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Parks Links

Photo: BLM, Alabama Hills

Links to parks presented in somewhat random fashion:

Protected area connectivity: Shortfalls in global targets and country-level priorities – Science Direct
Protected is not conserved – Intercontental Cry
How national parks around the world influenced sustainable tourism development – WTTC
How safe does protected status keep the world’s national parks?
Opportunities and Challenges in Working with Volunteers in Local Parks – The Nature of Cities
Bringing Cities to Nature at the 2015 George Wright Society Conference
E.O. Wilson explains why parks and nature are really good for your brain – Washington Post
The history of national parks: America’s best ever idea
Walk on the Wild Side: Estimating the Global Magnitude of Visits to Protected Areas – Plos One
Global Protected Areas Pull in $600 Billion Annually
Land sell offs: the end of national parks as we know them?
How much is ecotourism worth worldwide?
Park Science Special Issue on Biodiversity@NatlParkService
The principle of communicating protected areas@zkun1971
Wildness and national parks@brianfurze
Which is more of a ‘notional park’ – Virunga or Yasuni?
Survey says: Visitors to national parks don’t like noise@julie_cart
http://pocketrangerblog.com/6-reasons-exercising-outdoors-beats-hitting-the-gym@Pocket Ranger
National parks face severe funding crunch
Traveler’s View: National Park Service Shouldn’t Contribute To Technological Disconnect With Nature
EUROPARC-Spain launches a guidebook on Cultural and Spiritual Values of protected areas
El patrimonio inmaterial: valores culturales y espirituales Manual para su incorporación en las áreas protegidas (PDF)</ahref=”http:></ahref=”https:>

Parks: Investment and Re-Investment

Accessible Travel in Parks
South Africa

August 25 Founders Day (Creation of National Park Service in the USA)

Directory of Parks and Protected Areas on the Social Web

George Wright Society


Tourism in parks and protected areas can be a boon to local conservation efforts or it can afflict biodiversity conservation and environmental management. Many travelers find meaningful encounters with nature in protected areas, but these wilderness fans are often at a loss when figuring out where to go and how to visit parks in other countries.

We are scheduling occasional Google+ hangouts to discuss parks and tourism. If you have a professional interest and can share some of your work with the world, let Ron Mader know if you would like to appear on camera as an invited guest. Required are a working webcam and microphone and a Gmail address. Please let Ron know via private email of your willingness to participate by sending a message to [email protected] or via Twitter: @ronmader

We also welcome regular viewers, friends with an interests in parks and protected areas. The hangouts will be streamed live via YouTube and accessible via the Google+ event pages. Questions are welcome and we appreciate if viewers give the events a +1 and share the hangout with your circle of friends.

Show Your Love and Adopt a Park on the Social Web

The best way to show your love for a park or protected area is to visit. Be a responsible traveler and tred softly. Be empathetic to fellow visitors, the locals and the local flora and fauna. If you’re not sure how to practice responsible travel, consider what constitutes irresponsible tourism and don’t do that!

We also encourage the use of documentation and positive influence using the social web. Here are a few ways to show your love:

Facebook: If the park has a page, like it, share it and add a positive comment.
Flickr: Upload your own photos from the park and share them in our World Parks group. If the park has its own Flickr account, follow it and add some stars to your favorite photos.
Twitter: If the park has an account on Twitter, follow it and retweet some of the posts.
YouTube: If the park has an account on YouTube, subscribe and give a thumbs up to your favorite videos. You can even create a playlist of your favorite park videos.
Wikipedia: Check out the park’s page on Wikipedia. If needed, add information or make a correction.
Planeta Wiki: Editors are invited to add parks to the relevant regional pages on this wiki. If you’re not an editor, you can get our attention by posting @ronmader the relevant links in a public tweet.


