Ecosystem Approach to Protected Area Management

Published: 26 May 2020
Last edited: 26 May 2020

Taking an ecosystem approach when managing protected areas is crucial. The cloud forest on St Helena is a threatened habitat that supports numerous endemic species of plants, animals and fungi. Rather than working at a species level, it is important to consider habitats as functioning ecosystems, to manage them holistically, and to integrate the management of land, water and living resources.


Management planning
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution

Enabling factors

Good knowledge of all aspects of the ecosystem, including land, water and living resources.

Adopting a protected area management plan that integrates all aspects of the ecosystem.

Political will to carry out an ecosystem approach for protected area management.


Lessons learned

Managers of protected areas may be reluctant to adopt an ecosystem approach if they feel that they don't have a good understanding of all aspects of an ecosystem. In these cases it may be more useful to adopt the principle of ecosystem approach with a view to working towards it over time.