Protected Areas

Protected Area Technical Report Series

(click on title to download)

A Global Register of Competences for Protected Area Practitioners

A comprehensive directory of and user guide to the skills, knowledge and personal qualities required by managers, staff and stewards of protected and other conserved areas

Compiled by Mike Appleton


En français: Registre mondial des compétences pour les praticiens des aires protégées

(An Excel WorkBook that includes all competences and supporting material that can be searched and sorted for user needs can be downloaded from

A Global register for Competences for Protected Area Practitioners

The Global Register of Competences for Protected Area Practitioners is a cornerstone of a global IUCN WCPA initiative for professionalising protected area management, initiated through the IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney in November 2014. The Register is a near-comprehensive list of 300 skills and associated knowledge requirements (competences) regularly required in protected areas and in associated work around the world. The competences are organised according to fifteen functions of modern protected area work and four levels of staff, from senior officials to field workers. Along with the register, the publication includes an overview of competence based approaches to capacity development and a detailed user guide.

The Competence Register provides an essential foundation for the vital process of professionalisation of protected area management. It is an ideal reference and starting point for managers and human resource professionals to plan and manage staffing of protected areas, for educators to identify and meet capacity needs, and for individuals to assess and develop their own skills. Just as importantly, the register demonstrates that ensuring the future of the planet’s biodiversity and life support systems is a complex, multi-skilled profession, worthy of respect, recognition and support.

The Competence Register is designed as a ‘tool not a rule’, flexible and adaptable to local needs and priorities. It is useful to anyone involved in managing protected areas and biodiversity; senior officials, site staff, local communities, NGOs, trainers and educators and project staff.

The Register is available in three forms:

  • A pdf that includes the full Register (bookmarked for easy reference), an overview of the competence based approach and a detailed guide on how to use the Register.
  • An Excel Workbook, that allows users to adapt and use the competences according to their needs.
  • A printed version.

The Competence Register was prepared and tested with protected area professionals across the world and with the support of:

  • The Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management Programme (BIOPAMA), funded by resources from the intra-ACP envelope of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).
  • The German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz - BfN).
  • The ProPark Foundation for Protected Areas, Romania.


The Futures of Privately Protected Areas

En Espanol Áreas Bajo Protección Privada: Mirando al FuturoThe Futures of Privately Protected Areas

Privately protected areas are an essential component in achieving the CBD’s Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 on completing ecologically representative protected area networks around the world. This report aims to raise awareness about this type of protected area and provide a framework to show how privately protected areas can and should be reported nationally and internationally. The report is based on an extensive literature review, discussions with privately protected areas specialists, an expert workshop and 17 commissioned country reviews.

Privately protected areas deserve far greater recognition and support than is the case at the moment. To date, the large majority of protected areas have been created on state-owned lands and waters. Whilst such initiatives are invaluable, and unprecedented in their scale and in the commitment shown by governments, they will not be enough to achieve the CBD targets on their own. There are already tens of thousands of areas which could be considered as privately protected areas around the world, with more being set up all the time. This report provides guidance on applying the IUCN definition of a protected area to a privately protected areas and recommends: a privately protected area is a protected area, as defined by IUCN, under private governance (i.e. individuals and groups of individuals; non-governmental organizations (NGOs); corporations – both existing commercial companies and sometimes corporations set up by groups of private owners to manage groups of PPAs; for-profit owners; research entities (e.g. universities, field stations) or religious entities).

This report was funded by the Linden Trust for Conservation and has been developed in collaboration with the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre and the Secretariat of the Convention CBD.

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