Parks and Tourism Webinar

With the goal of developing web literacy and information exchange among managers and providers of tourism services in parks and protected areas, Ron Mader offers an online webinar with flexible times and dates. Details

LinkedIn Conversations

Our national parks need visitors to survive


World Parks

Toward a Top 10

Park of the Week – IUCN

Park Management around the World


 CountryOfficial Park AuthoritiesWikiOther Sources of Info
 Australia Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Uluru 
Map – sernap
 Mexico pinacate 
 South Africa kruger 

Recent Hangouts

August 19 Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park
Participant: Andy Drumm

July 17, 9am CDT
We held a lively, unscripted #localtravel conversation about travel in parks and protected areas around the world, highlighting work in South Africa, Mexico, Peru, the Czech Republic and the USA. We previewed the 2014 World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia and introduced the Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS).

Talking Points: Who visits the parks — locals or internationals? How are parks perceived differently in the Czech Republic and Portugal, Mexico and the USA?

LOL Hightlight: Origins of TAPAS

Reflective Wow Moments: Interaction among participants was sincere … Anna’s questioning of Martin about the local park was how conversations ought to be all the time

Anna Spencely, TAPAS
Martin Hatchuel, South Africa
Luis, Czech Republic and Portugal
Ron Mader

July 17 Travel in Parks Hangout on Google+


Protected areas remain one of the cornerstones for promoting biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being. Today protected areas cover 12.7% of the world’s terrestrial area and 1.6% of the global ocean area. They store 15% of the global terrestrial carbon stock, assist in reducing deforestation, habitat and species loss, and support the livelihoods of over one billion people.
At the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) world leaders reaffirmed the value of biological diversity, its critical role in maintaining ecosystem services and the urgency to implement actions to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity.
Parks provide havens for endangered species, but only if they are defended.

Where conservation is funded by tourism, then so are threatened species.

Over half of rare mammal species with available data rely at least partly (>5%) on tourism revenue.

One species in five, including lion, elephant, rhino, and many deer, monkeys, birds and frogs, get over 15% of conservation funding from tourism.

The highest figure is over 60%, for a species of mangabey.

That’s risky, because tourism is fickle. But take it away, and animals are killed.

We encourage people to visit well-managed parks and to make the most of their encounters with locals. That said, to what degree are parks to be commercialized?

Let’s unpack a few of the ideas here. Paying for park management requires some revenue generation from the protected areas. Not all protected areas are suitable for tourism and not all places within parks are suitable. That said, are we making the most of tourism and protected areas?

It’s a good thing that this week kicks off an intense week of discussion and debate at the World Parks Congress. My colleagues with the IUCN/WCPA specialist group on Tourism and Protected Areas are facilitating a range of publication launches, lectures and presentations. This is a time to learn and share results and failures. Collaboration and partnerships only work when we’re honest with one another.

I asked during the broadcast how Sally Barnes came up with the figure that Australian parks generate $5,000 per visitor. ‘We’ve got the highest level of yield per visitor in the world,’ she said, later citing a UNWTO report. I’d love to see the exact source because I am highly skeptical of these global figures in general — are we able to measure across countries the tourism revenues? I’m sure there are great high-end options for park tourism in Australia, but I am wary that such figures inflate the expectations locals have of what tourism offers.

Case in point – a few days ago Cameron mentioned Victoria’s Little Desert National Park. Just the mention of the park allowed me to google the official info — http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/little-desert-national-park — but I’d love to hear more from the managers as well as the locals as well as the visitors.

Having visited Australia only once, I continue to be confused by the park management structure — which parks are managed by the federal government, by states, by Aboriginal and Indigenous communities. I am truly curious to learn the what and how of conservation in your country and I hope this global event stimulates initiatives within Australia from the managers of undervisited parks that want more visitors to step up efforts of communication. If you want people to stay away, be quiet! But if you want some visitors to find you, think about inviting the participants at the World Parks Congress to your protected area. It’s just my opinion, but I think every park that wants visitors needs to have a Twitter account and Facebook page and the commitment to keep these channels updated for the next 12 months.

