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Condition Based-Protected Area Zoning Tied to Conservation Planning and Targets // PARKS


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Human use protected area zoning assigns different uses of land and marine resources to different management zones, in theory, to avoid or curtail activities incompatible with management objectives. Despite its global popularity, however, human use zoning generates problems such as the separation of compatible uses and consequent user conflict (e.g., researchers and ecotourists). It allocates more resources to manage human uses than to biophysical conditions that protected areas are charged to conserve. It reduces manifestations of the same use (e.g., intensive and small-scale agriculture) into just one scale of impact. It uses objective criteria to define zones in situations where subjective values may conflict. In response, alternative zoning schemes have emerged, among them, resource condition-based approaches. These, however, tend to be highly technical, poorly evaluated, and show little evidence of adoption by protected area systems, especially in developing countries. This paper therefore proposes a condition-based approach that addresses these weaknesses by using pre-defined conservation targets as the principal criteria to define zones, thus clearly linking conservation planning (such as the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation) and management zoning. Condition-based zoning focuses on strategic conservation actions with the use of conditions, indicators, standards, and corresponding preventative and corrective management actions, rather than being prescriptive and punitive as with the human use zoning model. Furthermore, the article proposes technology and methodology that are more appropriate for the technical capacity of developing countries. It also traces the development of condition-based zoning from early urban zoning and presents a pilot application in Costa Rica's Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
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PARKS VOL 27.1 MAY 2021
PARKS VOL 27.1 MAY 2021 | 43
Jonathan Kohl1* and Bernal HerreraFernández2
* Corresponding author:
1PUP Global Heritage Consorum, Tres Ríos, Costa Rica
2Tropical Science Centre, San José, Costa Rica
Human use protected area zoning assigns different uses of land and marine resources to different management
zones, in theory, to avoid or curtail activities incompatible with management objectives. Despite its global
popularity, however, human use zoning generates problems such as the separation of compatible uses and
consequent user conflict (e.g., researchers and ecotourists). It allocates more resources to manage human uses than
to biophysical conditions that protected areas are charged to conserve. It reduces manifestations of the same use
(e.g., intensive and small-scale agriculture) into just one scale of impact. It uses objective criteria to define zones in
situations where subjective values may conflict. In response, alternative zoning schemes have emerged, among them,
resource condition-based approaches. These, however, tend to be highly technical, poorly evaluated, and show little
evidence of adoption by protected area systems, especially in developing countries. This paper therefore proposes a
condition-based approach that addresses these weaknesses by using pre-defined conservation targets as the
principal criteria to define zones, thus clearly linking conservation planning (such as the Open Standards for the
Practice of Conservation) and management zoning. Condition-based zoning focuses on strategic conservation
actions with the use of conditions, indicators, standards, and corresponding preventative and corrective
management actions, rather than being prescriptive and punitive as with the human use zoning model. Furthermore,
the article proposes technology and methodology that are more appropriate for the technical capacity of developing
countries. It also traces the development of condition-based zoning from early urban zoning and presents a pilot
application in Costa Rica’s Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.
Key words: human use zoning, Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica, limits of acceptable change, management
plan, Open Standards, ecological integrity
Protected areas have long stood as a cornerstone
strategy to protect biodiversity, but strict preservation
rarely serves as an area’s sole objective because
protected areas must provide multiple values for
multiple users in society. One tool often employed to
manage these value demands is zoning. Managers have
deployed zoning in recent decades to allocate different
uses to different spaces within protected area
boundaries. The assumption is that by zoning off
human activities incompatible with natural resource
conservation from areas of greatest natural value,
managers better protect natural resources (Gilg, 1981).
Spatial zoning is not a new idea and did not originate in
natural areas; the concept can be traced back to
Germany in the 1800s (Hirt, 2007). German urban
planners created zones to separate incompatible uses.
They also included mixed-use zoning where some uses
could coexist in the same space. American cities later
imported this model, but did not adopt mixed-use
zoning at first, which generated numerous urban
problems well documented in the literature (Logan,
1976; Wickersham, 2000). This model of ‘human use
zoning’ (HUZ), that later migrated to terrestrial
wildlands (Shafer, 1999) and then marine protected
areas, also generated theoretical and practical
challenges (Russell, 1994) such as conflicts among
different users competing for the same spaces (e.g.,
tourists and conservationists).
Though the HUZ model is widely cited in important
protected area texts about management planning
(Young & Young, 1993; Miller, 1978; Clark, 1979;
Thomas & Middleton, 2003; Manning, 2011; McCool et
al., 2007; Leung et al., 2018) and employed by all the
countries’ general management planning guidelines
cited hereafter, managers face difficulty translating
zones from paper to reality for several reasons. Often
zones are defined for large swathes of terrestrial and
PARKS VOL 27.1 MAY 2021 | 44
marine areas, and thus lack sufficient detail to address
local realities. Other times political realities change, say
a new claim on land tenancy, in ways that the zoning
system cannot respond. Consequently, managers may
feel obligated to ignore assigned zones or rezone conflict
areas into a less-restrictive category or exclude them
from the zoned area altogether.
This paper presents a zoning approach to overcome
conceptual HUZ problems and be more suited to
implementation, especially for developing country park
systems such as that of Costa Rica. It also demonstrates
that a condition-based zoning (CBZ) approach is
compatible with conservation planning approaches,
such as the Open Standards for the Practice of
Conservation (Conservation Measures Partnership,
2020), a methodological framework for the adaptive
management design and monitoring of conservation
projects and already required in many Latin American
countries’ management planning guidelines. Our
objectives then are that CBZ should a) better focus
resources and attention on priority conservation
threats, b) prove relatively easy to implement, c) require
fewer resources and a light learning curve to apply, and
d) integrate into conservation planning processes often
adopted in developing countries. Thus, CBZ should
contribute to on-the-ground conservation decision-
making, resolve some stakeholder conflicts about
disputed resources, and prove sufficiently adaptable in a
rapidly changing world.
The main concept of HUZ — one principal land or
economic use per zone — was initially developed in
German cities to separate incompatible uses such as
slaughterhouses and glue factories from residences, but
also included mixed-use zoning to accommodate
compatible uses (Hirt, 2007). American cities adopted
HUZ during the industrial revolution (Logan, 1976), but
did not adopt mixed-use zoning at first. Rather planners
segregated all principal uses (residential, commercial,
industrial and green space), compatible or not
(Gerckens, 1994). This separation provoked numerous
management problems (Logan, 1976; Walther, 1986;
Wickersham, 2000):
 Separation greatly expanded infrastructure
requirements such as transportation, sewer, water
and electricity networks wasting resources across
 Separation segregated economic classes and broke
down communities unleashing suburban growth;
 Separation provoked competition among users for
some spaces and left others unoccupied; and
 Zoning is subject to many exceptions, variances,
amendments, favouritism and rezoning, motivated
often by political rather than community benefits
(Kramer, 1982; Russell, 1994).
