Guidelines for applying protected area management categories

The following guidelines are offered to help in application of the IUCN protected area management categories, which classify protected areas according to their management objectives. The categories are recognised by international bodies such as the United Nations and by many national governments as the global standard for defining and recording protected areas and as such are increasingly being incorporated into government legislation. The guidelines provide as much clarity as possible regarding the meaning and application of the categories. They describe the definition and the categories and discuss application in particular biomes and management approaches. The original intent of the IUCN Protected Area Management Categories system was to create a common understanding of protected areas, both within and between countries.

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