World Commission on Protected Areas

Privately Protected Areas and Nature Stewardship

The IUCN WCPA Privately Protected Areas and Nature Stewardship Specialist Group works to elevate the recognition, understanding and integrity of private conservation world-wide.
Eben Osprey - Essex County Greenbelt

Specialist Group Leader


Brent Mitchell

IUCN WCPA Privately Protected Areas and Nature Stewardship Specialist Group Terms of Reference 2017-2020

Privately Protected Areas (PPAs) are under-represented in national protected area systems and under-reported internationally despite the fact that they are a rapidly growing element of the conservation estate.  

A privately protected area is a protected area, as defined by IUCN, under

Salto Morato stream, Brent Mitchell

  • private governance (i.e. individuals and groups of individuals);
  • non-governmental organizations (NGOs);
  • corporations (both existing commercial companies and sometimes corporations set up by groups of private owners to manage groups of PPAs);
  • for-profit owners;
  • research entities (e.g. universities, field stations) or
  • religious entities.

Privately protected areas will be an essential component in achieving the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 on completing ecologically representative protected area networks around the world. Privately protected areas provide the opportunity for voluntary contributions to conservation, complementing the role of governmental agencies, indigenous peoples and communities in caring for nature.

We define stewardship as efforts to create, nurture & enable responsibility in landowners and resource users to manage and protect natural and cultural resources.


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