Consequently, urban planners proposed alternative
zoning to overcome these weaknesses, such as
performance-based (Russell, 1994) and form-based code
(Talen, 2009; Madden & Russell, 2010). The former
model focuses on regulating impacts rather than uses,
similar to managing for impacts on biological resource
conditions. The second regulates building form and
location, and is also condition-based. Both allow a mix
of different uses as long as they uphold the established
conditions (Thede et al., 2014). Planners use both
approaches today.
Transition OF HUZ to Wildlands
Discussion of urban zoning is relevant because it was
eventually applied to rural land use planning in the
1920s (Rowlands, 1933), protected area buffer zones in
the 1930s (Shafer, 1999) and then to protected areas
globally. UNESCO, for example, adopted such zoning for
biosphere reserves (McNeely, 1990), while seminal texts
in park literature (cited in the introduction) advocate
HUZ largely based on the benefit of resolving use
conflicts and breaking down larger protected areas into
more manageable zones with specific management
objectives. As with cities, HUZ caused problems in
wildlands too:
 Protected areas are zoned according to human uses
rather than the conservation objectives for which
protected areas are created (Lindberg et al., 1997);
 Knowing the use does not indicate the resource
condition desired in zoned areas;
 HUZ assumes the incompatibility of different uses
pitting one use against another, often unnecessarily,
reducing overall the kinds of users in a protected
area. Some uses are compatible such as research and
ecotourism. In some cases, a minor compromise of
one conflicting goal could satisfy both goals (Cole &
McCool, 1997);
 HUZ reduces different manifestations of use
categories to just one scale of impact (industrial and
small-scale agriculture to ‘agriculture’ or strip-
clearcutting experiments and bird banding to
 HUZ, such as absolute conservation or core zones,
gives the illusion of exclusion when in fact multiple
uses take place together. For example, the most
protected zones are often the most desirable for
Kohl and HerreraFernández
PARKS VOL 27.1 MAY 2021 | 45
 As with carrying capacity, managers often regard
prohibition as the central enforcement tool
associated with zoning. This can cause controversy
due to equity issues about who can enter and how,
and who cannot (Kohl & McCool, 2016); and
 HUZ in urban and wild settings is insensitive to
different uses which in urban contexts motivates
planners to create variances, amendments and other
exceptions, while in protected areas, it can either
promote lax enforcement or rezoning to
accommodate different stakeholder needs.
In addition to these conceptual challenges, there is
often little evaluation of zone effectiveness. Lourival et
al. (2011) argue that for biosphere reserves land uses are
often assigned ad hoc to zones not designed to be
quantitatively measured for success. This lack of a
quantitative monitoring plan for zones may be more
widespread than just biosphere reserves. Similarly,
Simons-Legaard et al. (2018) indicate that since habitat
monitoring is rare, zones designed to protect species
and habitat likewise cannot be evaluated. Thede et al.
(2014) in their evaluation of Canadian national park
zoning refer to zone evaluation in general,
…it remains questionable if such a monitoring framework
for standards and indicators on the scale of a national
park, given the sometimes simplistic nature of some
zoning systems, could actually achieve its goals. It is
probably for that reason that not many evaluations of a
zoning system in protected areas have ever been
undertaken (p. 639).
While a few cases of zone monitoring exist in the
literature, for example, New South Wales Marine Parks
Authority (2009), Emslie et al. (2015) and Strand et al.
(2019), it would appear that the lack of zone evaluation
may be due to the larger lack of quantitative monitoring
plans for protected areas, a deficiency that the condition
-based zoning model precisely aims to improve.
Zoning Proposals to Overcome HUZ
Proposals for alternative protected area zoning have
proliferated, such as risk-control zones (Zeng et al.,
2012), zoning designed to reduce conflicts (Davos et al.,
2007; Lin & Li, 2016; Pristupa et al., 2018), the habitat
suitability approach for pandas (Liu & Li, 2008), highly
technical condition-based zoning for cumulative impacts
vs. activity impacts in isolation (Halpern et al., 2008),
and others. Despite these, few have been assessed for
effectiveness or even whether park systems have
adopted them. Only one paper among the nearly 120
reviewed here indicated explicitly that their model was
not adopted (Ruiz-Labourdette et al., 2010). This is
especially problematic when many developing countries
still do not even use zoning (del Carmen Sabatini et al.,
2007). Important reasons for not adopting or using
zones include:
 Inappropriate technology For example, many
decision-support tools need significant investment
so that under-resourced park systems can
incorporate them into management structures such
as Marxan with Zones management software (Watts
et al., 2009; Jumin et al., 2018). There is significant
literature on the barriers to transferring decision
support tools to real-life contexts (Mora et al., 2012;
Street et al., 2018). Many proposals are also highly
technical, mathematical and data intensive especially
for developing country systems. Boon et al. (2014)
admit that their own proposal may in fact be too data
intensive for Cambodia where they applied their
 Too little real participation Naughton (2007) notes
that many zoning proposals claim to be participatory
but are really top-down. Consequently, without
authentic public support many policies never reach
 Inability to incorporate subjective and conflicting
values Academics often promote zoning as objective,
technical exercises, much like carrying capacity,
which leave little room for subjective decision-
making and conflict resolution. As mentioned,
proposals have emerged to manage conflicts, and few
have explicitly tried to incorporate visitor perception
and other subjective values. Only two proposals, for
example, include part of the Limits of Acceptable
Two motmots hang out on a clear day in a cloud forest © Jon Kohl
PARKS VOL 27.1 MAY 2021 | 46
Change (LAC) approach (Roman et al., 2007; Bentz
et al., 2016). Thus, when conflicts emerge that
zoning cannot resolve, managers either rezone,
implement exceptions or override their zoning
system altogether.
 Lack of information In many new protected areas,
initial management plans are undertaken, at times
because of donor insistence, when there is still
inadequate baseline resource information.
Sometimes, in the case of Monteverde, adequate
baselines do not exist for priority conservation
targets either.
Resource conditions are a different criterion by which to
define zones. This application shifts focus from human
uses or activities to resource conservation. A CBZ
system assumes that in general human uses are
acceptable as long as they do not violate desired zone
conditions. This releases a great burden on managers
and policymakers who expend significant energy
legislating uses when a focus on biodiversity and
cultural resource conditions is more mission consistent.
