Story | 11 Jan, 2021

New edition: Protected Area Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT)

CEESP News by Sue Stolton and  Nigel Dudley, Equilibrium Research

Protected and conserved areas only work if they are effectively managed. And understanding what constitutes “effective” means getting to grips with a huge range of social, environmental and economic issues.

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Photo: Equilibrium Research

Completing the METT in Bhutan

As more countries sign up to the target of 30% of the world in protected and conserved areas by 2030, understanding what does and doesn’t work is increasingly important. Assessing management effectiveness is a key part of this process.

In this regard, a new edition of the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (METT-4) has been released. METT is the most widely used protected area assessment system, applied over 5,000 times. As it is open source, it has also been widely modified, shortened, extended and used in ways not foreseen by the authors.

It was developed twenty years ago and not been updated since 2007, since when several new management issues have come to prominence. Software developments make it easier to collect data online.  A thorough revision was overdue.

METT-4 draws on lessons learned from applying the tool around the world. It is designed to be filled in electronically, using a simple, accessible format (excel) with a step-by-step guide to application and training video.

Understanding the multiple benefits of area-based conservation       Photo: Equilibrium Research
More emphasis is given to conservation outcomes, climate change and ecosystem services.

This version allows user to store multiple site or multi-year data in a master file. The new METT-4 and all accompanying documents can be found at:


Nigel Dudley and Sue Stolton, Equilibrium Research, CEESP members