“Governance of Protected Areas: From understanding to action” – a new publication produced by IUCN, the ICCA Consortium, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the CBD Secretariat, provides an important tool to help enhance governance diversity and quality of the world’s protected area systems.
Addressing an issue that was barely recognised until recently, the Guidelines “Governance of Protected Areas: From understanding to action” represent an important step towards integrating good governance into the conservation agenda. Over the past decades there has been a dramatic change in understanding about how governance of protected areas impacts on the achievement of their conservation goals. IUCN has defined four different forms of governance of protected areas. Along with the familiar state-run protected areas, managed by government employees, there are protected areas established and managed by indigenous peoples, local communities, ecotourism organisations, nonprofit trusts, private individuals, commercial companies and religious institutions, as well as a wealth of shared-governance arrangements between them. Finding the right mix of governance types within a protected area system and improving the quality of governance of individual sites remains one of the key challenges for bridging the implementation gap in CBD’s Programme of Work on Protected Areas, particularly in relation to effective participation, human rights, equity and benefit sharing.