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Management Plan Development

Presented here are examples of management plans for various kinds of protected areas from strict nature reserves to local village fisheries management plans.  In addition, there is a discussion on the reasons for management plans and guidelines for writing a management plan.

01. Why do we have management plans?

Most of us try to plan the day ahead and perhaps for longer periods into the future.  We desire certain things for ourselves and families, and plan to address those needs and outcomes.  Private businesses plan ahead to achieve desirable profits and losses.  Militaries develop various contingency plans for certain scenarios.  Public agencies and private organisations plan for emergencies and evacuations.  Urban planning has been around for a long time, making plans for how a city should use space, resources and so forth.  So, planning in various forms is something individuals and societies do for their well-being.

02. Basic Guide to Writing a Protected Area Management Plan

03. Guidelines for Management Planning of Protected Areas

Lee, T. and Middleton, J. 2003. Guidelines for Management Planning of Protected Areas.  IUCN Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Although this guide is written from a global perspective, it has a lot of information that could be useful to managers embarking on a management planning process, or creating plans for suc.

04. Some Management Plans are Lengthy

How thick should a management plan be?  To be sure, there are some thick plans out there heavy enough for use as a door stop.  Seriously, a management plan is as thick as it needs to be based upon near term (10-15 years) management needs, legal and regulatory complexity, the environmental setting of the protected area, social and economic issues, resources at the disposal of the team developing the plan, and other factors.  In wealthy nations such as the USA, there are abundant resources to develop detailed management plans, a Cadillac version if you will.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, U.S.

05. Some Management Plans Are Short

06. Some Management Plans are for a Specific Purpose: Samoa's Village Fisheries Management Plans

King, M., Passfield, K. and Ropeti, R.  2001. Management of Village Fisheries: Samoa’s Community-based Management Strategy.

Samoa currently has more than 80 fish reserves managed by the community with assistance from the Government’s Fisheries Division. This detailed document outlines the process used by communities in Samoa in the preparation of fisheries management plans and the establishment of fish reserves. It describes some of the activities to carry out with communities (e.g. problem/solution trees) and has descriptions of some of the regulations that communities can propose as fisheries management measures (e.g., limiting the number of fishers).

07. Fisheries Management By Communities: A Manual on Promoting the Management of Subsistence Fisheries by Pacific Island Communities

King, M, Lambeth, L. 2000. Fisheries Management By Communities: A Manual on Promoting the Management of Subsistence Fisheries by Pacific Island Communities. Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia.

This manual is about community-based fisheries management. It provides guidelines and suggestions on how communities can be encouraged to take a leading role in the management of their fisheries and the marine environment. It promotes the Samoan model as a success story that could be transferred to other parts of the Pacific. It provides substantial background information on fisheries in the Pacific Islands, including marine ecology, fishing techniques and gear types and more.

08. Management Plans and Climate Change

How does one incorporate climate change into a protected area management plan?  Incorporating climate change components into protected area planning is a relatively new field and for some practitioners has not been considered in management planning or implementation.

09. Other Examples of Management Plans from the Pacific

10. Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation

Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation

The biodiversity conservation community is tackling large, complex, and urgent environmental problems where the stakes are high. People around the world are counting on us; they trust us, they work alongside us, and they are giving us significant resources to act effectively to save the planet. But we have a problem – we don’t have a fully functional system to assess the effectiveness of our actions. While many inspiring advances have been made, few conservation organizations can say consistently what is working, what could be improved, and what approaches need to be changed.

11. Considering Multiple Futures: Scenario Planning to Address Uncertainty in Natural Resource Conservation

BIORAPS (Biological Rapid Assessment)


Biological Rapid Assessments are undertaken to facilitate improved management of terrestral and aquatic landscapes. In general, the assessments fill key gaps in the knowledge of important but poorly studied regionss. This information is used to make better informed decisions on the conservation management of the biodiversity in an area in conjunction with land-owning communities, relevant government departments and other partners.

Guidelines for Undertaking Rapid Biodiversity Assessments in Terrestrial and Marine Environments in the Pacific

Catchment Management and Coral Reef Conservation

Conservation Coaches Network - Pacific Islands

Conservation Coaches Network - Pacific Islands

The mission of the Conservation Coaches Network is to catalyze transformational conservation by empowering people to develop, implement, evaluate, adapt and share effective strategies that achieve tangible conservation results benefitting people and nature all over the world.

Conservation Measures Partnership

Foundations of Success

Foundations of Success

Vision & Mission

Our Vision

An engaged conservation community working in a collaborative, transparent, and respectful manner, with the knowledge that the approaches and interventions it is using are likely to achieve measurable long-term success.

Large Scale Marine Protected Areas - Guidelines for design and management

IUCN-WCPA’s Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines are the world’s authoritative resource for protected area managers. Involving collaboration among specialist practitioners dedicated to supporting better implementation of ideas in the field, the Guidelines distil learning and advice drawn from across IUCN. Applied in the field, they build institutional and individual capacity to manage protected area systems effectively, equitably and sustainably, and to cope with the myriad of challenges faced in practice. The Guidelines also assist national governments, protected area agencies, non-governmental organisations, communities and private sector partners in meeting their commitments and goals, and especially the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Programme of Work on Protected Areas....

Making Protected Areas Relevant: A guide to integrating protected areas into wider landscapes, seascapes and sectoral plans and strategies

Panorama: Sharer Your Protected Area Solutions

Ramsar Sites Management Toolkit

The Ramsar Convention Secretariat has compiled a new toolkit for site managers. This toolkit was designed to provide simple guidance to site managers on the key steps and components involved in managing a Ramsar Site. It also identifies and provides links to more detailed information on each of those steps, including key non-Ramsar publications where appropriate. The toolkit was developed by the Scientific Technical Review Panel and will be continuously updated with new resources.

The toolkit is divided into four sections:

1. Describing the site

2. Planning

3. Management and monitoring

4. Periodic evaluation and review