IUCN protected area categories

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IUCN protected area categories, or IUCN protected area management categories, are categories used to classify protected areas in a system developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). [1] [2]

Contents

The enlisting of such areas is part of a strategy being used toward the conservation of the world's natural environment and biodiversity. The IUCN has developed the protected area management categories system to define, record and classify the wide variety of specific aims and concerns when categorising protected areas and their objectives.

This categorisation method is recognised on a global scale by national governments and international bodies such as the United Nations and the Convention on Biological Diversity. [3]

Categories

Category Ia – strict nature reserve

A strict nature reserve (IUCN Category Ia) is an area which is protected from all but light human use in order to protect its biodiversity and also possibly its geological/geomorphical features. [4] These areas are often home to dense native ecosystems where all human disturbance except scientific study, environmental monitoring and education is prohibited. Because these areas are so strictly protected, they provide ideal pristine environments that enable measurement of external human influence by means of comparison with other areas.

In some cases strict nature reserves are of spiritual significance for surrounding communities and are also protected for this reason. The people engaged in the practice of their faith within the region have the right to continue to do so, providing it aligns with the area's conservation and management objectives.

Human impacts on strict nature reserves are increasingly difficult to prevent because climate and air pollution and newly emerging diseases do not stop at the boundaries of protected areas. If perpetual intervention is required to maintain these strict guidelines, the area will often fall into category IV or V. [5]

Category Ib – wilderness area

The Serengeti National Park, Tanzania is a designated Wilderness Area Serengeti.JPG
The Serengeti National Park, Tanzania is a designated Wilderness Area

A wilderness area (IUCN Category Ib) is similar to a strict nature reserve, but generally larger and protected in a slightly less stringent manner.

These areas are a protected domain in which biodiversity and ecosystem processes (including evolution) are allowed to flourish or experience restoration if previously disturbed by human activity. These are areas which may buffer against the effects of climate change and protect threatened species and ecological communities.

Human visitation is limited to a minimum, often allowing only those who are willing to travel of their own devices (by foot, by ski, or by boat), but this offers a unique opportunity to experience wilderness that has not been interfered with. Wilderness areas can be classified as such only if they are devoid of modern infrastructure, though they allow human activity to the level of sustaining indigenous groups and their cultural and spiritual values within their wilderness-based lifestyles. [7]

Category II – national park

A national park (IUCN Category II) is similar to a wilderness area in its size and its main objective of protecting functioning ecosystems. However, national parks tend to be more lenient with human visitation and its supporting infrastructure. National parks are managed in a way that may contribute to local economies through promoting educational and recreational tourism on a scale that will not reduce the effectiveness of conservation efforts.

The surrounding areas of a national park may be for consumptive or non-consumptive use but should nevertheless act as a barrier for the defence of the protected area's native species and communities to enable them to sustain themselves in the long term. [8]

Category III – natural monument or feature

A natural monument or feature (IUCN Category III) is a comparatively smaller area that is specifically allocated to protect a natural monument and its surrounding habitats. These monuments can be natural in the wholest sense or include elements that have been influenced or introduced by humans. The latter should hold biodiversity associations or could otherwise be classified as a historical or spiritual site, though this distinction can be quite difficult to ascertain.

To be categorised as a natural monument or feature by IUCN's guidelines, the protected area could include natural geological or geomorphological features, culturally-influenced natural features, natural cultural sites, or cultural sites with associated ecology. The classification then falls into two subcategories: those in which the biodiversity is uniquely related to the conditions of the natural feature and those in which the current levels of biodiversity are dependent on the presence of the sacred sites that have created an essentially modified ecosystem.

Natural monuments or features often play a smaller but key ecological role in the operations of broader conservation objectives. They have a high cultural or spiritual value that can be utilised to gain support of conservation challenges by allowing higher visitation or recreational rights, therefore offering an incentive for the preservation of the site. [9]

Category IV – habitat or species management area

The Galapagos, Ecuador, is managed under category IV to preserve the islands' native flora and fauna Galapagos iguana1.jpg
The Galápagos, Ecuador, is managed under category IV to preserve the islands' native flora and fauna

A habitat or species management area (IUCN Category IV) is similar to a natural monument or feature, but focuses on more specific areas of conservation (though size is not necessarily a distinguishing feature), like an identifiable species or habitat that requires continuous protection rather than that of a natural feature. These protected areas will be sufficiently controlled to ensure the maintenance, conservation, and restoration of particular species and habitats—possibly through traditional means—and public education of such areas is widely encouraged as part of the management objectives.

