Building more effective conservation sites 

Why assess management effectiveness of protected and conserved areas?
The stakes are so high that we need to be more effective, collaborative and innovative to make conservation work.

Effectively managed systems of protected areas have been recognized as critical instruments in achieving the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, evaluation of management effectiveness is recognized as a vital component of responsive, adaptive and pro-active protected area management.
Aichi Target 11 from the Convention on Biological Diversity requires that, by 2020, at least 17% of terrestrial and inland water, and 10% of coastal and marine areas are conserved by means of systems of protected areas that are managed in an effective and equitable manner, among other requirements. This target is consistent with SDG targets 15.1 and 14.5.

According to the World Database of Protected Areas there are 8770 Protected Areas in Africa of which 1063 have evaluated their management effectiveness at least once. The number or the coverage of protected and conserved areas in each country or for the whole continent are important information but not enough, we need to know how effective they are towards their sustainable development and conservation goals.
The IUCN World Commission for Protected Areas has published a framework for assessing management effectiveness (Courrau, J., Dudley, N., Hockings, M., Leverington, F., Stolton, S. 2006). To access the Protected Area Management Framework click in the button below.
Management Effectiveness Framework
How can we assess our protected and conserved area?
Several methodologies have been developed to evaluate the management effectiveness of protected areas. In this document, we will present an overview of the Integrated Management Effectiveness Tool (IMET) developed in the context of the Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management (BIOPAMA) programme and in close consultation with several protected area authorities and managers.
Use of IMET - an integrated management effectiveness tool

The Integrated Management Effectiveness Tool (IMET) is an approach to support protected areas planning, monitoring and evaluation based on the organization of available information and the definition of a baseline. The goal is to improve management patterns and conservation outcomes. IMET is supported by a free computer-based application that collects, organizes and analyses data to facilitate informed decision-making for protected area management, operations and planning.

In this way, the tool promotes a proactive results-oriented approach that facilitates planning, analysis of the conservation status and visualization of parameters to assess how the management effectiveness achieve conservation objectives. 

The resulting analyses can be explored at different scales: protected area, national or regional level. 

IMET added value 

  • Evaluates management effectiveness
  • The tool is based on integrated and system thinking approaches
  • Facilitates decision-making with data visualization 
  • Supports short and long-term planning 
  • Allows an integrated database for future use and comparison
  • Aligns with the Green List standards
Download the latest version of IMET
IMET Installation Note
How it happens ? 
Give it a try !

Use of IMET in Africa
Get support from the coaches 
COACHES are protected area professionals and IMET experts.
As humans, we are easily biased, and we frequently adopt justification thinking rather than rational reasoning. IMET coaches encourage critical thinking, enhance objectivity and ensure voices are equally heard during assessments.

You can receive support from an experienced professional. Contact a coach who can guide your team in your first IMET assessments.

List of coaches in Eastern and Southern Africa
Learn more about the tool and how to conduct an assessment

The COMIT (Coach Observatory Mission Information Toolkit) is the manual that explains the approach to conducting a high quality IMET assessment. It contains guidelines for an IMET training and preparing on-site assessment, and it describes all indicators in the software. It is primarily intended for new IMET users and coaches. It can be also used for in-depth protected area management effectiveness (PAME) training.
Download the COMIT (EN)
Download the COMIT (FR)
An example from Eastern and Southern Africa: The IMET Campaign in Mafinga Hills Reserve in Zambia 
Video of Mafinga Hills assessment, Zambia

Prior to the assessment of Mafinga Hills, we (the coaches) organized a training and a pre-filing of IMET, which helped the participants to comprehend all key elements of the IMET. This stimulated critical thinking among stakeholders in terms of bringing out information required for a site assessment. The active participation of informed stakeholders made the assessment of Mafinga Hills a success” (coach Togarasei Fakarayi).

Overview of the PAME assessment results
The visualization below gives a summary of the management effectiveness of Mafinga Hills.  (summary provided by the coaches).
The results above show a fair management context (context index of 58.3%) that include value and importance of site, special designation, and presence of key species. Since Mafinga Hills is a protected area and also a Key Biodiversity Area with globally threatened species, this carried a weight in the management context.

