Amid the ever-expanding guidance on how to plan and manage MPAs effectively, it is becoming more challenging for practitioners to gather all the existing global standards they need to consider in one place. To help address this, IUCN has drafted a document that integrates its existing Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas Standard with its other relevant MPA policies and positions (distilled from multiple IUCN Resolutions and recommendations over the years).

The four-page document is intended to help governments, managers, and stakeholders consider the various quantitative and qualitative elements necessary for MPA success. It covers MPA benefits; the definition of MPAs; how they fit within wider ocean management; and existing standards for good governance, sound design, effective management, and conservation outcomes. It is the first time IUCN has synthesized its existing MPA standards in one place.

The draft document “Applying IUCN’s Global Conservation Standards to Marine Protected Areas (MPA)” is available here. It is open for comment, namely on whether any existing IUCN guidance on MPAs has been missed. The comment period ends 4 March 2018. Send comments to Dan Laffoley, Marine Vice Chair of IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, at  

Laffoley notes that the document is not renegotiating any standards or rewording resolutions. “All we are doing is linking existing IUCN global conservation standards that have relevance to MPAs,” he says. “We are not creating a new standard.” French and Spanish versions will be available shortly at the same link as above.

Alongside this work WCPA will also be updating its guidance on the IUCN management categories to ensure it is consistent with recent Resolutions highlighted in the conservation standards document. MPA News will let readers know when this revised guidance becomes available.