Recommended Reading

The Protected Planet Report is a new initiative that tracks global progress towards Target 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Achieving this ambitious target, which calls for at least 17% of the world’s terrestrial areas and 10% of marine areas to be equitably managed and conserved by 2020, will require strong and effective partnerships: this report is an excellent example. The report has been compiled by the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and a wide range of organisations that build on the work of the CBD-mandated Biodiversity Indicators Partnership.
IUCN – Parks International Journal 18.2 December 2012 Protected Areas, Tourism and the Aichi Targets
In 2010, the Convention on Biological Diversity developed a new strategic plan to enhance international efforts at stopping degradation and promoting sustainable use of the world’s biological heritage. These twenty ‘Aichi Targets’ on biodiversity have been set for attainment by 2020.
Domestic and international tourism and visitation to protected areas is significant, growing, and can generate both positive and negative impacts for biodiversity in reaching the Aichi Targets, especially Target 11, which focuses on protected areas . This issue of PARKS looks at the potential contributions to achieving the Aichi Targets from tourism and visitation. Tourism is highly relevant to biodiversity conservation and protected area management and planning, and in addition to Target 11, can contribute to several other Aichi Targets. Authors in this issue explore how, for example, tourism can help achieve public awareness of biodiversity values and opportunities for conservation, keep impacts within safe ecological limits, increase global coverage of protected areas, and promote fair and equitable sharing of benefits from tourism and biodiversity.

Reading List: Compact: Engaging Local Communities in Stewardship of Globally Significant Protected Areas https://sgp.undp.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=103&Itemid=165#.UzNYma1dWF4

Recommended Reading

National Parks Conservation Association has launched an initiative to connect people with the parks.
Connecting People and Parks (PDF)

The Threshold of Sustainability for Tourism in Protected Areas: a Quick Guide for Protected Area Managers

This Quick Guide, in the style of the series under the Programme of Work on Protected Areas of the Convention on Biological Diversity, introduces a tourism management framework called the “threshold of sustainability.” It is designed to enable managers to take rapid action to mitigate the most critical threats related to tourism, while beginning to lay a solid financial foundation for tourism within protected areas. By improving tourism management, protected area planners will simultaneously achieve many of the actions included in the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Programme of Work on Protected Areas, including preventing and mitigating protected area threats, using protected area benefits to reduce poverty, developing sustainable finance mechanisms, strengthening management capacity, and improving overall management effectiveness.
Also in

Earlier version: The Threshold of Sustainability for Protected Areas

World Heritage Status (PDF)

Audio Tours

Recommended Listening

Parks, zoos and freezers
Science writer Melvin Bolton from Yeppoon in Queensland looks at the problem of wildlife conservation and some of the battles that are being lost.

A walk in the park – and so much more! – Some good news about the environment: the number of national parks and protected areas in the world is on the increase. In this program we look at how governments and researchers are rethinking the world’s protected areas. We also broaden out and examine a project in Western Australia which seeks to strengthen eco-system management worldwide.


My Parx iPhone app is now live and available for free download from Apple’s App Store! All parks agencies can now sign up and upload their parks information for free. To find out more, click here.

NSW Parks Audio Tours


Accessible Parking


conservation congress
Parks and Tourism Webinar
protected planet

Social Web

City Parks
World Parks

Recent Events

November 13-17 Asia Parks Congress, Japan

2013 Shutdown Essentials (USA)


Shutdown Headlines (USA)

Citizen lawn mower at Lincoln Memorial: Shutdown or not, areas shouldn’t be neglected

Trending hashtag

Facebook: #KeepParksOpen
Twitter: #KeepParksOpen

Embedded Tweets


Buzzword Bingo

activities – bioregion – biodiversitybiophanybiosphereconcessionsconservationecosystemeducation – equipment – engagement – firefloodsgeopark – george wright society – good practices – green listguidelines – guides – heritageindigenous – interpretation – iucn – litter – local – management – marine – monitoring – mountainnatureovercrowding – padd – parking day – parks – protected area – ranger – recreation – reserve – seasons – sign – soundscapetoilets – tourism – track – trail – travelwildernesswildlifevisitorsvisitor managementwildlifewpalf – zoning

New data from the World Conservation Monitoring Center concerning number of nationally and internationally designated protected areas and total area protected:http://www.wdpa.org/Statistics.aspx.


