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The resources outlined below are designed to assist practitioners in the challenging area of governing protected areas.  This subject area is divided into two parts:

Governance and Legislation Guidance

A combination of global guidance documents for governance and Pacific related papers addressing legislation gaps in certain countries and discussing legal frameworks for community-based management etc

Enforcement and Compliance

Useful guidance papers developed by PIMPAC for conservation officers in the Pacific Islands, as well as some more general papers on enforcement in protected areas.  There is also a resource discussing the use of economic incentives for community-based nature conservation.

A Guide to Establishing a Program Compliance and Enforcement Plan

A Guide to Establishing a Program Compliance and Enforcement Plan. Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Areas Community (PIMPAC) document: Conservation Enforcement Training

A Step‐by‐Step Guide for Developing Effective Standard Operating Procedures for Conservation Enforcement Programs

Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Areas Community (PIMPAC) document: Conservation Enforcement Training

A sustainable ocean economy in 2030: Opportunities and challenges

In this report the World Ocean Initiative assesses the challenges facing key sectors in the ocean economy, including seafood, shipping, tourism and renewable energy.

Addressing the implementation challenge of the global biodiversity framework

A Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) is under discussion for the period 2021–2030, which will replace the ‘‘Aichi Targets’’ adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 2010.

Advancing Social Equity in and Through Marine Conservation

Substantial efforts and investments are being made to increase the scale and improve the effectiveness of marine conservation globally.

An international assessment of the barriers influencing the effectiveness of island ecosystem management

Island ecosystems are disproportionally impacted by biodiversity loss and as such their effective management is critical to global conservation efforts.

Area-based conservation in the twenty-first century

Humanity will soon define a new era for nature—one that seeks to transform decades of underwhelming responses to the global biodiversity crisis.

Best Practice in Delivering the 30x30 Target

This guidance document identifies the best options for successful delivery of draft Target 3 of the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). There is good evidence that this will radically increase the success of biodiversity conservation.

Biodiversity and Protected Areas

Protected areas are key to biodiversity conservation. While the value of protected areas is generally undisputed, challenges remain.

Biodiversity needs every tool in the box: use OECMs

Global support is growing for the 30 × 30 movement — a goal to conserve 30% of the planet by 2030. In May, the G7 group of wealthy nations endorsed the commitment to this target that had been made by more than 50 countries in January.

Blue Pacific Ocean 2021 Report

This Blue Pacific Ocean 2021 Report (BPOR) is indeed a first of its kind.

CKI OECM Workshop Report - January 2023

The CKI OECM Workshop Report consolidates the discussions, outcomes, recommendations and next steps following the Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures Workshop, hosted by the National Environment Service, in partnership with Secretariat of Pacific Regional Environment Program and the

Community-Based Incentives for Nature Conservation

Emerton, L. 2001.  Community-Based Incentives for Nature Conservation.  IUCN The World Conservation Union, Eastern Africa Regional Office and Economics Unit.

Community-Based Management

Community Based Management resources

Conserving our sea of islands - State of protected and conserved areas in Oceania

Conserving our sea of islands: State of protected and conserved areas in Oceania is a landmark publication, bringing together regional and international experts to prepare the first comprehensive review of the status and issues for protected and conserved areas in the region.

Considering Indigenous Peoples and local communities in governance of the global ocean commons

The United Nations are currently negotiating a new international legally-binding instrument to govern the global ocean commons, a vast area beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) owned by everyone but not cared for by any single entity.

COVID-19 and protected areas: Impacts, conflicts, and possible management solutions

During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, management authorities of numerous Protected Areas (PAs) had to discourage visitors from accessing them in order to reduce the virus transmission rate and protect local communities.


The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact on conservation policies and practice at multiple scales, including protected and conserved areas (PCAs). There is a need to understand the implications for PCAs of recent actions, enacted or promoted in the wake of COVID-19.

Creating Legal Space for Community-based Fisheries and Customary Marine Tenure in the Pacific: Issues and Opportunities.

Kuemlangan, B. 2004. Creating Legal Space for Community-based Fisheries and Customary Marine Tenure in the Pacific: Issues and Opportunities. FishCode Review. No. 7 (En). Rome, FAO.

Ecological connectivity between the areas beyond national jurisdiction and coastal waters: Safeguarding interests of coastal communities in developing countries

The UN General Assembly has made a unanimous decision to start negotiations to establish an international, legally-binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity within Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ).

Enforcement and Coastal Development for Marine Conservation

Corrigan, C. 2007. Enforcement and Coastal Development for Marine Conservation. Innovations in Conservation Series. Parks in Peril Program. Arlington, VA, USA: The Nature Conservancy

Engaging the tropical majority to make ocean governance and science more equitable and effective

How can ocean governance and science be made more equitable and effective? The majority of the world’s ocean-dependent people live in low to middle-income countries in the tropics (i.e., the ‘tropical majority’).


In 2018, the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted a decision on protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs).

From livelihoods to equity for better protected area conservation

Meeting social goals is widely considered essential for effective biodiversity conservation. The dominant approach to meeting social goals has focused mainly on support for local livelihoods, but this has often proved inadequate for achieving either social goals or conservation effectiveness.

Fully Protected Marine Reserves: a Guide.

