This online portal provides support for individuals and organisations involved in managing protected areas. It offers solutions to issues that impact the protection and management of protected areas by providing links to additional information and to examples of best practice. The information on this portal is intended to complement existing guidance on management planning for protected areas, including that provided by Eurosite. .
Eurosite’s mission is to create a Europe where nature is cared for, protected, restored and valued by all. To achieve this, Eurosite provides practitioners with opportunities to network and exchange experience on practical nature management.
This portal provides information without being prescriptive; anyone working on protected areas management has the option to choose from the information offered through this portal. The four main sections in the portal provide information about the main components of a management plan, the key issues that protected area managers encounter, monitoring and links to existing guidance documents and tools.
Management plans are an essential tool for protected area managers for a variety of reasons. It will give information about the requirements for protecting the key biodiversity of the site, about the sharing of responsibilities, the allocation of available funds and how to monitor the impact of the management activities. The management plan must also be accountable and transparent about the allocation of funds and about the priorities if there is insufficient funding to do everything outlined in the plan. We must also incorporate monitoring to evaluate whether our management has achieved its goal to protect the biodiversity of the site. Visitor management has become an increasingly important aspect of a management plan, as free access to protected areas has resulted in increased pressure from recreational activities in the form of hiking, (mountain) biking, mountaineering, horse riding, skiing and ice skating, all of which can surpass the carrying capacity of the areas which can contribute to the loss of biodiversity. Last but not least, the management planning process is an important tool for identifying and developing proposals for attracting extra funding for investments in restoration or for mitigating environmental stress.