South Africa Parks
Parque Nacional Iztapopo Zoquiapan
Parks and Protected Areas Research Group – PPARG
PA and Conservation Learning News

Twitter list


twitter (world)


twitter (usa)


@inparquesgob @WAParksWildlife @gbrmarinepark @uknationalparks @ParksCanada @CONANP_mx @NPCA @ParquesColombia

More Embedded Tweets

National Recreation and Association
Celebrating the Vital Importance of Parks During World Parks Week

Spotlight: Ken Burns Documentary
Ken Burns’ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, 2009


Which national parks exist inside or near cities?
Which cities do a good work in promoting and educating locals and visitors about national parks?

The Threshold of Sustainability for Tourism within Protected Areas


National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.
Wallace Stegner

Although “privatization” can greatly benefit PAs, without proper management and guidelines, they can generate significant problems. These include the public perception that the state is “selling off” natural assets and, potentially, to the exclusion of nationals from tourism and / or the protected areas. If bidding processes are not transparent and selection processes do not promote local involvement or an equitable sharing of costs and benefits, resentment and increasing conflicts with local communities and the conservation community can also result. Furthermore, poor enforcement of environmental and social practices, as well as the poor management of tourism operators, can lead to the degradation of the natural resources on which it depends. Such “privatization” initiatives are not only an opportunity, but also a challenge. Unfortunately, in many cases, the perceived risks are deemed too politically sensitive to address, resulting in a missed opportunity for PA sustainability.
Concessions Background

Victoria’s Nature-based Tourism Strategy 2008-2012 (2.83mb PDF) is the first major inter-agency strategy for nature-based tourism and has been jointly funded and guided by Tourism Victoria, Parks Victoria and the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE). The development of the strategy was driven by the need to provide a coordinated and strategic approach to policy, planning, sustainable development and marketing of the nature-based tourism sector; and to optimise the economic, social and environmental benefits to Victoria.

Parks are about creating a culture of conservation.
<ahref=”http: www.pc.gc.ca=”” agen=”” dg_ceo_e.asp”=””>Alan Latourelle, Parks Canada</ahref=”http:>

Financial Sustainability of Protected Areas in Latin America and the Caribbean

IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA)


National Park Trading Cards

Valoracion economica del turismo en el Sistema Nacional de Areas Protegidas (Ecuador)





Flickr Groups

City Parks
World Parks
Zion National Park
U.S. National Parks and Places
SANParks – Tsitsikamma National Park
SANParks – Table Mountain National Park
Parks Australia



Creating Larger and Better Connected Protected Areas Enhances the Persistence of Big Game Species in the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Biodiversity Hotspot
<ahref=”http: www.plosbiology.org=”” article=”” info%3adoi%2f10.1371%2fjournal.pbio.1001891″=””>Targeting Global Protected Area Expansion for Imperiled Biodiversity</ahref=”http:>

City Spotlight



Connecting People and Parks


Pasque flower paradigms



More Slideshare


too valuable to risk wwf




Did you know: The world’s first national park was Yellowstone National Park established in 1872. Australia’s Royal National Park near Sydney came next in 1879. Victoria, always progressively minded soon created a small reserve at Fern Tree Gully in 1882 and Wilson Prom and Mt Buffalo in 1898.

Scholarly Publications

The American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration was founded in 1980 to advance knowledge and encourage scholarly efforts by both practitioners and educators alike. The Academy launched the <href=”http: js.sagamorepub.com=”” jpra”=””>Journal of Park and Recreation Administration (JPRA) in 1983 to further its goal of enhancing the practice of park administration by producing scholarly papers and conducting research. The Journal of Park and Recreation Administration has long provided a forum for management and organizational analysis of the delivery of park, recreation, and leisure services. Since its inception, JPRA has been committed to the advancement of the park and recreation field. It is central to building the field’s body of knowledge and enhancing the effectiveness and professionalism of park and recreation administrators.</href=”http:>

[http://js.sagamorepub.com/jpra/article/view/2446|Keeping Up with the Digital Generation: Practitioner Perspectives]]__

Koedoe, with the sub-title ‘African Protected Area Conservation and Science’ is an influential, frequently cited, accredited, peer reviewed and Open Access journal published since 1958. Koedoe promotes and contributes to the scientific (biology) and environmental (ecology and biodiversity) conservation practices of Africa, by defining the key practices that will ensure biological diversity in Africa.

