The IUCN Green List gets down to earth and sea in Malaysia

On the edge of Tun Mustapha Marine Park - one of Malaysia’s newest and largest marine protected areas and a Green List applicant site - WWF Malaysia, Sabah Parks and IUCN brought together representatives of Green List applicant sites to learn and share experiences at a training workshop on tools and approaches for implementing the IUCN Green List standard.

Turtle science in action

Five Malaysian sites sites aim to gain recognition and improve their conservation outcomes and community benefits by joining the IUCN Green List community.

All are found on the lush island of Borneo and all have committed to implementing the IUCN Green List standard. They are:

  • Tun Mustapha Marine Park (VI[1])
  • Sugud Islands Marine Conservation Area (II; privately protected area)
  • Danum Valley Conservation Area (Ia)
  • Sook Lake Forest Reserve (IV)
  • Jagoi Heritage Forest (VI; governed and managed by Indigenous Peoples)

Over the course of 3 days, workshop participants learnt about how to implement the Green List standard at the site level, and conducted an initial self-assessment of site performance against the 17 criteria of the Green List standard.

The four components of the Green List standard

Participants learnt about various tools and approaches related to the four components of the standard. These can be used to generate evidence and action plans to show compliance with the 17 criteria:

  • Good governance
  • Sound design and planning
  • Effective management
  • Successful conservation outcomes

Examples of tools and approaches include IUCN Best Practice Guidelines for Governance of Protected Areas; Social Assessment for Protected and Conserved Areas; IUCN Red List of Threatened Species; Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool; Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool; and the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation.

Sharing and experiencing

The workshop emphasised a collective training approach, sharing the experience and expertise of all attending.

Participants included staff from the five Green List applicant sites, Sabah Parks agency staff, staff from WWF Malaysia coordinating and mentoring the Green List process, some members of the Malaysia Expert Assessment group for the Green List (EAGL), IUCN staff from global to regional levels, and a representative of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity.

Field trip to cement learning

An insightful and inspiring field trip was part of the workshop, where participants saw real examples of inclusive governance and scientific monitoring approaches that directly link to the criteria of the Green List standard.

Participants visited a community managed conservation site that patrols beaches on the edge of Tun Mustapha Marine Park to successfully conserve the populations of two turtle species.

The site is managed by the Kudat Turtle Conservation Society, doing a remarkable job of protecting turtle nests from poaching and predation. Participants also got to see ‘science in action’, observing researchers from the University of Sabah monitoring and measuring turtle populations and health in the Park.


The successful workshop took place thanks to the support of the following partners and donors: WWF Malaysia, Sabah Parks, the Asia Protected Areas Partnership, and the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea.

For more information about the IUCN Green List: |



[1] IUCN Protected Area Management Category for the particular site


Go to top