German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Expert workshop protected areas

Expert workshop: quality standards for protected areas

For the workshop 42 experts from all over the world came to the Isle of Vilm | Photo: BfN
Participants of the workshop | © BfN

Putbus/Isle of Vilm, 6 February 2020: Eight months before the global policy framework for the protection of biodiversity is to be redefined, 42 experts from all over the world met on the Isle of Vilm from 2 to 6 February 2020. At the invitation of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the International Academy for Nature Conservation (INA), they discussed how guidelines on the quality and effectiveness of protected areas can be incorporated into the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

In autumn 2020, the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in China will adopt a new global framework for biodiversity protection. This will replace the previous Biodiversity Strategic Plan 2011-2020 with its twenty Aichi targets. Until October, the most pressing issues will be addressed in various working groups and at diplomatic and scientific events.

At the workshop on Vilm, the experts developed possible quality standards and targets for protected areas, as well as methods and indicators for reporting. "In recent decades, many new protected areas have been designated worldwide on land and at sea. However, these often receive little funding, have too few staff and are poorly managed, so that they offer neither sufficient protection for nature nor a good livelihood for local people", said Gisela Stolpe, head of the INA. In the past, the focus on coverage targets when designating protected areas has also contributed to the fact that not always the most important areas for biodiversity were protected. "Based on the targets and indicators developed in the workshop on design, management and social aspects, the quality and impact of protected areas can, for the first time, be recorded and evaluated worldwide. At the same time we have developed global quality standards for protected areas," said Trevor Sandwith, Head of the IUCN Global Programme of Protected Areas.

The result paper of the workshop, which contains concrete targets, minimum requirements, indicators and measurement methods, will be fed into the international CBD negotiations and should encourage other organisations and actors to work on implementation and further refinement.

In 2017 the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation and IUCN have committed themselves to collaborating more closely in the further development and implementation of global decisions and agreements, especially those relating to protected areas. The INA, where expert workshops and trainings are held, plays an important role in this context.