Special Issue external image OA.gif
Tourism and protected areas: A growing nexus of challenge and opportunity
Guest Editors: Stephen F. McCool, Anna Spenceley
Vol 56, No 2 (2014)
Published: 2014-06-24

external image feed-icon-16x16.png Feed – Subscribe to the set “Parks”

Elsewhere on the Web

Protected Area Watch@michaelnewcomb4
How to make a park – Worldchanging
The world’s best and worst parks – PPS
Parks and Protected Areas Guide – Ecoturismolatino
The Coalition of Concerned NPS Retirees
National Park – Answers.com
Parks Australia
Cape Nature Conservation
Convention on Biological Diversity
>IUCN – The World Conservation Union – Protected Area of the Weekwiki
Man and the Biosphere (MAB)
The Nature Conservancy
New Zealand Department of Conservation
UNESCO – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
World Conservation Monitoring Centre
Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
Parks Canada
National Parks Service – United States of America
Ezemvelo KZN (KwaZulu-Natal) Wildlife – South Africa
National Park De Hoge Veluwe – Netherlands

PADDDtracker.org monitors protected area downgrading, downsizing, and degazettement (PADDD), the legal process through which national parks and nature reserves become weaker, smaller, or are removed completely.
jointly maintained by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Conservation International.

Data Basin

Data Basin is a free system that connects you with spatial datasets, non-technical tools, and a network of scientists and practitioners. You can explore and download a vast library of datasets, connect to external data sources, upload and publish your own datasets, connect to experts, create working groups, and produce customized maps that can be easily shared.

Marine Protected Areas



Panorama is an effort to collate case studies that showcase how protected areas provide solutions to some of the world’s challenges – we call these case studies Inspiring Protected Areas Solutions.

World Parks Day

September 17 is World Parks Day — the 4th annual celebration of parks and green spaces. If you have something organized, fill out the form for individuals or organizations and your event will appear in the events list. You can have a concert, pick up trash with some friends, offer a free yoga class, hand out some plant seeds, have a picnic with family, organize a soccer game, offer a tour of the trees in the park…it is up to you!


Geopark – UNESCO




Recent Events

September 6-15 World Conservation Congress (Jeju, South Korea)
September 9-16 Conservation Week (New Zealand)
October 8-19 Eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (Hyderabad, India)
October 15-19 First Pan-African Conference (Arusha, Tanzania)
July 21-29 Love Parks Week organized by @GreenSpaceUK

March 2-8 Parks Week (Australia and New Zealand)

Live interactive Webcasts of Soulé, Marris keynotes offered at no charge

(March 1, 2013) — In a first for GWS, we will be offering live Webcasts of the two keynotes at the 2013 George Wright Society Conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites. Thanks to support from the NPS Natural Resource Stewardship and Science Program, you can sign up to listen to and take part in an interactive live Webcast of Plenary Session talks by the eminent conservation biologist Michael Soulé and the noted science writer Emma Marris.
Soulé and Marris will address “The Future of Conservation in the Anthropocene.” In the last couple of decades it has become apparent that the Earth is being utterly transformed by human activity. The scope of our domination is so complete that some have proposed that we have entered a new era in Earth history: the Anthropocene. The GWS2013 featured speakers will offer two very different visions of the future of conservation in this brave new world. Soulé is a staunch and passionate defender of science-based conservation biology; Marris, through her notable book “Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World,” argues that human dominion over the planet is not necessarily a bad thing, and that we need to fundamentally rethink our conservation goals. It will be an exciting exchange of views. Read more about them at http://www.georgewright.org/gws2013_plenaries.
Please click the links below to register for the Webcasts. There is no charge, but you must register in advance and viewing will be allocated on a first come, first served basis with a limited number of connections available. This means that registering does not guarantee you access to the Webcast — to have the best chance of getting one of the available connections, you must logon promptly on the day of the Webcast.
NOTE: Each webcast is a unique event so if you want to participate in both sessions you must register separately for each one. Also, some operating systems require installation of the Microsoft Silverlight plugin in order to use the registration links below. If that’s the case, you’ll be prompted to download the plugin (which is free).
**Register for the Webcast of Michael Soulé’s session, Monday, March 11, 8:00am to 9:30am Mountain Time** (Registration Code: DENGWS13)
**Register for the Webcast of Emma Marris’s session, Tuesday, March 12, 8:00am to 9:30am Mountain Time** (Registration Code: DENGWS13)

