RAPPAM methodology

The Rapid Assessment and Prioritization of Protected Areas Management (RAPPAM) methodology provides protected areas agencies with a country-wide overview of the effectiveness of protected area management, threats, vulnerabilities and degradation. It provides follow-up recommendations, and is an important first step in assessing and improving protected area management.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in early 2004 produced a Programme of Work on Protected Areas, in which Parties to the convention are called to assess at least 30% of their parks AND their networks of protected areas, by 2010.

To assist parties in this important endeavour, WWF offers 2 management effectiveness tools: The World Bank/WWF Tracking Tool and WWF’s RAPPAM methodology, developed within the WCPA framework (World Commission on Protected Areas).

In Indonesia, RAPPAM is being used by WWF, the Minstry of Forestry and partner organizations to assess all National Parks in the country. In Ghana, protected areas are being assessed by RAPPAM in conjunction with the WARPO methodology, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands, Forestry & Mining.

In total, 22 countries are using RAPPAM or a related tool to assess their protected areas.


  • Identify management strengths and weaknesses
  • Analyse the scope, severity, prevalence, and distribution of a variety of threats and pressures
  • Identify areas of high ecological and social importance and vulnerability
  • Indicate the urgency and conservation priority for individual protected areas
  • Help to develop and prioritize appropriate policy interventions and follow-up steps to improve protected area management effectiveness

In 5 steps:

  • Step 1: Determining the scope of the assessment
  • Step 2: Assessing existing information for each protected area
  • Step 3: Administering the RAPPAM questionnaire
  • Step 4: Analyzing the findings
  • Step 5: Identifying next steps and recommendations

The most thorough and effective approach to implementing this methodology is to hold an interactive workshop or series of workshops in which protected area managers, policy makers, and other stakeholders participate fully in evaluating the protected areas, analyzing the results, and identifying subsequent next steps.


Case studies:

What's the difference between the RAPPAM and the Tracking Tool ?

Aims of RAPPAM

  • Identifies management strengths and weaknesses of PA systems
  • Analyses pressures and threats across entire PA systems
  • Identifies areas of high ecological and social importance
  • Prioritizes policy interventions
  • Identifies appropriate follow-up steps, particularly at the system level

Aims of the Tracking Tool

  • Identifies progress on management effectiveness of WWF and World Bank PA Projects
  • Provides baseline data on Alliance PA portfolio and assists with reporting and accountability
  • Identifies portfolio trends and priorities for the development of appropriate tools and policies
  • Identifies key management issues in a specific PA and how to resolve issues
  • Identifies appropriate follow-up steps, particularly at the site level

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