Habitat or species management areas may exist as a fraction of a wider ecosystem or protected area and may require varying levels of active protection. Management measures may include (but are not limited to) the prevention of poaching, creation of artificial habitats, halting natural succession, and supplementary feeding practices. [11]

Category V – protected landscape or seascape

A protected landscape or protected seascape (IUCN Category V) covers an entire body of land or ocean with an explicit natural conservation plan, but usually also accommodates a range of for-profit activities.

The main objective is to safeguard regions that have built up a distinct and valuable ecological, biological, cultural, or scenic character. In contrast with previous categories, Category V permits surrounding communities to interact more with the area, contributing to the area's sustainable management and engaging with its natural and cultural heritage.

Landscapes and seascapes that fall into this category should represent an integral balance between people and nature and can sustain activities such as traditional agricultural and forestry systems on conditions that ensure the continued protection or ecological restoration of the area.

Category V is one of the more flexible classifications of protected areas. As a result, protected landscapes and seascapes may be able to accommodate contemporary developments, such as ecotourism, at the same time as maintaining the historical management practices that may procure the sustainability of agrobiodiversity and aquatic biodiversity.: [12]

Category VI – protected area with sustainable use of natural resources

Satellite image of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Australia Landsat gbreef.jpg
Satellite image of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Australia

Though human involvement is a large factor in the management of these protected areas, developments are not intended to allow for widescale industrial production. The IUCN recommends that a proportion of the land mass remain in its natural condition—a decision to be made on a national level, usually with specificity to each protected area. Governance has to be developed to adapt the diverse—and possibly growing—range of interests that arise from the production of sustainable natural resources.

Category VI may be particularly suitable to vast areas that already have a low level of human occupation or in which local communities and their traditional practices have had little permanent impact on the environmental health of the region. This differs from category V in that it is not the result of long-term human interaction that has had a transformative effect on surrounding ecosystems. [14]

See also

Related Research Articles

A wilderness area is a region where the land is in a natural state; where impacts from human activities are minimal—that is, as a wilderness. It might also be called a wild or natural area. Especially in wealthier, industrialized nations, it has a specific legal meaning as well: as land where development is prohibited by law. Many nations have designated wilderness areas, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.

Protected area Areas protected for having ecological or cultural importance

Protected areas or conservation areas are locations which receive protection because of their recognized natural, ecological or cultural values. There are several kinds of protected areas, which vary by level of protection depending on the enabling laws of each country or the regulations of the international organizations involved. Generally speaking though, protected areas are understood to be those in which human presence or at least the exploitation of natural resources is limited.

This is an index of conservation topics. It is an alphabetical index of articles relating to conservation biology and conservation of the natural environment.

Man and the Biosphere Programme UNESCO conservation programme

Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) is an intergovernmental scientific program, launched in 1971 by UNESCO, that aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments.

Wilderness Undisturbed natural environment

Wilderness or wildlands, are natural environments on Earth that have not been significantly modified by human activity or any nonurbanized land not under extensive agricultural cultivation. The term has traditionally referred to terrestrial environments, though growing attention is being placed on marine wilderness. Recent maps of wilderness suggest it covers roughly one quarter of Earth's terrestrial surface, but is being rapidly degraded by human activity. Even less wilderness remains in the ocean, with only 13.2% free from intense human activity.

Cleland Conservation Park Protected area in South Australia

Cleland Conservation Park is a protected area located in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia about 22 kilometres (14 mi) south-east of the Adelaide city centre. Cleland Conservation Park conserves a significant area of natural bushland on the Adelaide Hills face and includes the internationally popular Cleland Wildlife Park and the popular tourist destinations of Mount Lofty summit and Waterfall Gully. It is maintained by the South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR).

A nature park, or sometimes natural park, is a designation for a protected landscape by means of long-term planning, sustainable use and agriculture. These valuable landscapes are preserved in their present state and promoted for tourism purposes.

Protected areas of the Czech Republic

There are at least six types of protected areas of the Czech Republic.

World Commission on Protected Areas

The World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) is one of six commissions of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Protected areas of Estonia

Protected areas of Estonia are regulated by the Nature Conservation Act, which was passed by the Estonian parliament on April 21, 2004 and entered into force May 10, 2004. Overall Estonia has 15403 Protected Areas covering 21.21% of the country land and 18.78% of it marine and coastal territory.

The Protected areas of Portugal are classified under a legal protection statute that allows for the adequate protection and maintenance of biodiversity, while providing services for ecosystem that maintains the natural and geological patrimony.

