Global Standard for the IUCN Green List of Protected Areas
At the heart of the IUCN Green List of Protected Areas will be the Global Standard (GLPA Standard). The GLPA Standard will provide the global benchmark for the recognition of successful ‘Green List’ Protected Areas worldwide.
The first version of the GLPA Global Standard was approved by the GLPA Management Committee, working under the auspices of IUCN’s Global Protected Areas Programme (GPAP), in May 2014. Over the coming months it will be pilot tested by Jurisdictional Reference Groups in a range of regions and situations, with the aim of announcing the world’s first IUCN Green List Protected Areas at the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014 in Sydney in November 2014.
The Standard builds on previous work by IUCN and WCPA, especially on the work of the WCPA Specialist Group on Management Effectiveness of Protected Areas.The standard is structured around four fundamental ‘pillars’ of conservation success: the achievement of successful conservation outcomes, based on sound planning, equitable governance and effective management.
Each of the Standard’s pillars is associated with a number of ‘Criteria’, and each Criterion in turn with a number of ‘Indicators’ that detail the specific requirements that must be met to demonstrate conformity with the Standard in a particular jurisdiction.
Whereas the Criteria ensure global consistency, the Indicators provide the necessary flexibility to take account of the specific context of the jurisdiction in which the protected area is located.
The Criteria have been developed by the GLPA Standards Group with the support of each partner country's or region’s Reference Groups, who possess specialist knowledge of particular themes or geographical regions in which the Standard will be applied during the Pilot Phase. The Reference Groups are working to develop the Indicators that will be used to assess conformity within their particular jurisdiction.
Although the Standard is now approved for pilot testing, this is only the end of the first phase of the Standard’s formal development. Over the coming months the Standard will be open for worldwide, public consultation. IUCN is committed to the principles of developing and setting standards of the ISEAL Alliance; an international standards-setting group. Such principles include a focus on demonstrating an impact of the standard – in the case of the GLPA, to design and implement the Standard in a way that improves performance of protected areas.
The results of global consultation, together with the findings from pilot testing in the various jurisdictions in which it is being trialled, will then be taken into account in a full revision of the Standard prior the GLPA’s official launchin Sydney in November.
Only then will the Standard begin to achieve its ultimate objective, to recognise, support and celebrate protected areas’ contribution to the achievement of IUCN’s mission of ‘A just world that values and conserves nature’.
Matthew Wenban-Smith, One World Standards
Green List Standards
Photo: Matthew Wenban-Smith, One World Standards