Protection: RAPPAM tool
RAPPAM: A protected areas assessment methodology outlined
Many countries have already conducted various studies regarding protected area management effectiveness and conservation priorities. A preliminary assessment of the quantity and quality of data available for each protected area can help in selecting the protected areas to be included in the assessment, and in determining which data gaps the Rapid Assessment Questionnaire may be able to fill. Existing data may include:
- aerial photos and satellite imagery
- biodiversity reviews
- needs assessments for training and capacity building
- threat analyses
- scientific and academic research
- anthropological and sociological studies
- internal programmes and field reports
- external reports from independent agencies
- legal and policy reviews.
Existing data can either be directly incorporated into the questionnaire by the assessment team or workshop participants or used to validate the findings of the assessment.
For example, aerial photos could be helpful in identifying the extent of certain pressures within the protected area; a community survey could help answer questions regarding the status and socio-economic importance of the protected area; and biological studies could help answer questions regarding the design of the protected area.
Data used to confirm the assessment findings can strengthen the results if there is a high correspondence, or identify areas for further investigation if there is a low correspondence. Whether existing data are used directly or indirectly, some issues to consider include the credibility of the source of the information, its timeliness and accuracy, and whether or not protected area managers, administrators, and stakeholder groups agree with the data.