Protected Areas

Protected Area Solutions project

Protected Area Solutions for Biodiversity and Climate Change: Achieving quality elements of Aichi Target 11


Basic information

  • Project duration: November 2015 – December 2019
  • Implemented by IUCN in collaboration with GRID-Arendal, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Seas Programme and Accreditation Services International GmbH (ASI)
  • National partner institutions: Parques Nacionales de Colombia (PNC); Kenyan Wildlife Service; Peru Servicio Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas por el Estado (SERNANP); Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam
  • Funding provided by: International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).

General project description

  • project goal is to help promote and strengthen diverse and equitable governance of PA systems
  • this will lead to better biodiversity and climate change outcomes
  • project is implemented in 4 countries: Colombia, Peru, Kenya, Vietnam
  • highly biodiverse, at the same time especially vulnerable to climate change impacts
  • thus, these countries provide opportunities to demonstrate how improved governance can be a vehicle for more socially, ecologically and climate-resilient protected and conserved area systems
  • This will help partner countries advance and report progress on the quality elements of Aichi Target 11
  • It will also strengthen capacities of State, municipal, community and private-sector custodians in shared governance situations, and will enhance national recognition of the diversity of PA governance options
  • the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas (GLPCA), a global PA performance Standard, serves as the tool to identify gaps and capacity development needs, measure and motivate progress towards quality in PA management in the partner countries
  • the GLPCA will be jointly developed further by project partners, both as a global standard, and adapted to respective national and local contexts
  • The project also develops a portfolio of case studies to communicate successful PA biodiversity and climate change outcomes through the Panorama platform
  • In each country, the project will benefit at least two protected areas, who will receive targeted support to evolve their governance and thus better deliver on their conservation and social objectives
  • These specific sites will be networked and promoted as exemplars, setting a benchmark for PA performance and equitable governance in each country, with positive social and environmental impacts across the whole national PA system
  • The project works with a broad coalition of partners and stakeholders in each country, including park agencies, civil society, protected and conserved area stakeholders, staff and site managers
  • Lessons from collaboration within the four countries, across three continents, will allow all project partners and implementers to inform international policy, especially the CBD Strategic Plan and the initial dialogue on a post-2020 strategic framework, and inform global practice on the positive links between robust good governance and biodiversity and climate change outcomes.

Activities in partner countries:


  • the project will implement assessments of PA governance at a national and sub-regional level.
  • It will build on lessons from parallel projects on indigenous and community-conserved areas, as well as on previous IUCN work on legal rights for land-use.
  • The pioneer collaboration between the Colombian government and IUCN on the IUCN Green List Standard, which already includes three representative PAs from the GLPCA pilot phase (until 2014), will develop further, through the commitment from at least 2 new PAs to apply the standard and strive to meet its criteria through project support.

Latest updates:

  • Project meeting held in June 2016, hosted by Parques Nacionales de Colombia (National PA Agency) with IUCN and WWF Colombia, brought together protected area experts and managers from across Colombia, as well as Peru, with additional expertise and experiences from Ecuador and Mexico. The event discussed the implementation of the project-supported IUCN Green List standard for protected and conserved areas. The project produced a roadmap for implementation in Colombia


  • great demonstration case for the benefits of a diverse and robust PA system
  • project focuses on private and conservancy models, and locally-managed marine protected areas
  • Aligned with parallel project on indigenous and community-conserved areas
  • Kenya’s existing commitment to the IUCN Green List Standard (2 sites recognized during GLPCA pilot phase) will help measure progress on performance in at least two new sites supported by the project

Latest updates:

  • Inception meeting for Kenyan partners was held in June 2016. Meeting agreed on work plan, expectations for delivery and partner commitments, and resulted in formation of a Kenyan GLPCA expert assessment group (EAGL) and identification of criteria to select protected and conserved areas to be part of the project
  • In collaboration with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), a methodology for assessing social aspects in the project sites is being developed and applied


  • innovative mapping exercises at both PA site and system levels will complement recommendations developed by these expert groups, and will inform targeted activities in two project sites.
  • At the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014, following the pioneering lead of Colombia in supporting the development of the IUCN Green List Standard, Peru requested IUCN to help apply the Standard in the context of improving the quality of the protected area system
  • The project will follow up on this request and provide targeted support for

Latest updates:

  • Project-supported national meetings in July 2016 have identified a core working group of protected area experts. These experts will form the GLPCA expert assessment group (EAGL) for Peru.
  • 4 sites have been selected for project support, including the Matsés Protected Area which overlays the Matsés traditional lands on the border with Brasil


  • increased awareness about the importance of wise management of water and wetlands for economic growth and climate change resilience, e.g. in the Mekong and Red River deltas
  • The project consequently focuses on diversifying governance models of wetland PAs
  • Activities are led by a landscape approach, rather than viewing PAs in isolation from their surroundings
  • The IUCN Green List Standard will be applied as a measure of PA performance in two landscapes

Latest updates:

  • Parallel meetings in March 2016:
    • an inception meeting in Hanoi on the project, to engage Vietnamese partners and stakeholders and develop the agreed work plan and deliverables;
    • a GL standards development meeting, hosted by Cuc Phuong National Park, northern Vietnam. The meeting enabled a core group of global and Asian experts to develop the final draft of the Global Green List Standard, and to finalise components of the User Manual to guide its implementation.
  • Selection of participating protected areas includes four potential candidates; Ha Long Bay World Heritage Area; Van Long Nature Reserve; Con Dao Island and Marine National Park (which includes a Ramsar-designated wetland); and Tram Chim National Park (also a Ramsar site)
  • Van Long Nature Reserve will participate in a governance assessment and the project will support a feasibility process for expanding the total area of the Reserve by 4000 hectares
  • This will help the Reserve meet the new IUCN Green List Standard by improving governance and helping to secure conservation outcomes for the only significant population of the iconic Delacour Langur, a critically-endangered primate species endemic to the area.


  • Funded by:
    • BMUB
  • Implemented jointly by:
    • IUCN
    • GRID-Arendal
    • UNEP
    • ASI
    • WWF Colombia (tbd, see comment above)


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