Protection: RAPPAM tool
RAPPAM: A protected areas assessment methodology outlined
The findings from the various parts of the questionnaire can be analysed and compared in a number of ways to inform subsequent recommendations.
STEP 5 - IDENTIFYING NEXT STEPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The fifth step in the process is to identify next steps by further analysing the assessment results.
Ideally, policy makers and protected area administrators would be involved in this step. There is no standard method for identifying next steps and recommendations, as each assessment will vary. In general, however, this process involves analysing the assessment findings to identify recommendations, and creating a concrete plan of action.
Recommendations should focus on the key changes necessary to strategically improve protected area management effectiveness. These changes may involve policies, management practices, and/or funding allocation.
Strategic recommendations are those changes or actions that will have the highest and most efficient impact on improving management effectiveness. Recommendations should also take into account the implications of such actions (e.g. the implications of reallocating budget items). Below are some examples of recommendations that might be indicated by the assessment findings:
- Review existing budget priorities, and reallocate expenditure according to the degree of threat and the conservation priority of each protected area.
- Identify system-wide weaknesses and develop a targeted programme to strengthen those areas.
- Identify critical knowledge and data gaps, and develop a focused research programme to fill those gaps.
- Identify and promote governmental policies that can promote improved protected area management.
- Identify and lobby against governmental policies that have negative consequences for protected area effective management.
- Develop a schedule for prioritizing support to protected areas, depending on vulnerability, conservation priority, and management capacity.
- Identify broad human resource development and capacity-building needs.
- Identify which specific protected areas may require more in-depth assessments and sitelevel monitoring.
- Strengthen threat prevention and mitigation efforts by developing appropriate programmes and targeting protected areas most at risk.
- Explore individual threats and pressures in greater detail by identifying underlying causes and contributing factors to each activity.
- Identify protected area managers with particularly strong management capacity, and use their skills for in-house training and human resource development (e.g. manager exchange programmes).
- Identify which variables have a high correlation with other variables (e.g. degree of threat with management effectiveness), and therefore would have higher strategic importance.
Developing an action plan will include prioritizing recommendations, identifying agencies or departments who will be responsible for implementing the changes, and ensuring that the financial, technical, administrative, and political support is sufficient to make these changes.