B. Jarvis, US National Park Service Director 2011-2012
Thomas L. Tidwell, USDA Forest Service Chief 2012-2013
Daniel M. Ashe, US Fish & Wildlife Service Director 2013-2014
Neil Kornze, U.S. Bureau of Land Management Director 2014-2015
Alejandro del Mazo Maza, CONANP National Commissioner 2015-2016
Daniel Watson, Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada Agency 2016-2017

The NAWPA Committee meets periodically, in locations alternating among the three countries.