An intact forest landscape (IFL) is an unbroken natural landscape of a forest ecosystem and its habitat–plant community components, in an extant forest zone. An IFL is a natural environment with no signs of significant human activity or habitat fragmentation, and of sufficient size to contain, support, and maintain the complex of indigenous biodiversity of viable populations of a wide range of genera and species, and their ecological effects.

Protected areas of Sri Lanka are administrated by Department of Forest Conservation and Department of Wildlife Conservation of Sri Lanka.There are 501 protected areas in Sri Lanka. The protected areas that fall under supervision of the Department of Forest Conservation include forests defined in National Heritage Wilderness Area Act in 1988, forest reservations, and forests managed for sustainability. Sinharaja Forest Reserve is an example for a National Heritage forest. There are 32 forests categorized as conservation forests including Knuckles Mountain Range. Strict nature reserves, national parks, nature reserves, forest corridors, and sanctuaries recognized under the Flora and Fauna Protection Ordinance are managed by Department of Wildlife Conservation. Total of all protected areas is 1,767,000 ha. Protected areas in Sri Lanka account for 26.5 percent of the total area. This is a higher percentage of protected areas than in all of Asia and much of the World.

Conservation photography

Conservation photography is the active use of the photographic process and its products, within the parameters of photojournalism, to advocate for conservation outcomes.

Indigenous and community conserved areas (ICCAs), or indigenous peoples’ and community conserved territories and areas, are spaces de facto governed by indigenous peoples or local communities with evidently positive outcomes for the conservation of biological and cultural diversity. In ICCAs, the continuation, revival or modification of traditional practices and/or new initiatives succeed in protecting and restoring natural resources and cultural values in the face of new threats or opportunities. Some ICCAs are situated in remote ecosystems that have had minimum human influence, while others encompass areas of various regulations and magnitudes within regions strongly affected or modified by human occupation. ICCAs may or may not fit the IUCN definition of “protected area” but, when they do, they can fall into any IUCN protected area categories.

Categories of Natural Environment Protected Areas of Ukraine were reestablished (redefined) by the national parliament of Ukraine after the fall of the Soviet Union. On June 16, 1992 the President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk signed the law on the Nature-Preservation Fund of Ukraine. The law redefined already the established system of environment protection management for Ukraine as a fully sovereign and independent country. National Parks in Ukraine and other Protected Areas of Ukraine include Ramsar Sites in Ukraine, *Biosphere Preserves of Ukraine, National Nature Parks of Ukraine, Nature Preserves of Ukraine, Regional landscape parks of Ukraine, Nature monuments of Ukraine, Protected tracts of Ukraine and Habitat / Species Managed Areas of Ukraine.

Strict nature reserve

A strict nature reserve or wilderness area is the highest category of protected area recognised by the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), a body which is part of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). These category I areas are the most stringently protected natural landscapes.

Environmental protection area (Brazil)

An environmental protection area is a type of protected area in Brazil that has some degree of human occupation, but where the primary intent is environmental protection. Human occupation is monitored and controlled. An environmental protection area often contains other types of conservation units, which may be more strictly protected.

Nature-based solutions Sustainable management and use of nature for tackling socio-environmental challenges

Nature-based solutions (NBS) refers to the sustainable management and use of nature for tackling socio-environmental challenges. The challenges include issues such as climate change, water security, water pollution, food security, human health, biodiversity loss and disaster risk management.

References

  1. Francoise Burhenne-Guilmin (2011). Guidelines for Protected Areas Legislation. IUCN. p. 147. ISBN   9782831712451.
  2. Mike J. Jeffries (2006). Biodiversity and conservation (2nd ed.). Psychology Press. p. 191. ISBN   9780415342995.
  3. IUCN Guidelines for Applying Protected Area Management Categories, Published 2 October 2008
  4. Category Ia Strict Nature Reserve
  5. Data for Serengeti National Park (Category Ib) on Protected Planet
  6. Casson, Sarah A.; Martin, Vance; Watson, Alan (2016). Wilderness protected areas. ISBN   978-2-8317-1817-0.
  7. Category II National Park Archived 2014-04-07 at the Wayback Machine
  8. Category III Natural Monument or Feature
  9. Data for The Galápagos Islands (Category IV) on Protected Planet
  10. Category IV Habitat/Species Management Area
  11. Category V Protected Landscape/Seascape
  12. Data for The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Category VI) on Protected Planet
  13. Category VI Protected Area with sustainable use of natural resources