Paying for Parks

Paying for Parks – John Shores
Paying for Parks: A Guide to Conservation Finance – Ruth Norris

South Africa example.
Kruger: Contribution to the economy (Slide 13)
The KNP is a big role player in the economy of the country as well in the 2 provinces in which it lies.
A recent study has indicated an economic impact of R2 Billion per year.
Resulting in over 10 000 jobs in and outside the KNP.
With dependence over 41 500 people.
This illustrates that conservation, as a form of land use, can compete with others such as agriculture.
This does not include the recent development of ecosystem services and payment.
In Africa much research is currently being conducted on the subject of payment for ecosystem services.

Parks and the IUCN

World Conservation Congress (Barcelona 2008)
World Commission on Protected Areas
Tourism at the Fifth World Parks Congress, Durban, South Africa

Parks and the United Nations

Protected Areas – CBD
World Database on Protected Areas – UNEP
Protected Area Management – UNEP
Protected Areas – CBD


Parks in Peril
Parks Watch
National Park Service (USA)
National Parks and Conservation Association (USA)

Indigenous Peoples and ParksIndigenous peoples manage more than 40% of all IUCN-recognized protected areas in the world, and many of them – if not most – use tourism as a complement, or main product, of their economic benefits from these areas.

World Heritage

The World Heritage emblem symbolizes the interdependence of cultural and natural properties: the central square is a form created by people and the circle represents nature.

International Council on Monuments and Sites
World Heritage Center
World Heritage Alliance
World Heritage Alliance Online Learning Center
World Heritage Tour
Friends of World Heritage

Sacred Sites

Sacred Natural SitesFacebook

Hunting in Parks
href=”http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-22/hunting-debate/4904026″>National Parks Association petition on hunting to be debated in State Parliament


How do we strengthen the skills of protected area managers to meet their conservation mission, provide opportunities for high quality visitor experiences, interact with communities and create an environment in which people can improve the quality of their life?

The whole globe is a biosphere. In a way, having ‘parks’ is admission of failure.
– Conversation

More Twitter
@FlorissantNPS @NationalMallNPS @GatewayNPS @RichmondNPS @FtSumterNPS@Antietamnps1862


Parks Magazine: Protected Areas, Tourism and the Aichi Targets #tapas #iucn

privately protected areas

Download in English or Spanish

A privately protected area is a protected area, as defined by IUCN, under private governance, i.e., individuals and groups of individuals; non-governmental organizations(NGOs); corporations (both existing commercial companies and sometimes corporations set up by groups of private owners to manage groups of PPAs); for-profit owners; research entities (e.g., universities, field stations); or religious entities.


Trevor: The world’s protected areas cover less than 20% of the earth and represent one of the most universal collective natural resource decisions made in history. They involve unique and diverse governance and demonstrate the means for humanity to achieve development that is sustainable.

The promise of Sydney could catalyze transformational change
1. Find better and fairer ways to conserve natural and cultural diversity, involving governments, businesses and citizens in establishing and managing parks
2. Inspire people around the world and across generations to reconnect with nature
3. Demonstrate nature’s solutions to our planet’s challenges, including climate change, health, food and water security

Global Partnership for Professionalizing Protected Area Management

Archives: First World Congress
First World Conference on National Parks


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