IUCN Protected Area Management Guidelines

Starting in early 2007, the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) embarked on a revision of its Protected Area Management Guidelines. These guidelines are of international importance because they establish a protected areas classification system and define best management practices for each protected area category. As founder and co-chair of the Wilderness Specialist Group within IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas, the WILD Foundation was actively engaged in revising the definition and management guidelines for wilderness (Category 1b), an effort which culminated at the IUCN’s 4th World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, October 2008.

As a result of nearly two years of collaborative work, the new guidelines contain a number of important breakthroughs.

  1. They define a protected area as an area set aside primarily for nature conservation.
  2. The new guidelines (supported by a resolution passed at the World Conservation Congress) emphasize that allprotected area categories make valuable contributions to conservation, and that the choice of protected area category should be based on local context/conditions.
  3. And, the wilderness protected area category was updated and strengthened.


Read the full guidelines >

Read an article published in the International Journal of Wilderness in 2009 on this process & its implications >