Resource conditions are already the basis for
conservation planning such as the Open Standards as
well as for protected area categories (IUCN, 2008).
CBZ-based approaches began with the Recreation
Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) developed in the late
1970s (Clark and Stankey, 1979; Haas et al., 1987). This
system divides a protected area into different zones
along a spectrum of naturalness from highly developed
service areas (such as a gateway community) to
primitive areas. Each zone represents a different visitor
recreation experience opportunity, and management
configurations vary accordingly.
ROS inspired the model developed by Kohl, Sierra and
Sevilla (2006) and a zoning manual written for the
Costa Rican protected area agency, Sistema Nacional de
Áreas de Conservación (SINAC) (2018) which emerged
from a perceived need to develop a new approach in
Costa Rica. The current CBZ proposal is based on these
sources. Though SINAC has mandated an HUZ
approach (SINAC, 2014), relying heavily on human
activity regulation, at the same time its management
planning guidelines call for zones to manage desired
conditions with conservation targets and objectives, but
does not indicate how to combine human activity zoning
and conservation planning based on the Open
Standards. Thus, this CBZ model aims to bridge the gap
between SINAC’s official mandate to use HUZ and to
use resource conditions and conservation targets. See
Table 1 for a comparison of CBZ and HUZ.
This CBZ model focuses on biophysical conditions (e.g.,
populations, canopy coverage, biodiversity, erosion,
etc.) that correspond to conservation targets defined
during conservation planning, using schemes such as
the Open Standards adopted in the formal management
planning guidelines by Brazil (de Faria Bacellar et al.,
2018), Chile (CONAF, 2017), Colombia (Ospina Moreno
et al., 2020), Costa Rica (SINAC, 2014), Ecuador
(Columba Zárate, 2013), Guatemala (CONAP, 2012),
Honduras (Corrales, 2014), Uruguay (Mejia, 2012) and
HUZ Limitation CBZ Alternative
Focuses on human uses rather than resource
conditions; primary tool is use restriction. Zones defined by desired conservation target conditions; restriction is one of
many management options.
Standardised zones applied to complex and variable
situations in situ. Each zone is unique to its conservation target situation; no standardised zones
Non-overlapping exclusionary use zones can
provoke conflicts between users in same spaces. Uses and zones can overlap. Integration of LAC applies in spaces with use
conflicts when certain requirements are met.
Must cover entire area. Zones not required to cover entire area. Primary zones cover only conservation
targets, while secondary zones may optionally be applied to other spaces as
Monitoring resources divided between human uses
and conditions. Monitoring focused on resource conditions.
Often requires complex technical determinations or
expensive decision support tools to define zones. No need for additional decision support tools. Zone definitions are updated as
new information emerges.
HUZ definition considered an objective, technical
process that largely excludes significant community
participation and does not build their support.
CBZ integrates both objective (quantitative indicators) and subjective (negotiated
among stakeholders) criteria.
HUZ often becomes official regulation, hard to
update. Often CBZ does not use a legal framework, and its approach is based on LAC-
adaptive management which requires continued experimentation and
improvement, thus preventing zones from becoming legalised and immutable.
Once zones are legalised, staff focus on their
administration without further learning. By focusing on monitoring conditions and negotiating conflicting uses in an
adaptive management process, learning and improvement are built into the
Table 1. Comparison of CBZ and HUZ, adapted from Sierra and Arguedas (2007)
Kohl and HerreraFernández
PARKS VOL 27.1 MAY 2021 | 47
others. These targets represent formal conservation
objectives in management plans (Parrish et al., 2003),
including for this pilot application in Monteverde Cloud
Forest Biological Reserve.
The proposal also uses a methodology with appropriate
technology that is easily learned and applied by local
staff. It depends on local participatory decision-making,
rather than on technical experts who merely consult
stakeholders and then make decisions themselves. Last,
it integrates LAC to give voice and process to conflicting
values that require negotiation to define zones
acceptable to various interests.
The CBZ Model
This model defines zones based on conservation targets,
and thus is appropriate for any protected area or
category that uses such targets. Each target receives one
unique zone. The model does not use standardised zone
categories commonly applied in protected areas, such as
in biosphere reserves (core, buffer, transition).
Managers tailor each zone’s objectives, standards,
indicators, etc. to the specific conservation target
defined previously in the planning process. Without
explicitly defined conservation targets, this approach
may not work. Participants then map zones based on
habitat/landscape features that bound the target. Zones
may overlap and extend beyond area boundaries across
the landscape as buffer zones (see protected landscape
approach in Brown et al., 2005 ). Significant gaps may
result between zone distributions. Managers may define
these gaps as secondary zones, or whatever zone name
they desire, based on other desired conditions, political,
regulatory or managerial criteria (service area, villages,
private inholding, etc.) or may leave them unzoned for
future definition, though of course management still
exists there.
As described below, where conflicts might exist between
stakeholder values, managers can apply LAC to
negotiate a consensus limit of acceptable change rather
than an ideal conservation objective based on best
available science. Where no conflict exists, managers
formulate objectives based on best available science.
LAC works on the premise that when two management
objectives conflict (e.g., conservation and human
settlement), if stakeholders can agree to prioritise one,
then they can modify the second so that both become
compatible. This process integrates subjective
stakeholder values and requires a willingness to
negotiate and the possibility of modifying management
objectives. It is not always possible to negotiate, for
example, with a critically endangered species
conservation objective.
In addition to its negotiation function, LAC also involves
seven to ten (depending on the version) overarching
process steps that make it an adaptive management
process or cycle (McCool, 2013). The CBZ model uses
these steps to define the process to develop condition-
based zones, since zone development and management
should also be adaptive, as seen in Table 2.
Given that CBZ is not a prescriptive or regulatory tool,
rather one that focuses attention on conservation
targets, a protected area still needs to control and
enforce human activities. The methodology assumes
that protected areas will still have regulations in
addition to the management actions defined for primary
or condition-based zones. They would still apply across
zones as necessary, focused on human activities that do
not relate to target conditions. See Kohl and Herrera-
Fernández (2021) for how human uses can be modified
to be more consistent with conservation target
Step LAC CBZ Process Based on LAC
1 Define goals and desired conditions Assemble and train planning team
2 Identify issues, concerns and threats Determine conservation targets, objectives, threats and conditions
3 Define and describe prescriptive
management zones Draw and name zones around conservation targets
4 Select indicators Identify conflicts and decide whether to use ideal objectives or limits of
acceptable change
5 Specify standards Define objectives or limits of acceptable change and indicators
6 Identify management actions Define standards
7 Implement actions Determine preventive and corrective management actions
8 Monitor Implement actions and monitor
Table 2. Comparison of Standard LAC and CBZ Model Process Steps. Source: Stankey (1985) modied by Cole and
McCool (1997)
PARKS VOL 27.1 MAY 2021 | 48
Site Description
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is managed by
the Tropical Science Centre (TSC), a Costa Rican non-
profit whose mission is “to be the scientific organization
of excellence in innovative solutions for conservation
and sustainable development”. Consistent with that
mission, TSC’s four protected areas stopped using
SINAC’s formal management planning guide some
years ago (personal communication, Carlos Hernandez,
2019) in favour of what it considers more innovative
management approaches. Monteverde, therefore, along
with the PUP Global Heritage Consortium, a US-based
natural and cultural heritage management non-profit,
sponsored the CBZ model testing as part of its
management planning process.
