Evaluation & plan review
Although it is common practice amongst conservation organisations to fully review management plans every five or ten years, there is a strong argument for limiting any changes to just those sections that absolutely need it. Indeed, it seems theoretically possible to separate plans into descriptions and evaluations, which could be relatively static for long periods of time, and objectives and action plans which are reviewed at regular intervals.
The site description may not need any changes, but if relevant new information has become available it should be added.
The site evaluation and objectives should be checked. New information, successes or failures of initiatives should be considered and could result in changes being made.
Unless the vision has proved to be misguided, it's good practice to leave it as it is.
The action plan will need revision, based on the results of monitoring of the results of management undertaken in the previous years. Resource requirements can be refined if records have been kept of financial and time inputs to achieve the objectives.
According to Eurosite’s Management Planning Expert Group management plans should be adaptive, especially in view of the impacts of climate change. Conservation goals should therefore be flexible and able to be adjusted to changing circumstances. This also implies that we do not propose that a plan should have its content fixed. Because of the pace with which climate is changing, monitoring is a crucial element of management; not only the monitoring of vegetation and fauna but also of water and soil in order to be able to link vegetation changes to abiotic changes. It is important to be able to reconsider conservation goals as well as management strategies based on the outcomes of monitoring. Preparing protected areas for change has become critical.
Links to additional information
- Ernoul, L., Beck, N., Cohez, D., Perennou, C., Thibault, M., Willm, L., & Poulin, B. (2014). Trends in management plans and guides: 25 years of experience from Southern France. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2014.914021
- O'Neill, E. (2007). Auditing the Conservation Process: Lessons Learned, 2003 - 2007. Prepared for the Conservation Measures Partnership.
- Conservation audit tool and guidance (CMP 2018)