Thursday, 16 July 2015

WCPA Task Force to define criteria for Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures

The IUCN World Commission on protected areas is in the process of building the membership of a WCPA Task Force to define criteria for Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs) as referenced in Target 11 of the CBD Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. 
The aim is to develop a diverse and geographically representative membership as well as establish a smaller steering group to expedite the work. The Task Force will develop criteria for submission to the CBD Secretariat for consideration by Parties to the CBD. The Task Force will also act as a forum for debate and information exchange about potential OECMs.


Target 11 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, adopted by the CBD in 2010, calls for “at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas” to be conserved by way of “well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures”.*
IUCN has agreed to work with the CBD Secretariat to provide further guidance on OECMs. A number of informal discussions were held on this topic at the World Parks Congress in Sydney and subsequently the WCPA Steering Committee agreed to establish a dedicated Task Force to develop this guidance. 

Terms of Reference

The terms of reference for the Task Force (available on request) list the following activities:
  1. Evaluate the status of current knowledge on OECMs and ongoing discussions about potential criteria,
  2. Prepare an information paper on OECMs, including drawing on case studies of potential OECMs and the deliberations of expert meetings, and
  3. Present progress and initial findings at the CBD SBSTTA 20 (April 2016), World Conservation Congress (September 2016) and CBD COP 13 (November 2016).

The Task Force will begin work with two concurrent activities. First, we will carry out a scoping exercise of existing activities being undertaken by different groups to define criteria for OECMs. Second, we will ask members to share existing data and/or case studies relating to potential OECMs (terrestrial or marine). 

Call for Members

If you are interested in this topic and would like to become a member of the Task Force, please send an email  to and with the following information:
  1. A brief bio,
  2. A short note outlining your interest in the Task Force and/or ideas about your future contributions,
  3. A description of any relevant data and/or case studies of potential OECMs of which you know, and
  4. Whether you plan to attend SBSTTA 20, the WCC and/or CBD COP.