The reserve covers 4,125 ha and hosts conservation
priority bird species such as the Resplendent Quetzal
(Pharomachrus mocinno) and Three-Wattled Bellbird
(Procnias tricarunculatus) and amphibians such as the
Ring-tailed Salamander (Bolitoglossa robusta) and the
Highland Dink Frog (Diasporus hylaeformis). Cloud
forest covers much of its surface.
Figure 1 shows that Monteverde’s 2005 zoning map
consisted of four use-based zones: Absolute protection
(core), public use, special use and social interaction
(buffer zone inside the adjacent biological corridor).
Reserve staff indicated that their area was unique in that
it did not have significant threats to its conservation
targets or inappropriate uses within its boundaries. It
did indicate that climate change would almost certainly
produce serious challenges through drought, changing
food sources, cloud cover reduction and invasive
species, all of which have already begun.
Given that in 2019–2020, Monteverde updated its 2005
management plan, it agreed to implement the CBZ
model as part of that process both to teach staff new
conservation approaches and innovate a more useful
zoning model.
Pilot Application
The authors crafted these steps into a methodological
manual (Kohl & Herrera-Fernández, 2021) based on
various references (SINAC, 2014, 2018; PUP Global
Heritage Consortium, 2015; Conservation Measures
Kohl and HerreraFernández
Figure 1. In 2005 Monteverde had four use zones: absolute protecon, public use, special use and social interacon
PARKS VOL 27.1 MAY 2021 | 49
Partnership, 2020). While managers can apply the
theoretical steps across a wide range of methodologies,
Monteverde elected to apply them during a two-day
workshop. See Table 3 for a workshop overview.
The staff were shown a training video prepared by the
authors and attended a Q&A session with them as
well. The reserve director assumed the responsibility
for studying the manual, preparing the team and
facilitating the workshop. The first author (Kohl)
participated in the workshop to offer a morning
reinforcement training, answer questions about the
methodology and its application, and document its
execution, not facilitate it. He noted how well the team
used the methodology and identified challenges and
improvements. After the application, the
authors evaluated the process against the above-
mentioned objectives.
Given that this paper proposes a methodology whose
effectiveness will not be known for some time, this
section provides evidence of the methodology’s
implementation in Monteverde, overcoming difficulties
identified in the literature on zoning implementation
noted above in “Zoning Proposals to Overcome HUZ
Evaluating the approach’s fulfilment of its
The authors proposed four objectives.
a) CBZ should better focus resources and attention on
priority conservation threats.
For Monteverde, this focus shift from uses to conditions
resulted in a clearer understanding of its conservation
targets, the research necessary to manage those targets,
and the resource reallocation to carry out that research.
For example, during the workshop, staff realised that
they had to increase the number of transects to measure
target amphibian and reptile occurrence and run those
transects during dry as well as wet seasons. They
discussed how to reallocate volunteers and rangers to
meet the increased needs and what the trade-offs would
be. Though they began with a HUZ focus, they
discovered that directly focusing on conservation not
only revealed research and resource gaps, but allowed
them more flexibility (rather than focusing on how to
restrict human activities which requires significant
energy) in conserving high-priority targets.
b) CBZ should prove relatively easy to implement.
The approach did require a new zoning model and a
refresher of indicators, standards, objectives and
conditions. From the outset, the director was asked to
apply the training materials to lead his team through the
consensus-based steps with only moderate support from
authors. He did that, and the team produced a hand-
drawn zoning map later digitalised (Figure 2) with
precise coordinates and zone management table
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is already registering lower
cloud levels likely due to climate change © Jon Kohl
Focus Question How do we create a zoning methodology that, with brief training, can be implemented by
staff of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve during a two-day workshop?
Agenda Day 1: Training (morning); defining zones (morning–afternoon)
Day 2: Indicators and standards (morning); management actions (afternoon); process evaluation
 Pre-workshop baseline document describing conservation targets, threats, objectives,
existing conditions and current zoning
 CBZ map, hand-drawn and later digitalised
 Zone narratives including conservation targets, conditions, threats, indicators, standards,
management actions (preventative and corrective), cost and feasibility strategies, strategy
 Workshop proceedings including process evaluation
 Draft methodological manual (updated based on the workshop, Kohl & Herrera-Fernández,
Table 3. Workshop Overview
PARKS VOL 27.1 MAY 2021 | 50
Kohl and HerreraFernández
Figure 2. The condionbased zone map uses six zones within the reserve and one outside, the biological corridor for
the ThreeWaled Bellbird. Sta digitalised this map from the handdrawn version
PARKS VOL 27.1 MAY 2021 | 51
(Supplementary Material) which will have undergone
modification during the following planning steps. The
director (who coordinates all TSC’s protected areas)
indicated that his organisation intended to adopt and
include this zoning in its management plan. He even
budgeted (just prior to the onset of the Coronavirus
pandemic) for training workshops for nearby national
parks to further develop this approach and integrate
their zoning systems with that of Monteverde. In short,
with moderate assistance from us, the team applied the
methodology without investing in new technical
methods or tools and generated favourable results.
The CBZ model uses LAC’s overall process steps as well
as its framework for negotiating conflicting subjective
values among management objectives. Given
Monteverde’s low stakeholder conflict, we did not apply
this tool in this specific test case.
c) Applying CBZ should require fewer resources and a
light learning curve.
In terms of appropriate technology, the CBZ model does
not require new software or technical skills. Indeed,
TSC invested no additional resources except the time
required to develop training materials and Kohl’s
workshop accompaniment. All materials were
immediately on hand. Though the team did require a
refresher on indicators and standards, the director
largely guided the team through the process.
d) CBZ should integrate into the conservation planning
often adopted in developing countries.
