Story | 11 Sep, 2013

Governance of Protected Areas: From understanding to action

IUCN Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines Series No.20 in collaboration with the ICCA Consortium, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (via GIZ) and the CBD Secretariat


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Photo: IUCN

Over the past decades there has been a dramatic change in understanding about how governance of protected areas impacts on the achievement of their conservation goals. IUCN has issued a typology of four different forms of governance of protected areas. Along with the familiar state-run protected areas, there are those established and managed by indigenous peoples or local communities, there are privately managed protected areas as well as a wealth of shared-governance arrangements. Finding the right mix of governance types within a protected area system and improving the quality of governance of individual sites remains one of the key challenges for bridging the implementation gap in CBD’s Programme of Work on Protected Areas.

This publication is an important tool to help enhance governance diversity and quality for the world’s protected area systems. Part 1 provides an overview of the four different protected area governance types recognised by IUCN, featuring numerous examples from all over the world. It also addresses the complex question of what constitutes good governance in various circumstances. Part 2 offers practical guidance for countries willing to embark on the process of assessing, evaluating and improving governance for their systems of protected areas or for individual protected area sites.

Further information and additional material related to governance of protected areas can be found here.