The success of protected areas as a tool for conservation is based around the assumption that they are managed to protect the values that they contain. To be effective, management should be tailored to the particular demands of the site, given that each protected area has a variety of biological and social characteristics, pressures and uses. Achieving effective management is not an easy task – it requires adopting appropriate management objectives and governance systems, adequate and appropriate resourcing and the timely implementation of appropriate management strategie and processes. It is unlikely to be achieved fully without an approach to management that is inquiring an reflective – that seeks to understand how effective the current management regime is and how it could be improved. Information on management effectiveness is thus a cornerstone of good management.
The Framework for management effectiveness developed by the IUCN World Commission for Protected Areas was published in the first version of this Best Practice Guideline. It is further explained and interpreted, though not substantially altered, in this version (Chapter 3). It is based on the idea that protected area management follows a process with six distinct stages, or elements:
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