Roberts, C.M. and Hawkins,  J.P. 2000. Fully Protected Marine Reserves: a Guide. WWF Endangered Seas Campaign, Washington D.C.

Gender equality is diluted in commitments made to small-scale fisheries

Gender equality is a mainstream principle of good environmental governance and sustainable development. Progress toward gender equality in the fisheries sector is critical for effective and equitable development outcomes in coastal countries.

Governance Assessment for Protected and Conserved Areas (GAPA) - Methodology manual for GAPA facilitators

This manual provides detailed guidance for assessing the governance quality of protected areas (PAs) and other conserved areas (CAs) and any related conservation and development activities.

Governance of Protected Areas: From Understanding to Action.

Borrini-Feyerabend, G., Dudley, N. Jaeger, T., Lassen, B., Pathak Broome, N., Phillips, A. and Sandwith, T. 2013. Governance of Protected Areas: From Understanding to Action. Best Practice Protected Area Guidelines Series No.

Governance, Equity and the Green List

Good governance is fundamental to effective protected area (PA) design, planning, and management operations, and the degree to which these are equitable in terms of the recognition and engagement of key actors, and the distribution of benefits and costs/burdens.

Governing MPAs – Getting the Balance Right

Jones, P.J.S, Qiu W., and De Santo E.M. 2011. Governing MPAs – Getting the Balance Right. Technical Report, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Guide to Writing and Filing Incident Reports and Citations for Conservation Officers

Guide to Writing and Filing Incident Reports and Citations for Conservation Officers. Pacific Islands Managed and Protected Areas Community (PIMPAC) document: Conservation Enforcement Training

Guidelines for Protected Area Legislation

Barbara., L. 2011. Guidelines for Protected Area Legislation. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Guidelines for Protected Area Legislation

Lausche, B. 2011. Guidelines for Protected Area Legislation. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. 

Harnessing the diversity of small-scale actors is key to the future of aquatic food systems

Small-scale fisheries and aquaculture (SSFA) provide livelihoods for over 100 million people and sustenance for ~1 billion people, particularly in the Global South.

High Seas Biodiversity Treaty Policy Brief

This introductory brief's target audience is professionals from governments, civil society, private sector, and other stakeholders who know multilateral processes and treaties but are not “BBNJ (biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction) experts”. It is an easier read than the t

High-profile international commitments for ocean protection: Empty promises or meaningful progress?

As 2020 approaches, countries are accelerating their commitments to protect 10% of the ocean by establishing and expanding marine protected areas (MPAs) and other area-based protections.

High-seas fish biodiversity is slipping through the governance net

States at the United Nations have begun negotiating a new treaty to strengthen the legal regime for marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

How MPAs Safeguard the High Seas

The high seas begin 200 nautical miles from coastal shores, beyond the jurisdiction of any country. Their vast expanse and distance from shore pose challenges for exploration and knowledge gathering.

IUCN WCPA Technical Note - Equity in conservation – what, why and how?

Achieving the target to conserve 30% of land and sea requires strong emphasis on equity.

Jaluit Atoll Background Report Environmental Resource Management Plan

The goals of the Jaluit Atoll Environmental Resource Management Plan (ERMP) are to provide all stakeholders with a framework to guide environmental resource management initiatives that will assist the community to maintain healthy marine and terrestrial environments for current and future generat

Legal Mechanisms for the Establishment and Management of Terrestrial Protected Areas in Fiji

Clarke, P. Gillespie, C.T.  2009. Legal Mechanisms for the Establishment and Management of Terrestrial Protected Areas in Fiji.  IUCN. Suva, Fiji.

Lessons learnt in global biodiversity governance

INEA has featured many articles covering the dilemmas, puzzles, and tensions related to global biodiversity governance; this coverage was infrequent in earlier issues but has steadily increased as both environmental diplomacy and international law on biodiversity conservation and environmental ju

Locally-managed marine areas: multiple objectives and diverse strategies

Community-based management and co-management are mainstream approaches to marine conservation and sustainable resource management. In the tropical Pacific, these approaches have proliferated through locally-managed marine areas (LMMAs).

Making Money Local: Can Protected Areas Deliver Both Economic Benefits and Conservation Objectives?

This publication has been developed as a contribution to Phase II of the Two-phase Strategy on Protected Areas of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and prepared pursuant to various paragraphs of COP decision XIII/2 on protected areas, in particular paragraph 5(a-e),

Marine Protected Areas Policy and Legislation Gap Analysis: Fiji Islands.

Techera, E.J. and Troniak, S. 2009.  Marine Protected Areas Policy and Legislation Gap Analysis: Fiji Islands. IUCN Regional Office for Oceania, Suva, Fiji.

Marine-Related Learning Networks: Shifting the Paradigm Toward Collaborative Ocean Governance

Formal and semi-formal networks are emerging as effective, collaborative, and adaptable approaches for addressing complex, rapidly evolving ocean governance issues.

Marshall Islands' National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

The purpose of this Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (BSAP) is to Assist the Marshall Islands to Plan for the Conservation of its biodiversity and for in the sustainable use of its biological resources.

Meanings and more... Policy Brief of the ICCA Consortium, Issue No. 7

In 2018 the Council of the ICCA Consortium decided to develop a lexicon of meaningful, and at times complex, concepts and terms frequently used in its work, policies and relations with its Members and Partners.