Calendar of Events

March 26-28, 2023
44th annual Southeast Environment and Recreation Research Conference, Asheville, North Carolina, USA.

April 17-20, 2023
International Trails Summit, Reno, Nevada, USA.

May 31 to June 2, 2023
Caribbean Urban Forum 2023, Paramaribo, Suriname.
Theme: Improving resilience and sustainability through Innovation

Programme Affiliates and Sponsors

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Protected Areas 101

Glossary of Terms

This Glossary of Terms is meant to provide general explanations for a general audience. As such, appropriate guidelines and statutes should be consulted for the precise legal or technical definitions of terms when necessary.

Biodiversity / Biological Diversity – A complex mixture of the variety of living organisms, the genetic differences among the types of organisms, the area or region in which they live, the ways they interact, and the patterns and processes that influence the health and functioning of that complex community.

Biosphere Reserve – An area established to conserve biological diversity, protect cultural values, and promote social development, while promoting sustainable economic development. Biosphere Reserves are established by national governments and given global recognition under the Man and Biosphere Programme coordinated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). Biosphere Reserves are designed to demonstrate and promote sustainable development approaches that are based on community efforts and sound science.

Community Conserved Area – An area conserved through the management decisions and efforts of a local group or community. Such areas may be managed to meet livelihood or cultural values objectives, but often result in conservation of natural resources and protection of the ecological functions of an area.

Governance – In the context of protected areas, governance refers to the traditions, processes, and structures that enable stakeholders to influence or make decisions concerning the designation, establishment, and management of a protected area or a system of protected areas. It is recognized that governance processes take place at several levels; global, regional, national, and local.

Habitat/Species Management Area – An area designated for the conservation of a particular species or habitat.

Managed Resource Protected Area – An area designated to protect ecological systems and processes while allowing for the sustainable use of natural resources.

National Park – An area established to protect ecological systems and processes, but which is also used for human activities that do not degrade the ecological, historical, or cultural resources of the area.

Natural Monument – An area established to protect a specific natural feature (such as a cave system or mountain), a living feature (such as an ancient grove of trees), or a site of significant historical or cultural value.

Protected Area – A clearly defined geographical space, recognised, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values (IUCN, 2008).

Protected Forest – A forested area that is protected from exploitation by legal means. Such areas are different from forest reserves in that protected forests are typically designated to maintain protection of other features or land resources from threats such as storms, floods, and landslides. In the Caribbean, forest reserves are generally established on public lands, while protected forests are designated where the land is under private ownership.

Protected Landscape/ Seascape – An area designated to protect distinct scenic characteristics, usually of high cultural value, that resulted from the interaction of people with their environment over a long period of time.

Ramsar Site – A wetland designated under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (also called the Ramsar Convention) as a wetland of international importance. The Convention supports both national action and international cooperation to ensure wise use of such wetlands. It defines wetlands broadly as “lakes and rivers, swamps and marshes, wet grasslands and peatlands, oases, estuaries, deltas and tidal flats, near-shore marine areas, mangroves and coral reefs, and human-made sites such as fish ponds, rice paddies, reservoirs, and salt pans”.

Strict Nature Reserve – An area designated for the protection of biological diversity, and where human use is limited.

Wilderness Area – A large natural, mostly undisturbed, area that is protected and managed in order to maintain its natural conditions.

World Heritage Site – A site designated to protect natural and cultural heritage resources of outstanding universal value. World Heritage Sites are proposed by national governments and designated by the World Heritage Committee under the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (also called the World Heritage Convention).

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Country Profiles

Reviews of country management systems

The Country Profile is a summary of protected areas programming that provides information on the national management framework, programmes and projects, relationship with economic sectors, and the linkages and responses to international environmental agreements. They also show how the benefits produced by a well-managed system of protected areas extend into communities and the national economy.

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reports on a range of protected areas topics

Parks Caribbean makes available reports on a range of protected areas topics, and may be focused on a particular site, a country, or may cover regional issues. This wealth of materials on protected areas policy and practice is used by policy makers, protected areas practitioners, students, and the general public.

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Protected Area News

Updates from the protected areas network
Parks Caribbean provides the most current information on protected areas programming in the Caribbean. Also included is global news of relevance to the Caribbean, and thought-provoking briefs and analyses prepared by our network of Members. Persons who wish to have protected areas news sent directly to their email addresses can subscribe to the Parks Caribbean news list.

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Parks and People

Contribution to sustainable development
This section of the website promotes protected areas that demonstrate the triple bottom line of sustainable development; that is, sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development, and environmental protection. Submission of site profiles must follow the Guidelines provided by Parks Caribbean.

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