Given that Monteverde’s planning process had already
defined six conservation targets, the CBZ model built on
what they had done and produced zones more focused
on research and condition management than human use
restriction and enforcement. Since SINAC’s official
management planning manual requires the Open
Standards, the team demonstrated a practical way to
apply them to zoning. We note that because Monteverde
is a private reserve, its staff enjoy more latitude to
experiment than staff of national protected areas.
Despite this, its technical team was not necessarily
better trained or larger than that of other similarly sized
parks in Costa Rica.
Lessons Learned
The team debriefed and generated four principal lessons
learned from this experience.
 Conservation targets had not been sufficiently
detailed to create a monitoring and management
framework, and thus the team had to break targets
down into more specific components to specify
conditions, indicators, standards and management
actions. Nevertheless, this breakdown was an
important contribution to the management planning
process and one they might have skipped if not
obligated by this methodology to generate those
 By focusing on conservation targets rather than
visitors, it became apparent that despite many years
of research there were still big research gaps to
establishing specific and measurable conservation
objectives for their targets. The process further
helped to elucidate where the reserve had to
redistribute resources to carry out effective
conservation activity.
 During application, the team discovered that
Monteverde did not register significant threats or
stakeholder conflicts. They considered that this may
have been due in part to its history dating back to
Quaker community roots and its quick ascent to
fame as an isolated yet renowned ecotourism
destination. At the same time, this trait made it
impossible to test the LAC negotiation component
even though the team applied the rest of the
 CBZ fitted into their management planning process
and the only disruption might have been to revisit
Manual cover
PARKS VOL 27.1 MAY 2021 | 52
conservation targets previously identified to make
them more operational. The lesson then is that
zoning should always integrate into a larger
planning process as it cannot alone achieve
The HUZ model is so dominant internationally that, one
might infer, it did not even merit a single section in
IUCN’s (Worboys et al., 2015) one-thousand-page tome
about protected area management and governance.
Similarly, UNESCO’s principal resource manual for
protected area management, Managing Natural World
Heritage, dedicates a single paragraph to human use
zoning (UNESCO, ICCROM, ICOMOS, IUCN, 2012).
Likewise, the HUZ approach dominates Latin America
and most less developed countries. Certainly, this CBZ
model could work anywhere, but would work best in
systems that already use conservation planning
approaches with conservation targets; in such cases, the
CBZ builds on what already exists. In Latin America, at
least Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador,
Guatemala, Honduras and Uruguay formally require
conservation planning such as the Open Standards in
their management planning guidelines. If the
abundance of condition-based zoning approaches in the
literature is any measure, the protected area
management field has perceived HUZ weaknesses and
thus the CBZ model contributes to a trend toward
condition-based zoning.
While TSC does have a qualified team and a venerable
science-based innovative non-profit to support it, their
reality is not that different from technical teams
throughout Latin America. With little extra training and
no new technical tools needed, that the Monteverde
team implemented the methodology in large measure on
its first try bodes well for other technical teams across
Latin America and developing countries generally with
small budgets, let alone better resourced protected area
Certainly, Monteverde’s lesson that the CBZ model
allowed its staff to focus more clearly on the nature of
their conservation targets, research gaps and specific
strategies may very well benefit any site that uses HUZ
and which may not be investing in their conservation
targets as efficiently as they might otherwise do with a
condition-based focus.
Further Research
Despite the director’s intent to integrate CBZ into
management planning, until it can be shown that
Monteverde has reallocated research resources to
conservation targets, improved indicators, standards
and actions, it is unclear if this approach has more
likelihood of moving from park paper to park
implementation than any other zoning proposal in the
literature. Since this project focused exclusively on
methodology, it never set out to test longer-term
outcomes. For this reason, further research would be
necessary to indicate how such integration proceeds and
what are its associated costs and impacts.
Furthermore, the methodology needs to be applied in
protected areas without the same level of resourcing and
international acclaim, and with a more typical
assortment of conservation threats and conflicts. It is
unclear to what degree Monteverde’s conditions diverge
from those of surrounding national parks.
Finally, as Kohl and McCool (2016) argue, tools and
approaches that require adaptive approaches, and that
include subjective criteria, are ones that require a
learning culture to implement (as noted in the final step
of the Open Standards). It is not enough simply to train
a team in the steps and tools if their organisation is not
set up to encourage organisational learning,
experimentation, embracing errors as learning
opportunities, lower risk aversion and a stable work
environment (Argyris & Schön, 1996). It may be that
TSC’s culture, given its emphasis on learning and
innovation, makes it a more likely candidate to adopt
such an approach than a more bureaucratic public
institution. Such institutions are characterised by people
being frequently reassigned among protected areas, with
limited job security and merit-based promotions, and
few resources for training and learning together, which
usually results in lower implementation (Thede et al.,
Zoning workshop, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve © Jon Kohl
Kohl and HerreraFernández
PARKS VOL 27.1 MAY 2021 | 53
Description of the major LAC-based steps in the CBZ
We would like to thank Carlos Hernández, protected
areas coordinator for the Tropical Science Centre,
director of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, and
enthusiastic supporter of innovative park management
approaches as well as the Tropical Science Centre for
funding this project. We thank the PUP Global Heritage
Consortium which co-sponsored the development of the
methodology based on its own holistic focus to heritage
management. Last, we thank Dr Stephen McCool for his
valuable insights for the paper’s improvement.
Jonathan Kohl is executive director of the PUP Global
Heritage Consortium and lives in Costa Rica. His work
and writing focus on holistic protected area
management especially visitor management and
heritage interpretation. He co-wrote with Dr Stephen
McCool The Future Has Other Plans: Planning
Holistically to Conserve Natural and Cultural Heritage
(Fulcrum 2016) as well as a book on interpretive theme
writing and a textbook in Spanish on heritage
interpretation and its relationship to tourism and
conservation co-written with Marisol Mayorga. He
holds a Master’s degree from the Yale University School
of the Environment and a bachelor’s from Dartmouth
Bernal Herrera-Fernández is director of the Post
2020 Biodiversity Support Project for the EU in Costa
Rica. He holds a PhD from the University of Freiburg,
Germany. Dr Herrera is the founder and former director
of the Kenton Miller Latin American Chair of Protected
Areas & Biological Corridors at CATIE, Costa Rica. He is
professor at the National University and the
Polytechnical Institute of Mexico. His expertise focuses
on the design and implementation of innovation
processes for biodiversity conservation and sustainable
use and ecosystem services. He also has advised
governments on developing and strengthening national
policies for the conservation of biodiversity.
