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National system planning for protected areas

TitleNational system planning for protected areas
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsDavey AG, Phillips A
Keywordsconservation, convention, ecosystem, management, protected area, protection

Protected areas are essential for the conservation of biological diversity and for meeting a range of community objectives. World-wide, there is a current growth in protected areas: both the number of sites and the area under protection have increased substantially over recent decades. But ensuring that appropriate management is in place to realise the potential benefits remains a major problem in many places.Co-ordination is undertaken at the international level by organisations such as IUCN . The World Conservation Union . particularly its World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) (Formerly the IUCN Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas . CNPPA). However, the greatest need is to secure the integrity andeffective management of protected areas at the national level. These guidelines outline key issues which need to be addressed in national level planning for a system of protected areas.A system plan is the design of a total reserve system covering the full range of ecosystems and communities found in a particular country. The plan should identify the range of purposes of protected areas, and help to balance different objectives. The plan should also identify the relationships among the system components . between individual areas, between protected areas and other land uses, and between different sectors and levels of the society concerned. It should help demonstrate important linkages with other aspects of economic development, and show how various stakeholders can interact and co-operate to support effective and sustainable management of protected areas. Lastly, a system plan should be a means to establish thepriorities for a workable national system of protected areas.These guidelines identify links between system planning and the Convention on Biological Diversity and are intended to be used by governments and others in the implementation of Article 8 of the Convention, (In situ conservation). The guidance is also set in the context of the range of protected area management categories which have recently been adopted by IUCN. The guidelines emphasise that judgement is required to ask relevant questions, to understand driving influences and to make choices about the level of detail and strategic orientation of a system plan relevant to the prevailing circumstances of a country. Because countries vary greatly in terms of their physical, economic and social conditions, advice of this kind must be general: accordingly these guidelines provide a broad framework for system planning at the national level, rather than seeking to answer every question or issue which might arise at that level.

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