IUCN Best Practice Guidelines

IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) has a tradition of proposing global guidelines to protected area practitioners. These publications cover various topics, such as protected areas and visitor management, the management of wilderness areas, transboundary conservation, governance and protected areas, ecological restoration and adaptation to climate change. There is also an issue on applying protected area management categories.

Additional information can be found in two PDF’s: “Guidelines for privately protected areas” and “Managing protected areas”.

IUCN Green List for Protected Areas

The IUCN Green List Sustainability Standard is a new global standard for protected and conserved areas. It aims to improve the contribution that equitably governed, and effectively managed protected areas make to sustainable development through the conservation of nature and provision of associated social, economic, cultural, and spiritual values. The Green List is a way of setting a standard for how protected areas could or should be managed. The IUCN green list of protected and conserved areas intends to celebrate successfully protected areas, and help other protected areas lift their standards by showcasing successful examples.

Potential sites for the Green List are assessed against four criteria: good governance, design, effective management and conservation outcomes. The pilot stage of the green list is now complete, and the IUCN is working with park management agencies to assess areas for inclusion.

IUCN Protected Area Management Categories

IUCN protected area management categories classify protected areas according to their management objectives. The categories are recognised by international bodies such as the United Nations and many national governments as the global standard for defining and recording protected areas, and as such are increasingly being incorporated into government legislation. More information on applying these categorisations for management planning can be found here. Also the IUCN Management Categories of Protected Areas provides an introduction to the IUCN Protected Areas Management Categories.

IUCN Guidelines for privately protected areas

The IUCN Guidelines for privately protected areas (2018) address planning and management of privately protected areas. Guidance is given on the establishment of the protected areas, management and reporting. The aim is to improve effectiveness and conservation outcomes. A special focus is given to learning from best practices from around the world and considering how these can be incorporated at site or national levels.

Links to more information

Wood Anemone - Credit Natural England Allan Drewitt
Wood Anemone - Credit Natural England Allan Drewitt