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La zonificación de áreas protegidas para uso humano asigna diferentes usos de los recursos terrestres y marinos a
distintas zonas de gestión, en teoría, para evitar o restringir actividades incompatibles con los objetivos de gestión.
Sin embargo, a pesar de su popularidad mundial, la zonificación basada en el uso humano suscita problemas como
la separación de usos compatibles y el consiguiente conflicto entre usuarios (por ejemplo, investigadores y
ecoturistas). Asigna más recursos a la gestión de los usos humanos que a las condiciones biofísicas que las áreas
protegidas deben conservar. Reduce las manifestaciones de un mismo uso (por ejemplo, la agricultura intensiva y la
de pequeña escala) a una sola escala de impacto. Utiliza criterios objetivos para definir las zonas en situaciones en
las que los valores subjetivos pueden entrar en conflicto. En respuesta, han surgido sistemas de zonificación
alternativos, entre ellos, los enfoques basados en las condiciones de los recursos. Sin embargo, estos tienden a ser
muy técnicos, a ser mal evaluados y a mostrar pocos indicios de adopción por parte de los sistemas de áreas
protegidas, especialmente en los países en desarrollo. De ahí que el presente artículo propone un enfoque basado en
las condiciones que aborda estos puntos débiles mediante la utilización de objetivos de conservación predefinidos
como criterio principal para definir las zonas, vinculando así claramente la planificación de la conservación (como
los Estándares Abiertos para la Práctica de la Conservación) y la zonificación de la gestión. La zonificación basada en
las condiciones se centra en acciones estratégicas de conservación con el uso de condiciones, indicadores, estándares
y las correspondientes acciones de gestión preventiva y correctiva, en lugar de ser prescriptiva y punitiva como
ocurre con el modelo de zonificación basada en el uso humano. El arculo propone, además, una tecnología y una
metodología más adecuadas a la capacidad técnica de los países en desarrollo. También establece el desarrollo de la
zonificación basada en las condiciones desde el principio de la zonificacn urbana y presenta una aplicación piloto
en la Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde, en Costa Rica.
Le zonage des aires protégées à usage humain attribue différentes utilisations des ressources terrestres et marines à
différentes zones de gestion pour, en théorie, éviter ou réduire les activités incompatibles avec les objectifs de
gestion. Cependant, malgré sa popularité mondiale, le zonage à usage humain génère des problèmes, tels que la
séparation des utilisations compatibles et ainsi les conflits d'utilisateurs qui en découlent (par exemple, entre
chercheurs et écotouristes). Il alloue plus de ressources à la gestion des usages humains qu'aux conditions
biophysiques que les aires protégées sont chargées de conserver. Il réduit les manifestations d’une même utilisation
(par exemple, l'agriculture intensive et à petite échelle) à une seule échelle d'impact. Il utilise des critères objectifs
pour définir des zones dans des situations où les valeurs subjectives peuvent entrer en conflit. En réponse, des
schémas de zonage alternatifs ont émergé, parmi lesquels des approches fondées sur les ressources. Celles-ci,
cependant, ont tendance à être très techniques, mal évaluées et montrent peu de preuves d’adoption par les aires
protégées, en particulier dans les pays en développement. Le présent document propose donc une approche fondée
sur les conditions qui répondent à ces faiblesses en utilisant des cibles de conservation prédéfinies comme
principaux critères pour définir les zones, établissant ainsi un lien clair entre la planification de la conservation (tels
les Standards ouverts pour la pratique de la conservation) et le zonage de gestion. Le zonage conditionné met
l’accent sur les mesures stratégiques de conservation ayant recours aux conditions, aux indicateurs, aux normes et
aux mesures de gestion préventives et correctives correspondantes, plutôt que d’être prescriptif et punitif comme
c’est le cas pour le modèle de zonage à usage humain. En outre, l'article propose une technologie et une
méthodologie plus adaptées aux capacités techniques des pays en développement. Nous retraçons également le
développement du zonage conditionnel à partir des premiers zonages urbains et présentons une application pilote
dans la réserve de forêt nuageuse de Monteverde au Costa Rica.
Kohl and HerreraFernández
... La zonificación basada en la regulación de los usos humanos enfrenta muchos desafíos tanto conceptuales como prácticos, y muy rara vez evaluada para determinar su efectividad para la conservación de la biodiversidad (Kohl y Herrera [2021] detallan los problemas con esta zonificación). En el año 2006 se ejecutó un proyecto para elaborar varios planes de manejo de áreas protegidas en la Península de Osa en el sur de Costa Rica, liderado por The Nature Conservancy (Programa de Costa Rica) y el Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas (SINAC) de Costa Rica. ...
Full-text available
Esta guía práctica presenta la metodología para aplicar la zonificación basada en condiciones en áreas protegidas. Perfila el caso de la Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde. Fue un esfuerzo conjunto entre el Centro Científico Tropical en Costa Rica y el Consorcio PUP para el Patrimonio Global. La teoría y antecedentes académicos están fundamentadas en un artículo publicado en PARKS, la revista académica de la UICN:
Full-text available
A principal premissa da gestão da visitação em ambientes naturais é a de que a melhor forma de garantir experiências de qualidade aos seus usuários é por meio do fornecimento de uma ampla diversidade de oportunidades de visitação. A estrutura de visitação primordial em áreas protegidas é a trilha de caminhada, sendo esta a atividade mais comum desenvolvida por seus visitantes. A presente tese teve como objetivos desenvolver um sistema de avaliação de trilhas aplicável à realidade das Unidades de Conservação (UC) no país, que busque verificar se as UC estão oferecendo diversidade de oportunidades de visitação aos seus usuários; bem como aplicar tal sistema à quatro Parques Nacionais (PN) brasileiros, espacializando os resultados obtidos com o uso de ferramentas de geoprocessamento. As UC avaliadas foram o PN da Chapada dos Veadeiros (PNCV, situado em Goiás), PN da Serra dos Órgãos (PNSO, situado no Rio de Janeiro), PN da Tijuca (PNT, situado no Rio de Janeiro) e PN de Brasília (PNB, situado no Distrito Federal e em Goiás). O sistema desenvolvido envolveu dois eixos principais, sendo o primeiro eixo baseado na avaliação das trilhas em si, enquanto o segundo eixo foi baseado em avaliações dos visitantes destas trilhas. O primeiro destes eixos consistiu em análises de classes de oportunidades de visitação, utilizando o arcabouço do Rol de Oportunidades de Visitação em Unidades de Conservação (ROVUC) e em análises utilizando metodologia inédita de graduação de dificuldade de trilhas. O segundo eixo envolveu análises de perfil, motivações, preferências e satisfação dos visitantes, utilizando a metodologia de questionários estruturados on-line. A avaliação da satisfação envolveu também a utilização de “Análises Importância/Satisfação”. Os resultados obtidos mostram que a malha de trilhas do PNCV e do PNB é bastante pequena, enquanto o PNSO e o PNT possuem sistemas mais bem desenvolvidos. Em seu conjunto, as trilhas do PNCV e do PNB apresentam pouca oferta de trilhas nos extremos do espectro de graus de dificuldade (isto é, apresentam poucas