Sustainable Nature Reserves: Guidelines for privately protected areas

Privately protected areas are powerful tools to restore and conserve natural habitats, protect species and create wildlife corridors. They are among the most effective ways for civil societies get involved in the climate and biodiversity crises. As the feeling urgency to protect our planet grows, awareness about the value of privately protected land, in addition to protected areas managed by governments, is increasing. The IUCN NL Land Acquisition Fund and American Bird Conservancy developed practical guidelines for people managing these reserves.

Header photo: a plate-billed mountain toucan in Dracula Reserve, Ecuador. (c) Ecominga

Practical guidelines for managers

In 2018, IUCN published the Best Practice Guidelines on Privately Protected Areas, providing broad principle-based guidelines on all aspects of privately protected areas (PPAs), including incentives and protected area networks.

Managers of PPAs have indicated to struggle with effectively managing their protected areas after focusing on the acquisition and establishment phases. This new manual responds to this gap by offering practical guidelines for (aspired) reserve owners, based on lessons learned from PPA managers and other experts.

Nine steps to managing a private reserve

The manual is divided in nine pragmatic steps guiding readers from the creation phase to the development of management tools. They provide individuals, non-profit organisations, and civil-society groups interested in managing a reserve as a long-term conservation strategy with useful information on sustainability and fundraising, proposal writing, community engagement and restoration.

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Marc Hoogeslag
Senior Expert Nature Conservation