Home » A long way to go: management plans in protected areas

A long way to go: management plans in protected areas


The latest PARKS bulletin, issued by the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, was devoted to Aichi target 11. The Aichi targets are part of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 under the Convention of Biological Diversity. Aichi 11 indicates that by 2020 17% of terrestrial and inland waters are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well connected systems of protected areas. Not only should these areas be designated as protected areas but they should also be under effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes. Target 11 includes both protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) as means of conserving biodiversity in situ. As the definition of OECM was only adopted in November 2018 (CBD, 2018), there is limited information on the global extent of OECMs or the impact they could have for elements of Target 11. As such, analysis to date has relied primarily on protected areas reported in the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). It is likely, however, that the status of several elements of Target 11 will improve substantially as reporting on OECMs advances.

Given the indivisible nature of the Target, for successful achievement, progress is needed on all of its elements, not only the quantitative aspects. Reporting of progress on the ‘effectively managed’ element of Target 11 has generally concentrated on the completion of management effectiveness evaluations. Less than one-in-five countries had evaluated management effectiveness for at least 60 per cent of terrestrial protected areas. For sites where data is available (over 2,000 sites, covering 23 per cent of the total extent of terrestrial protected areas), only 22 per cent report both adequate staffing and budget resources, while almost half report inadequate resources for both staffing and budget. These data show that there is still a long way to go to ensure that protected areas not only have a management plan but that these management plans are implemented and that monitoring is in place to evaluate the effectiveness of management.

This piece was written by Henk Zingstra, Chair of the Eurosite Management Planning Expert Group.

(IUCN WCPA (2019). PARKS. The International Journal of Protected Areas and Conservation, Volume 25.2, Gland, Switzerland)