Developing Legal Literacy and Governance Expertise to Protect the World’s Biodiversity

24 July 2014 | Article

 Strong and well-implemented legal frameworks are critical to creating and maintaining effective and sustainable protected areas, which provide a fundamental infrastructure for the conservation of biological diversity and essential ecosystem services. However, the legal aspects of protected areas management and governance are often not well understood. The IUCN is addressing this problem by putting together a set of educational tools for teaching and learning about protected areas law and governance.

IUCN is working with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to develop an interactive e-learning module on protected areas law, to complement the CBD’s existing online curricula on aspects of protected areas design and management. This module will provide a tool for individual learners to access practical legal concepts, knowledge and materials they can use to improve governance of protected areas through their own work.

To support face-to-face instruction on protected areas law and governance, the IUCN is developing a generic curriculum and set of teaching resources for use in a wide variety of settings including training sessions, workshops, university courses and practitioner seminars. The resources are arranged into 12 interactive modules, which cover key legal aspects of management and governance of protected areas and connected landscapes, systems and processes in the terrestrial and marine context. These modules can be used individually or in combination, and include technical instructions to support instructors in adapting the materials to suit specific circumstances.

A series of short videos will bring life to the materials through interviews, animations, and other innovative techniques for engaging learners and conveying key concepts. The videos will support the other teaching materials and provide a stand-alone resource for protected areas law capacity building.

All of the resources will be freely accessible through an online platform, which will also serve as a place for users to provide feedback and upload additional content and case studies from their own regions and experiences.

Find more about the IUCN Environmental Law Programme