New revised version of the quality criteria and standards for German national parks

Allerheiligenwasserfälle © CharlyEbel (Nationalpark Schwarzwald)

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Revision and updates to evaluation procedures are extremely important to review the management effectiveness of Protected Areas. Here is a best practice example of what has been done in Germany. 

Version 2.0 of the publication “Quality Criteria and Standards for German National Parks” presents a revision of the quality criteria and standards for evaluation of national parks, to fulfil the UN Convention on Biology Diversity (CBD) and the CBD’s “Programme of Work on Protected Areas” (PoWPA), as well as to the subsequently formulated Aichi Biodiversity Targets and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Evaluation process for national parks in Germany

The main goals of the evaluation are:

  • Identification of strengths and weaknesses in the National Parks and their reasons.
  • Long-term management and, where necessary, improvement of the quality of park management by the national park administrations.
  • Promotion of inter-state exchange between the National Park administrations.
  • Contribution to fulfilling Germany’s duties and obligations from agreements within the framework of the CBD, including implementation of the “Programme of Work on Protected Areas”.

The process of revision

Read it here

In Germany, the evaluation procedure adopted in 2008 went through a process of assessment of weaknesses over the years. This is why before the next evaluation between 2021 and 2024, a project was carried out to optimise, integrate and further develop the quality criteria and standards, to achieve a better evaluation method.

The parties involved in this work were the German federal and state governments, the National Park administrations, and the umbrella organization Nationale Naturlandschaften e. V. (formerly: EUROPARC German Section). Their collaboration contributes to the enhancement of the quality of the national parks, as well as to the preservation and development of biodiversity in Germany.

To show suitable and proven methods for this purpose might also be of interest to other countries and can enrich the international discussion of evaluation methods, which is why we want to share the new Quality Criteria and Standards with you.

– Sonja Miller, Head of Business Cooperation, EUROPARC Federation Networking Centre

The aims of the project of revision

  • To improve the internal consistency of the quality set consisting of activity areas, criteria and standards by reducing redundancies.
  • To summarise or reorder individual activity areas, criteria and standards.
  • To sharpen the content and language of the standards.
  • To consider possible synergies with integrative monitoring of large-scale Protected Areas.

The revised and updated quality criteria and standards

  • Include new topics such as environmental management and sustainable procurement, accessibility and inclusion, and participation.
  • Define eight instead of ten activity areas. These are differentiated by 42 criteria (instead of the previous 44).
  • Include adaptation of the evaluation questions, to enable faster and clearer responses to the questions, minimising the time requirement.
  • Include a new glossary with the definition of 37 key terms administrations, essential to the understanding of the questions and standards.

New revised version of the quality criteria and standards for German national parks

The publication is available for download online in German and in English.