In 1980, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Environmental Law Centre published IUCN’s first guidelines on protected areas legislation. Since then, ecosystems have faced growing threats from factors such as habitat loss, invasive species and extractive activities as well as climate change, among many others. During this time, it has also been recognized globally that protected areas play a critical role in securing ecosystems and their economic and social value, and that international agreements and national law in turn play a critical role in securing protected areas.

From 2007-2010, Dr. Barbara Lausche worked with experts from IUCN’s Commission on Environmental Law, World Commission on Protected Areas, Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy, and Global Programme on Protected Areas have collaborated with the IUCN Environmental Law Centre to produce new Guidelines for Protected Areas Legislation. These update and expand the 1980 guidelines and are a useful tool to those working on protected areas legislation to ensure that all aspects of protected areas, including ongoing, new and emerging issues, are appropriately addressed in law.

Click here to read the chapter on Marine Protected Areas.