trilhas fáceis e poucas trilhas extremas), mas apresentam relativa boa cobertura em termos de classes de oportunidades de visitação. Já uma avaliação conjunta das trilhas do PNSO e do PNT revelam pequena oferta de trilhas fáceis, mas também uma relativa boa cobertura em termos de classes de oportunidade. A caracterização do público das UC mostra que, em termos demográficos, os usuários dos seus sistemas de trilhas são em geral de perfil semelhante ao verificado em outras UC brasileiras. Em termos de preferências e motivações, os usuários do PNCV e do PNSO aparentaram possuir um perfil considerado “mais trilheiro” em relação aos visitantes do PNT e do PNB. Em relação à satisfação e à qualidade da visita, o PNCV e o PNSO se destacaram positivamente, enquanto o PNB foi a UC mais mal avaliada e o PNT esteve em uma posição intermediária. Os dados produzidos na presente tese podem ser utilizados pelas UC brasileiras na melhoria da qualidade de suas malhas de trilhas, bem como na implantação e/ou aprimoramento de protocolos de monitoramento da visitação no país. (The main premise of recreation management in natural environments is that the best way to guarantee quality experiences to its users is through the provision of a wide variety of recreation opportunities. The most widespread visitor structure in protected areas is the walking trail, which is the most common activity developed by its visitors. The present thesis had as its objectives to develop a trail evaluation system applicable to the reality of protected areas in the country, as well as to apply such a system to four Brazilian National Parks (NP), spatializing the results obtained with geoprocessing tools: Chapada dos Veadeiros NP (PNCV, located in Goiás), Serra dos Órgãos NP (PNSO, located in Rio de Janeiro), Tijuca NP (PNT, located in Rio de Janeiro) and Brasília NP (PNB, located in Distrito Federal and Goiás). The developed system involved two main axes, the first axis being based on the evaluation of the trails themselves, while the second axis was based on evaluations of the visitors of these trails. The first of these axes consisted of visitation opportunities classes, using the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) framework and in analyzes using an new methodology for grading the difficulty of trails. The second axis involved analysis of the profile, motivations, preferences and satisfaction of visitors, using the methodology of structured online questionnaires. The assessment of satisfaction also involved the use of “Importance/Satisfaction Analysis”. The results obtained show that the PNCV and PNB trail system is quite small, while the PNSO and PNT have better developed systems. As a whole, the PNCV and PNB trails have little supply of trails at the extremes of the spectrum of degrees of difficulty (i.e., they have few easy trails and few extreme trails), but have relatively good coverage in terms of opportunity classes. An evaluation of the PNSO and PNT trails reveals a small offer of easy trails, but also a relatively good coverage in terms of visitation opportunity classes. The characterization of the NP public shows that, in demographic terms, the users of their trail system are, in general, of a profile similar to that seen in other Brazilian NP. In terms of preferences and motivations, PNCV and PNSO users appeared to have a more pronounced “trekker” profile, considered in relation to PNT and PNB visitors. Regarding the satisfaction and quality of the visit, the PNCV and the PNSO stood out positively, while the PNB was the worst evaluated NP and the PNT was in an intermediate position. The data produced in this thesis can be used by Brazilian NP to improve the quality of their trails, as well as to implement and/or improve visitation monitoring protocols in the country.)
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We investigated the impact of Norway’s current zonal carnivore management system for four large carnivore species on sheep farming. Sheep losses increased when the large carnivores were reintroduced, but has declined again after the introduction of the zoning management system. The total number of sheep increased outside, but declined slightly inside the management zones. The total sheep production increased, but sheep farming was still lost as a source of income for many farmers. The use of the grazing resources became more extensive. Losses decreased because sheep were removed from the open outfield pastures and many farmers gave up sheep farming. While wolves expel sheep farming from the outfield grazing areas, small herds can still be kept in fenced enclosures. Bears are in every respect incompatible with sheep farming. Farmers adjust to the seasonal and more predictable behavior of lynx and wolverine, although these species also may cause serious losses when present. The mitigating efforts are costly and lead to reduced animal welfare and lower income for the farmers, although farmers in peri-urban areas increasingly are keeping sheep as an avocation. There is a spillover effect of the zoning strategy in the sense that there is substantial loss of livestock to carnivores outside, but geographically near the management zones. The carnivore management policy used in Norway is a reasonably successful management strategy when the goal is to separate livestock from carnivores and decrease the losses, but the burdens are unequally distributed and farmers inside the management zones are at an economic disadvantage.
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The potential for transferring and translating existing adaptation to climate change decision-support tools for use in different settings provides both opportunities and challenges to those wanting to support such decisions in or for the targeted community/organisation. The opportunities are related to being able to build on an existing credible and tested tool and its supportive resources and foregoing the costs associated with developing such themselves. The challenges relate to taking advantages of the strengths of an existing tool whilst adapting it and its supportive resources such that they are fit for purpose and accepted within the targeted community/organisation. This paper identifies and explores these opportunities and challenges through those revealed as a result of transferring and translating the UKCIP Adaptation Wizard for use within other parts of the world and in different communities and organisations. Whilst drawing on a number of different examples of where the Wizard has been translated, this paper particularly focuses on the transfer and translation for use in Portugal and in Brazil. General lessons learnt related to transferring adaptation decision-support tools are identified and used to develop a practical framework. The intention is to provide insights that have broader implications for those considering transferring similar adaptation decision-support tools, but also for tool developers who want to see their tools being used more broadly.
Technical Report
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Este documento presenta la metodología oficial para la zonificación de las áreas protegidas de Costa Rica y complementa el proceso de elaboración del plan general de manejo. En este caso Bernal Herrera elaboró el documento técnico, el cual fue finalizado por Gerardo Artavia y por razones institucionales debe citarse como: Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación (SINAC). 2018. Guía Rápida Para la Implementación de la Zonificación en Áreas Silvestres Protegidas de Costa Rica. Ed. Artavia G, San José, Costa Rica. 28 p.
