The METT was developed as part of the WWF-World Bank Forest Alliance programme and the first version was field tested in 2001. Since then it has been adopted and adapted by the Global Environment Facility and many other countries, organisations and projects, as outlined in this publication.
As the authors note in this Handbook, the uses to which the METT has been put go far beyond the original intention, which was to have a systematic way of gathering information on whether protected areas (largely terrestrial ones) were being managed effectively. This would allow people to challenge themselves on making improvements over time, and allow some comparison between sites. What it could not do, without considerable additional information, was convincingly show whether effective management was leading to improved ecological and social outcomes. Furthermore, the quality of each METT depends on the knowledge and diligence of the assessors, and the integration of information from a diverse range of stakeholders.
The purpose of this METT Handbook, therefore, is to provide definitive up-to-date guidance on METT implementation. In so doing, it outlines improvements that have been pointed out over the years, and sets a framework within which to understand how to get the best from this tracking tool – without having unrealistic expectations.
This latest review has come about through Sue Stolton and Nigel Dudley’s diligent pursuit of ever improving a popular tool to help protected area managers assess their progress and make their management more effective. It emerged through the IUCN-UK Committee, as an extension of a project looking at protected areas in the UK, and as such is a collaborative effort between WWF, IUCN WCPA and UNEP-WCMC. I hope it continues to provide even more support to protected area managers in the years ahead.