A planning index of 53.9 was obtained. This was attributed to availability of legal and regulatory provision, work and action plan for the site, fair demarcation and recognition of the protected area and a fair design and layout of the protected area.

However, the inputs had a low index (29.9%) and this was mainly due to limited staff, inadequate budget, and lack of infrastructure, equipment and facilities. The process that is characterized by internal management systems and processes score low (process index 28.4). Poor management systems and processes had a negative impact on outputs and outcomes that scored 25.9% and 39.8% respectively.

The assessment also allowed a participatory approach to identify recommendations and new objectives. The comments’ sections on IMET are helpful to explain the situation.

All of these give clearer directions for improvement for the 
Wildlife and Environmental Conservation Society of Zambia (WECSZ) who manages the site.

IMET Scaling up: assessments and analysis at site, national and regional levels 
The ‘scaling up analysis’ allows comparative analyses of  the IMET results across multiple protected area or for the same protected area over several years.

This new IMET feature allows for a semi-automated and structured analysis of several IMET assessments that helps to reduce the analytical effort of the management team or protected area administration. In this way, the IMET scaling up analysis can support identifying strategic and operational solutions to improve both the management and the governance of the protected area system at the landscape, national or broader level.
The first figure shows IMET results of a dozen protected area in a same country. The second figure shows multiple IMET results of a single protected area assessed four times (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021).

The IMET scaling up demonstrates general patterns of management effectiveness. Additional analyses can be performed for each PAME dimension.

Understanding quality of management at regional level, with other tools

The RRH Information system provides an overview of PAME assessments using various methodologies in East and Southern Africa to inform regional organizations and countries on progress and common ways for improvement. Check more clicking in the button below.
Regional Resource Hub Information System - PAME assessments
Training in Rwanda 
IMET and Greenlist training is planned for the last week of July in Rwanda after the African Protected Area Congress (APAC). IMET training will be conducted in Kigali and two field sites (Akagera and Gishwati), with 8 participants  from Rwanda and 8 from other neighboring countries.
Additional resources 
Check all the materials we have about IMET

Use of IMET at national Level

Use of IMET in transboundary protected areas
The experience of the BSB Yamoussa Binational Complex with the use of the Integrated Management Effectiveness Tool - An integrated vision of the BSB Yamoussa Binational Complex, consisting of the parks of Bouba Ndjidda, in Cameroon, and Sena Oura, in Chad.

Use of IMET for community managed marine protected areas 
Storymap - IMET: un catalyseur des Aires Marines Protégées du Sénégal  

Examples of how IMET supports management improvement of protected areas 
In Tourism 
Panorama Solutions - 
Connaitre pour mieux protéger et valoriser : Amélioration des infrastructures d’accueil du Parc National du Banco (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire)
In species conservation
Video: Turtle conservation in Cabo Verde 

Africa Protected Area Congress

When ?    July 18-23, 2022 
Where ?     In Kigali, Rwanda.
Why ?     APAC will be the first-ever continent-wide gathering of African leaders to convene on the challenges and opportunities of protected and conserved areas.
The Regional Resource Hub will have a pavilion to host you and several partners in the region. Visit our space and get the opportunity to hear about protected area management and governance, to get access and try ou the most updates tools and data bases, and be part of our circle of conversations to share your experience and hear existing lessons from others.

INVITATION: Do you work to support protected areas management and governance ? Are you coming to APAC and would like to have a space and moment to share your experience ? Contact us !
APAC website
IMET events @APAC

Wednesday 20 July, 08h30 – 10h00:  Making the case for evidence-based decision making – why data matter? 

Thursday  21 July, 08h30 – 10h00: IMET & scaling up tool.

Saturday  23 Jul, 10h30 – 12h00: IMET Coach Network and Community of practice – meeting for Coaches from all regions of Africa.

Several IUCN opportunities are available for Eastern and Southern Africa

Check this page
 IUCN Opportunities 
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Copyright © *Regional Resource Hub_2022*, All rights reserved.
Map: UNEP-WCMC and IUCN (2022), Protected Planet: The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) and World Database on Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (WD-OECM) [Online], June 2022, Cambridge, UK: UNEP-WCMC and IUCN. Available at:
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