International designations

Some very special areas are recognised simultaneously under several international designations, all of which have environmental conservation at their heart. These include Ramsar Sites and World Heritage sites, Biosphere Reserves and UNESCO Global Geoparks.

The secretariats of IUCN, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and UNESCO joined efforts to develop the first comprehensive report on the management of multi-internationally designated areas (MIDAs), thanks to funding from the Special Self-governing Province of Jeju, Republic of Korea, and from the Korean Ministry of Environment.

The project stemmed from an IUCN Resolution (WCC 2012 Res 052), which was adopted by IUCN Members at the 2012 IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju. The resulting guidance, released in 2016, aims to realise the opportunities for synergies and identify solutions for the management problems that can occur in areas with multiple designations (or internationally designated areas – IDAs).

Download the executive summary

English   ¦    French    ¦    Spanish   ¦    Korean

The guidance document is intended as a manual for site managers but also for national authorities and different international organisations. This document will specify the particular objectives, nomination procedures and operations of each of the four designations.

Thanks to a number of IDA case studies, challenges for the management of such sites will be highlighted, and also ways of overcoming them through an emphasis on the complementarity and the synergy that multiple designations can offer.

The document was launched at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawai’i, USA, and is now available for download in four languages: English, French, Spanish and Korean.

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