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Este documento oficial presenta los pasos metodológicos para la elaboración de los planes de manejo de las áreas protegidas de Costa Rica. La propuesta se basa en los Estándares Abiertos para la Práctica de la Conservación de la Biodiversidad. Dado que Bernal Herrera figura como autor técnico, el documento por políticas insitutucionales debe citarse como: SINAC. 2016. Guía para el diseño y formulación del Plan General de Manejo de las Áreas Silvestres Protegidas de Costa Rica. (2da ed.). San José-Costa Rica. 55 págs.
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In the Russian Arctic, nature protection is important to preserve valuable ecosystems and indigenous lifestyles against the rapidly expanding oil and gas activities. In this regard, zoning legitimately balances influential stakeholders versus weak ones, and can leverage stakeholders to exercise their rights. This study explores how various stakeholders employ zoning in the Numto Nature Park in the oil-rich Russian Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug–Yugra to advance their interests and how they use scientific information to achieve this. Through stakeholder interviews, analysis of electronic media and literature review, we conclude that a participatory and science-based zoning exercise stimulates the necessary deliberation. However, legal ambiguity, deficient law implementation and informal practices limit the zoning's potential to balance stakeholders’ interests. All the stakeholders calculatingly used scientific information to legitimize their own ambitions, activities and claims. Hence, zoning and the underlying information claims should be interpreted as both a resource and a battleground in nature-use conflicts.
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Tun Mustapha Park, in Sabah, Malaysia, was gazetted in May 2016 and is the first multiple-use park in Malaysia where conservation, sustainable resource use and development co-occur within one management framework. We applied a systematic conservation planning tool, Marxan with Zones, and stakeholder consultation to design and revise the draft zoning plan. This process was facilitated by Sabah Parks, a government agency, and WWF-Malaysia, under the guidance of the Tun Mustapha Park steering committee and with support from the University of Queensland. Four conservation and fishing zones, including no-take areas, were developed, each with representation and replication targets for key marine habitats, and a range of socio-economic and community objectives. Here we report on how decision-support tools informed the reserve design process in three planning stages: prioritization, government review, and community consultation. Using marine habitat and species representation as a reporting metric, we describe how the zoning plan changed at each stage of the design process. We found that the changes made to the zoning plan by the government and stakeholders resulted in plans that compromised the achievement of conservation targets because no-take areas were moved away from villages and the coastline, where unique habitats are located. The design process highlights a number of lessons learned for future conservation zoning, which we believe will be useful as many other places embark on similar zoning processes on land and in the sea.
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Crisis has enveloped the more than 200,000 nationally and regionally protected natural and cultural heritage sites around the world. Heritage managers – those who manage natural sites such as national parks, wilderness areas, and biosphere reserves, as well as those who manage cultural sites including historic monuments, battlefields, heritage cities, and ancient rock art sites – face an urgent need to confront this crisis, and each day that they don’t, more of our planet’s common heritage disappears. Although heritage management and implementation suffer from a lack of money, time, personnel, information, and political will, The Future Has Other Plans argues that deeper causes to current problems lurk in the discipline itself. Drawing on decades of practical experience in global heritage management and case studies from around the world, Jon Kohl and Steve McCool provide an innovative solution for conserving these valuable protected areas. Merging interdisciplinary and evolving management paradigms, the authors introduce a new kind of holistic planning approach that integrates the practice of heritage management and conservation with operational realities.
Protected area managers need a wide range of skills to manage the complexities of protected area systems. The IUCN Best Practice Guidelines Series aims to address these needs, including sharing experience drawn from good practices around the world. Many protected areas are managed for tourism and visitation as one component of achieving their purpose, involving a wide range of stakeholders, including the private sector. The rapidly expanding demand for tourism development associated with protected areas emphasizes the need to provide clear guidance that will contribute towards sustainable tourism consistent with the primary conservation objectives of protected areas. The legal, political, economic and social contexts for tourism in and around protected areas vary widely across the globe, yet there are many common elements and a diversity of experiences that can enrich the understanding of those involved. These guidelines are an initiative of the IUCN WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist (TAPAS) Group. One of several voluntary groups convened under IUCN WCPA, the TAPAS Group is a network of over 500 volunteers who are committed to promoting sustainable tourism in protected areas as a tool in achieving the long-term conservation of nature and associated ecosystem and cultural values. The TAPAS Group’s work includes disseminating knowledge, case studies and best practices on tourism and protected areas. This is the third edition on the subject of tourism in IUCN WCPA’s Best Practice Guidelines series, and builds on the foundations created by these guidelines published in 1992 (McNeely, et al., 1992) and in 2002 (Eagles, et al., 2002).
Land-use zoning and regulations are frequently used to protect habitat for species threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation. Habitat protection, however, is rarely followed by habitat monitoring; consequently, knowledge about the efficacy of zoning as a species conservation tool is limited. We used a time series of Landsat satellite imagery (1975–2007) to quantify habitat changes in and adjacent to 187 areas zoned on private, commercial forestlands to protect habitat for wintering white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Maine. Near the northern edge of their geographic range where snow can restrict mobility and access to forage, white-tailed deer depend on mature conifer forests as wintering habitat. Our primary objective was to evaluate effectiveness of land-use zoning to conserve and prevent fragmentation of mature conifer forest. Between 1975 and 2007, the incidence rate of timber harvesting in zoned areas was high (97%). Cumulative area harvested (25%) and the associated reduction of mature conifer forest (13%) that resulted from stand-replacing harvests were considerably lower in zoned areas, indicating that regulations were successful at limiting timber harvests within zones. Reduction of mature conifer forest within unzoned 2-km buffers surrounding protected areas was considerably higher (45%). Remaining patches of mature conifer forest became increasingly fragmented, with a greater than 3-fold increase in number of patches and greater than 80% reduction in mean patch area. Regenerating forest increased from 5% to 36% in the landscapes surrounding zones, and although it can offer important browse, travel across young forest is costly for deer during periods of deep snow. Circa 2007, approximately 55% of the mature conifer forest present across our study area in 1975 remained, and our results suggest that less than 50% of the regenerating areas harvested in mature conifer forest will return to conifer dominance. Forest type conversion will, thus, extend effects of habitat fragmentation into the future. Areas protected for wintering deer collectively represent only 2% of the forested land base in our study area, and we conclude that habitat protection focused solely on those narrowly-defined zones has been ineffective at achieving regional conservation of winter habitat for deer. This study demonstrates how remote sensing can be used to overcome the difficulty of monitoring protected forest areas, and exemplifies the need for monitoring to understand the long-term benefits of zoning as a means of wildlife habitat conservation.
Offers a framework for managing recreation opportunities based on 6 physical, biological, social, and managerial factors that, when combined, can be utilized by recreationists to obtain diverse experiences.-from Authors